$2M Jury Verdict to Woman After Problematic Gall Bladder Surgery

A Pittsburgh woman has been awarded a $2 million medical malpractice verdict by a jury for injuries she sustained when her surgeon improperly removed her gall bladder in May of 2013.

The patient, Denise Westwood, alleged in her lawsuit that her surgeon, Dr. Charles N. Lebovitz, negligently injured her bile duct during the surgery on May 23, 2013, which caused permanent damage to her liver and biliary system, according to a June 29 story in The Legal Intelligencer. Westwood’s lawsuit alleged that Lebovitz failed to remove her gall bladder in the safest way possible.

The errant surgery caused bile to leak and accumulate inside Westwood’s body, which later required additional medical treatment and set the stage for future corrective surgeries, according to court documents. She also allegedly suffered from multiple hernias due to the procedure and had to undergo related hernia surgery in October 2015.

Following the surgery and continued treatment, Westwood was forced to leave her job as a nurse’s aide because she is restricted from lifting more than 10 pounds, the story reported.

Westwood’s case was heard in a three-day trial in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. The jury deliberated for one hour before ruling in favor of the plaintiff and finding Lebovitz negligent in performing the surgery on the patient. The jury awarded Westwood $750,000 in damages for past noneconomic loss and $1.25 million in damages for future noneconomic loss.

Photo credit: iStockphoto.com/stuartbur

These kinds of cases are a somber reminder that 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 malpractice and 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 similar medical malpractice, birth injury 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.