In February 2013…

In February 2013…

bruce-keplingermelissa-hillmanOn January 7, 2013, Bruce Keplinger and Mellissa Hillman obtained a defense verdict for a Kansas OBGYN in a medical negligence/malpractice action.

The plaintiff alleged that as a result of the negligence of defendant physician, her ureter was obstructed during a laparoscopic hysterectomy, and as a result, she suffers from permanent vesicouretal reflux.

Plaintiff’s treating urologist, testified that the plaintiff’s reflux condition is permanent, and that she will continue to experience kidney infections and require medication to treat the condition.  Due to large fibroids, a hysterectomy was medically indicated, and the plaintiff wanted it performed laparoscopically.

The plaintiff’s doctors in Wichita would not perform the procedure laparoscopically, and the plaintiff was referred to the defendant in Kansas City.  After appropriate consent, the defendant performed the laparoscopic hysterectomy on March 13, 2009. Six days later, a left ureteral obstruction was discovered. The plaintiff received treatment for the obstruction in Kansas City and Wichita, but she claims that the injury has resulted in permanent vesicouretal reflux, which can cause recurrent kidney infections and pain.

The plaintiff claimed at trial that her ureter was completely obstructed during the hysterectomy procedure, which should have been detected by the defendant prior to terminating the procedure. In the six days between the surgery and discovery of the obstruction, medical records do not indicate complaints of pain, but the plaintiff and her friends testified that she did complain of pain. The defendant claimed that the ureteral wall was inadvertently damaged during surgery and eventually evolved into an obstruction, which is why the plaintiff did not experience flank pain until her sixth postoperative day.

Ureteral injury is a known complication of abdominal surgery, and the plaintiff consented to the procedure after she was appropriately advised of the risks. Defendant denied that the ureteral injury was a result of negligence. He further denied that had the injury been detected at the time of surgery, the plaintiff’s outcome would have been different.

After a four day trial the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant.


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