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Cleveland VA Hospital to Pay $500,000 Settlement

A lawsuit filed against the Cleveland VA Medical Center has settled for $500,000. The lawsuit was filed after the death of a 59 year old veteran, who was being operated on to repair a hernia. What he was not told was that the VA surgeon had only been licensed for a few months, and that this was the first time that he had ever performed the procedure by himself. Experience matters is such a cliche. In surgery, data shows time and time again that experience is everything. Sadly, a hole was made in the deceased man’s intestines during the surgery, allowing the contents of his bowel to spill out into his abdomen – a hole which the VA hospital failed to recognize for several days. The deceased became very sick after developing an infection, and died several months later. Just a tragic, sensless story.

Hernia Repair Verdicts and Settlements

YEAR / STATE

CASE SUMMARY

RESULT

2020 – California

A man underwent a second hernia repair. Following the procedure, he went into cardiac arrest. The man subsequently developed hypoxic-ischemia. He sustained permanent cognitive impairments. The man could no longer work and required round-the-clock care. He alleged that the hospital staff’s failure to perform pre- and post-surgical cardiac tests caused his permanent injuries. The hospital denied liability. They argued that his cardiac arrest was unrelated to the hernia repair. Following arbitration, the man and his wife received $1,742,229. This included $250,000 for his wife’s loss of consortium claim.

$1,742,229 – Arbitration Award

2019 – Pennsylvania

A 67-year-old man underwent a ventral hernia repair. During the procedure, the surgeon perforated his small intestine. Despite undergoing corrective surgery, the man suffered extensive kidney damage. One year later, the man suffered a fatal stroke while undergoing dialysis. His family alleged that the surgeon’s negligent performing of the hernia repair resulted in his death. They claimed he used improper surgical techniques, failed to recognize an intestinal perforation, and failed to address post-surgical complications. The defense denied liability. This case settled for $750,000.

$750,000 – Settlement

2019 – South Carolina

A 48-year-old man underwent an outpatient hernia repair. Eight hours after being discharged, he returned to the hospital with high blood pressure, a low-grade fever, and tachycardia. An EKG showed ischemia signs, while lab tests showed acidosis signs. He developed ventricle tachycardia. The man died the next day. His family alleged that the hospital staff’s negligence caused his death. They claimed they improperly interpreted his EKG results and failed to timely treat acidosis and cardiomyopathy. The hospital denied liability. This case settled for $1,000,000.

$1,000,000 – Settlement

2019 – Virginia

A 66-year-old woman underwent the laparoscopic repair of her incisional hernia. Following her discharge, she experienced pain, nausea, vomiting, and irregular bowel activity. She received a hematoma diagnosis and a wound care referral at her follow-up visit one month later. Three days later, she presented to the hospital with continued pain. The hospital staff discovered severe sepsis. They transferred her to another hospital, where she died the following day. The woman’s family alleged that the hospital staff’s negligence caused her death. They claimed they improperly performed diagnostic tests and used improper surgical techniques. The defense disputed these claims. This case settled for $312,000.

$312,000 – Settlement

2019 – Illinois

A woman underwent a hernia repair. During the procedure, the surgeon perforated her bowel. The following day, she developed sepsis. Despite experiencing complications, the woman’s condition was left undiagnosed. She died ten days after the surgery. The woman’s son alleged that the physicians’ negligence caused her death. He claimed they failed to diagnose her condition and surgically remove her necrotic bowel. The jury awarded a $370,952 verdict.

$370,952 – Verdict

2019 – Nevada

A 55-year-old woman underwent a laparoscopic repair of her incarcerated paraesophageal hernia. Following the procedure, she suffered a gastrointestinal perforation and leak that became infected. The woman’s blood circulation became compromised. She subsequently underwent bilateral foot amputations. The woman alleged that the physician’s failure to timely diagnose and treat her condition caused her permanent injuries. The physician denied her allegations. The jury found the physician 100 percent liable. They awarded the woman a $5,871,495 verdict.

$5,871,495 – Verdict

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