Gallbladder Surgery Malpractice Lawsuits Results in $11M Jury Award

A Georgia jury has awarded almost $11 million in a medical malpractice lawsuit filed by a woman who suffered serious injuries due to gallbladder surgery complications. 

The verdict came following a complaint filed by Glenda Daniels against Habersham Medical Center, a Georgia surgeon and two nurse anesthetists. The alleged malpractice occurred during a January 2012 gallbladder removal procedure, when the surgeon accidentally severed an artery.

After settlements were reached with the hospital and surgeon, Daniels continued to pursue claims against the two nurse anesthetists, claiming that she was not given a blood transfusion after the mistake until she was transferred to another hospital.

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The gallbladder removal surgery that was supposed to be an outpatient laparoscopic procedure, which would take more than one hour. However, Daniels began suffering internal bleeding on the operating table, which occurred after the surgeon cut through her left common iliac artery.

This resulted in the procedure becoming an open abdominal surgery in an effort to save Daniels’ life. However, Habersham Medical Center allegedly had no vascular surgeon on staff, and she had to be transported to another facility in Gainesville, Georgia.

Daniels alleged that she suffered irreversible damage to some of her internal organs due to the delay in receiving a blood transfusion. The lawsuit noted that the nurse anesthetists failed to meet accepted standards of medical care by failing to provide a blood transfusion to a patient who had lost more than 40% of their blood volume.

As a result of the gallbladder surgery malpractice, Daniels argued that she will require medical care for the rest of her life, needs to use a colostomy bag, requires intravenous feeding, and suffered damage that has left her vulnerable to infections, pneumonia, and sepsis. Daniels also suffers peripheral neuropathy and other medical problems.

According to the Daily Report, the jury awarded Daniels $10,964,000 in damages, including $7.2 million for medical expenses, $3.5 million for pain and suffering, and $200,000 for lost wages. The jury found the surgeon was 70% responsible for the award and the hospital was 15% responsible. Since both of those defendants had already reached undisclosed settlements out of court with Daniels, the two nurse anesthetists will each be responsible for about $800,000, since they were each found to be 7.5% at fault by the jury.

The defense claimed that the surgeon did not inform the nurses during the procedure that the artery had been cut, and that Daniels’ blood pressure did not drop low enough to provide the proper warning signs.


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