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    Patient claims fraud after bladder injury

    Ms Collins is an attorney specializing in medical malpractice in Long Beach, California. She can be reached at [email protected].

     

    A Louisiana woman underwent a hysterectomy in 2007, performed by her longtime gynecologist. Her bladder was injured during the surgery and a urologist was called to repair the injury.

    The patient sued the gynecologist, alleging negligence in injuring the bladder. The patient claimed that the physician had suffered a serious injury in a fall in 2004 that affected his dexterity and that he never informed her of the extent of his injury and risks associated with it.

    The physician maintained that the bladder injury was a risk of the surgery about which the patient had been advised and it was recognized and repaired appropriately. A motion for summary judgment was granted for the physician on this claim. He argued that his injury affected only his ability to stand in surgery all day.

    The verdict

    The hospital settled for $12,000. The jury returned a $30,000 verdict on the fraud count for the patient’s mental anguish.

    Analysis

    In this case the patient learned that at the time of her operation, the physician had a pending lawsuit against the owner of the premises where he fell in 2004. In his lawsuit the physician claimed that due to this injury, he was unable to continue his surgical practice. An additional claim was filed by the patient for fraudulent concealment of the extent of the physician’s injury and how it may adversely affect her during her operation. The case went to the jury on that charge.

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