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Woman awarded $100K for surgical errors caused by robotic device

Robotic surgeries are becoming more commonplace in Maryland and elsewhere as operations become more high-tech. However, these robotic devices do not always prevent surgical errors. In a medical malpractice case that just concluded in another state, a woman was awarded more than $100,000 after a malfunction in the robotic device used in her surgery resulted in a foreign object being left in her body.

The surgery took place in Sept. 2007 after the doctor recommended removal of one of the woman's ovaries, a fallopian tube and her appendix. She had been suffering from pain in her pelvic area at the time. Following the surgery, the organs that had been removed were determined to have been functioning normally. The woman continued to experience pain after her surgery.

Three years later, she went to a different hospital for a CT scan. The results of her scan revealed that a laparoscopic sheath had been left in her body from the robotic surgery. She underwent a procedure to have it removed. The woman originally asked for $1 million, but a jury awarded her $100,000 in damages for mental and physical pain, as well as $10,500 to cover medical expenses.

Fortunately, most medical patients do not need to worry about surgical errors. However, if one does occur, the injured party may find it beneficial to speak to someone with knowledge of the medical malpractice laws in Maryland. In many cases, successfully litigating a suit often means more than just obtaining compensation. It may help the injured party obtain a sense of closure so he or she can move on.

Source: The Associated Press, Jury awards $100,000 in Ore. malpractice suit, No author, Nov. 16, 2013

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