Hysterectomies are incredibly common in America. In fact, their prevalence is trending upwards at a significant rate. However, this development does come with some risks as well as this case exhibits. The plaintiff in this suit experienced an accident in the course of her hysterectomy and sought compensation after even her doctor initially missed the mishap.
Filed: JULY 27, 20106
Jurisdiction: CIRCUIT COURT OF ILLINOIS, COOK COUNTY
Category: MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
Plaintiff: APRIL BERNARD
Defendant(s): BRYON ROSNER
The beginning of this case started with a common procedure performed on countless woman across the country. The plaintiff, April Bernard, was set to have a total abdominal hysterectomy. Bryon Rosner was the doctor who actually performed the operation. However, it did not go smoothly. In the course of the operation, Rosner severed her right ureter. Unfortunately, this gaffe went undetected at this time. Bernard was discharged and instructed to go home. Soon after leaving the hospital, she began to experience pain, vomiting, and other symptoms related to the surgical error. Ultimately, the pain was so severe that she returned to the hospital for examination and treatment. Doctors identified the mistake, placed a stent in the affected area of her body, and resolved the issue. To recover for the damages that she suffered from this experience, Rosner has sued the doctor for medical malpractice.
Claims and Damages:
Bernard sued her physician for medical malpractice after the events as described above in the summary. The claims contained in her lawsuit contained some crucial points. First, the defendant doctor negligently injured April Bernard’s right ureter during the hysterectomy. Second, he failed to detect or otherwise notice April Bernard’s severed ureter during the operation or after. Third, he did not arrange for immediate repair of her severed ureter after the mistake. Fourth, he was generally careless and negligent in his care and treatment of her.
She also argued res ipsa loquitur. This means that negligence should be presumed from the underlying events. Here are the general elements that define res ipsa loquitur.
- The outcome does not usually happen without negligence.
- The plaintiff or anybody else besides the defendant could not have caused the outcome.
- The defendant had a duty to avoid causing this outcome.
From these events, Bernard claimed the following damages:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical and hospital bills
- Other personal and financial damages
- 735 ILCS 5/2-622
- 740 ILCS 180
- 750 ILCS 65/15
- 735 ILCS 5/13-212
- 735 ILCS 5/2-1116
- 735 ILCS 5/2-1115
- 735 ILCS 5/2-1114
- 735 ILCS 5/2-1205
- The issue of this case is not whether or not the defendant chose the right course of action but, rather, whether the doctor was negligent in the performance itself. Generally, in the course of a hysterectomy, doctors do not cut patient’s ureters so one would presume there is some negligence here (a legal idea known as res ipsa loquitur). Therefore, one would assume this should not be a hard point to illustrate for plaintiff’s counsel.
- In cases like these, where costs imposed by negligent conduct are quantifiable, plaintiffs have better success at increasing recovery by arguing that the incident did and will harm them in intangible ways in the future. Certainly, the experience of a hysterectomy is traumatic and personal. The plaintiff might argue that the defendants negatively piled on to it with the indignity of the complication. Also, she should elaborate on any present pain and suffering that the botched surgery caused her.
Do You Have Questions About a Surgical Error Involving an Illinois Physician?
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers appreciates the devastation that accompanies a situation where you have discovered that an error made during surgery may have done more harm than good. While not every surgery can have a positive outcome, basic safeguards ensure that the majority of these situations are minimized or avoided alltogether. Contact our law firm today for a free review of your surgical error case.