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Medical malpractice claim is tied to gall bladder surgery

January 5th, 2016
On behalf of David Bowling of The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm, A Professional Law Corporation posted in Surgical Errors on Tuesday, January 5, 2016.

Just because a particular surgical error may be periodically committed by different surgeons in Louisiana and nationwide, that does not mean that there is no negligence or no liability. If the surgeon’s actions or omissions fall below the minimally recognized standard of care in the surgical community with respect to that specialty, it may be a case of medical malpractice. Gall bladder surgery is an area where repeated mistakes of a similar nature may occur.

A man has sued a surgeon and hospital over an allegedly botched gall bladder operation. The surgery was conducted to remove the man’s gall bladder, but the complaint alleges that the surgeon mistakenly severed the bile duct in the process. It is alleged that the surgeon completed the procedure without first correcting the problem.

That resulted in serious damages to the victim and necessitated further surgical procedures in an attempt to repair the problem. When  a bile duct is severed or damaged, the bile can either begin to leak into the abdomen or its flow may be totally blocked. In either event, a bile duct injury can result in serious and even fatal consequences. Symptoms can include fever, chills, nausea, vomiting and abdominal swelling.

Too much blood around the gall bladder during surgery may cloud the surgeon’s vision, thus facilitating the possibility of severing the bile duct. However, it is negligence to neglect to repair the damage before closing the incision. The plaintiff is claiming compensation for pain and suffering and other damages in excess of $50,000.

This medical malpractice case will likely boil down to a battle of medical experts. In order to prevail, the plaintiff must prove that the surgeon fell below the minimally established standards for this kind of operation. Under Louisiana principles of negligence, the expert will also have to testify that the surgeon’s carelessness was a  substantial factor in causing the injuries alleged by the plaintiff. If testimony from the defendant’s expert, however, is contradictory to that testimony, it is then up to the jury to decide which of the experts is the more credible and authoritative of the two.

Source: Orland Park, IL, Patch, “Man Sues Orland Park Surgeon for Medical Malpractice“, Brendan Krisel, Dec. 31, 2015

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