Hernia Surgery Malpractice Lawsuit Results in $17.5M Settlement

An Illinois jury has awarded $17.5 million in a medical malpractice lawsuit filed against a doctor and hospital for perforating a man’s bowel during hernia surgery. 

The complaint was filed by Terry Nichols against Dr. Rodney McCalla, Associated Surgical Group and Methodist Medical Center.

Nichols, 36, had to have a basketball-sized hernia removed, and Dr. McCalla was assigned to the surgery. However, Nichols alleged in the complaint that McCalla had never worked on any hernia of similar size and complexity.

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The lawsuit claims McCalla punctured Nichols’ bowels during the laproscopic surgery. He had only finished his residency nine months earlier and allegedly did not have privileges to conduct interventional laparoscopic surgeries.

As a result of the surgical mistake, Nichols suffered an abdominal infection, staph infection, septic shock, cardiac arrest, blindness, and multi-organ failure as a result of surgical complications and needs the use of a colostomy bag. His hip bone was eventually removed and he lost the ability to walk for six years.

After the initial surgery, Nichols was hospitalized for five days, during which the lawsuit alleges that nurses called McCalla five times to express concern about his condition. However, according to the lawsuit, McCalla never came in to look at Nichols despite staff concerns. The nurses never contacted other physicians or hospital supervisors to express concerns regarding Nichols’ condition or McCalla’s unwillingness to come in to work to look at him.

Before the case could go to trial, the defendants reportedly agreed to a $17.5 million settlement in the hernia surgery malpractice lawsuit. It is believed to be the largest tort settlement in the history of Peoria County, Illinois, according to a press release issued by Nichols’ attorneys.


  • MandyJuly 6, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    I've had 3 umbilical hernia surgery's 2 laperscopic and a major surgery and now I have no belly button

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