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Medical Negligence From Gastrectomy

Medical Negligence From Gastrectomy

The Nature of the Case

S.E. underwent a total gastrectomy. Afterward, instead of recovering normally, S.E. experienced severe, debilitating abdominal pain, drastic weight loss, chronic diarrhea and nausea – along with numerous other symptoms.

Because S.E. had suffered from serious depression and diabetes prior to the surgery, and there were no physical signs of S.E.’s complaints after the first surgery – S.E. was diagnosed a failing to thrive, and suffering from depression. It was only after a CT scan was performed where the presence of a large abscess was discovered.

Finally – over 3 months later – it was discovered that S.E. actually had a surgical towel left inside of her abdominal cavity from the operation. A subsequent surgery took place to remove the towel, but serious infection had already developed. Even after the surgery to remove the towel, S.E. continued to suffer from the effects of the first surgery and subsequent infection. S.E. was quite ill for nearly 3 years.

S.E. suffered emotionally and psychologically from the entire process – the excruciating pain from the first surgery led to ongoing depression and hallucinations. After the doctors’ appointments, additional surgery and ongoing treatment of the infection, the toll on S.E.’s emotional state was overwhelming.

During the legal proceedings, S.E. died from a heart attack – the final three years of her life being severely diminished.

The Resolution

Bogoroch & Associates worked with S.E. to:

  • assemble all clinical records and reports
  • S.E.’s medical history was fully reviewed and considered
  • Valuation of future care was developed

The surgeon admitted liability in leaving the surgical towel in S.E.’s abdominal cavity. The team at Bogoroch & Associates applied the thin skull principle in the case (proving that S.E. was particularly vulnerable or more fragile than the norm), and that the defendant had to compensate S.E. for the increased pain and suffering.

The case came before a pre-trial judge. The doctor and hospital admitted liability, however, there was not agreement over the damages that should be awarded.

As S.E. experienced ongoing depression and psychological impairments that could not be ultimately connected to the surgery and had pre-existed the surgery, the amounts discussed were lower.

A resolution was not made at the pre-trial, and shortly thereafter, S.E. was readmitted to hospital where a mass similar to the one after the first surgery was found. S.E. passed away. Despite the discovery of the mass, it was found that S.E. had not died of any of the effects of the first surgery. Post mortem examination proved she had died from a heart attack.

With S.E. gone, it was left to the E. family to pursue the settlement in a different manner. S.E. had a claim under the Trustee Act for her pain and suffering – but future care was no longer an issue. Her husband and daughters made a claim under The Family Law Act.

Bogoroch & Associates worked with the E. family to:

  • explain the legal limitations and constraints of the case
  • confronting the change to the case after S.E.’s death

A fair and reasonable offer was negotiated by Bogoroch & Associates reflecting their legal entitlement to damages, given the pain and suffering that S.E. had endured. Although they could never replace their loved one, the best possible settlement was achieved to provide the family with some support and financial assistance.

*Please note that the settlement amounts will vary from case to case and are not reflective of what your case may be worth.