What to do about botched surgery?

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What to do about botched surgery?

My father went into surgery to remove a stage 3 colon cancer tumor about 7 months ago. After the surgery he was told by the surgeon he would have to have a colon bag for 6 months and the proceedure would be 100% reversable. Then, 12 weeks ago from today, he went back to the hospital for a colonoscopy takedown but the surgeon poked a hole in his bladder. He didn’t give a reason why he had a sharp instrument where he did. About 6 weeks from that time, he went to a specialist that the surgeon referred my father to. After 7 long hours the specialist told us he could not reverse it and it look like a botched up mess. So now my dad is stuck or I should say cursed with the colon bag for the rest of his life.

Asked on March 12, 2014 under Malpractice Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Frequency and cost of medical errors

Statistics show that each year, in the United States, approximately 195,000 people die because of medical errors.  The study notes that about 1.14 million patient-safety incidents occurred among the 37 million hospitalizations in the Medicare population over the years 2000-2002. Hospital costs associated with such medical errors were estimated at $324 million in October 2008 alone.

Between 15,000 and 19,000 malpractice suits are brought against doctors each year.

The medical malpractice claim

The parties

The plaintiff is/ was the patient, or a legally designated party acting on behalf of the patient, or – in the case of a wrongful-death suit – the executor or administrator of a deceased patient's estate.

The defendant is the health care provider. Although a 'health care provider' usually refers to a physician, the term includes any medical care provider, including dentists, nurses, and therapists. As illustrated in Columbia Medical Center of Las Colinas v Bush, 122 S.W. 3d 835 (Tex. 2003), "following orders" may not protect nurses and other non-physicians from liability when committing negligent acts. Relying on vicarious liability or direct corporate negligence, which was found in the case of Dany Decell, CEO, claims may also be brought against hospitals, clinics, managed care organizations or medical corporations for the mistakes of their employees.

Elements of the case

A plaintiff must establish all four elements of the tort of negligence for a successful medical malpractice claim.

  1. A duty was owed: a legal duty exists whenever a hospital or health care provider undertakes care or treatment of a patient.
  2. A duty was breached: the provider failed to conform to the relevant standard care.
  3. The breach caused an injury: The breach of duty was a direct cause and the proximate cause of the injury.
  4. Damage: Without damage (losses which may be pecuniary or emotional), there is no basis for a claim, regardless of whether the medical provider was negligent. Likewise, damage can occur without negligence, for example, when someone dies from a fatal disease.

Answer: I suggest that your fathr consult with a medical malpractice attorney in his locality. One can be found on attorneypages.com.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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