Hospital Found At Fault, Jury Awards $4 Million to Patient With Surgical Sponge Left in Him

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A jury found a hospital negligent for a 2008 surgery in which a surgical sponge was left inside the patient, and awarded the patient $4.08 million in damages. According to court records, the victim, a 45-year old at the time, went to the surgeon in December 2008 to have his gallbladder removed. In March 2009, the patient was rushed to the emergency room with severe pain and a fever. A CT scan later revealed that a surgical sponge was left inside him and that his gallbladder was, in fact, not removed. Records later revealed that the surgeon removed an abnormal mass where a sonogram showed the gallbladder should be and that the patient’s initial symptoms improved after the surgery.

The jury determined that the removal of the gallbladder, or non-removal, was not an issue in the case, but that the damage was caused solely by the sponge. This was the reason the hospital was held liable, that is, instead of just the surgeon. According to court documents, nurses are responsible for counting sponges and other supplies after surgeries. The doctor wrote in his post-surgery report that the nurses twice confirmed the sponge count. After the sponge was found, however, the patient underwent more surgeries and was hospitalized for 80 days, racking up approximately $290,000.00 in medical bills, and remains disabled.

The hospital’s lawyers argued that the patient suffered from abdomen problems before he came for surgery or treatment, and that the hospital should only be responsible for “what’s fair.” Prior to the jury’s verdict, however, defense lawyers stated that the hospital was going to “fully accept blame for the fact that there was a sponge left in him inadvertently.” Further, the hospital admitted to leaving the sponge in the patient, but stated that the act was unintentional and that the hospital did not do it on purpose – even though it knew that it occurred.

We hope the significant verdict awarded to the patient as a result of the hospital’s mistake sends a message to all hospital companies and corporations that such carelessness or medical negligence on their part is not tolerated by the people who trust their healths and lives in them. A hospital mistake can lead to permanent injury and death.

If you suspect that a family member of yours, or a person you care about, may have suffered injuries or death due to the mistake made by a surgery, doctor, nurse, pharmacy technician, or other hospital staff, then you should contact our law firm for your free consultation immediately. Gray and White Law has helped many Kentucky families whose loved ones suffered injuries or death as a result of improper hospital mistakes. Please contact us today for a FREE LEGAL CONSULTATION via confidential e-mail or toll-free at 1-888-450-4456.