Failed Colon Surgery Results in Woman’s Death and a $19.5 Million Medical Malpractice Verdict
By Dean I Weitzman, Esq. on March 7th, 2013
During a routine colonoscopy in 2008, a non-cancerous polyp was found inside the colon of a Bucks County, Pa., woman.
But instead of removing the polyp through a minimally-invasive colonoscopy or an endoscopic procedure, her doctor performed a colon re-section, removing 2.5 feet of her colon and then surgically putting the remainder back together, according to a recent story in The Legal Intelligencer.
The problem, though, occurred when the more-invasive surgical re-section failed and leaked her fecal matter into her bloodstream and body, leading to a septic infection that kept the woman in the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for 305 days, the story said.
Eleven days after her failed first surgery, Mariann Pomroy required a second surgery and was fitted with a colostomy bag. But her medical problems still were far from over.
“When Pomroy was finally released home, she was confined to a hospital bed, dependent upon oxygen and needed kidney dialysis,” reported The Legal Intelligencer. Three hundred and sixty-four days later, on Aug. 12, 2010, Pomroy died, the victim of a medical malpractice tragedy.
It wasn’t supposed to be that way.
The procedure was supposed to be a routine removal of a non-cancerous, abnormal growth of tissue.
Instead, Pomroy, who had undergone four previous abdominal surgeries, suffered severe complications that contributed to her eventual death. She was 57 when she died.
The two sides disagreed in court about how a decision was reached regarding the procedure she would eventually undergo.
Her surgeon, Dr. Ernest F. Rosato, “said that he recommended a colonoscopy to Pomroy but she opted for the surgery out of fear of having perforations,” according to the story. ” However, Pomroy’s husband [George], who attended the appointment with her, said that the advice was for Pomroy to have a colon resection, and he brought up if there was an easier way to remove the polyp.”
After her death, Pomroy’s family sued the doctor and the hospital, alleging serious medical errors were made in providing her care.
On Feb. 26, a Philadelphia jury awarded her family $19.5 million in damages by an 11-1 verdict, reported The Legal Intelligencer. The verdict included $10.5 million in wrongful death damages and $9 million in survival damages.
This tragic case is a somber reminder of the kinds of problems that can arise when patients seek medical treatment in hospitals and other medical facilities and become innocent victims of overzealous, inadequate or incorrect procedures.
Patients and their families must be vigilant about the medical care they receive so they know what is being done for a patient’s care every step of the way. But at the same time, patients and families aren’t doctors and they can’t know every question to ask.
That’s where skilled, expert, compassionate and thorough legal representation is needed by patients and their families who have been harmed by medical errors or omissions during their treatment. These kinds of cases happen on a regular basis, but they can be fought by legal teams that are prepared to battle for their clients’ rights all along the way to a fair settlement or to a just verdict.
We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a medical malpractice or related case anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.
Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.
When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.