$1,500,000.00 Verdict – Surgical Equipment Left Inside Client’s Body

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Santiago v. Arad Garan, V. Sharma, Phyllis Lynch, Carmy Guangalli and Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center

After a Caesarean delivery of twins, physician negligently left a sponge and surgical ring inside the body cavity.

The published verdict from verdictsearch.com:

On Oct. 13, 2004, plaintiff , a police officer, underwent a Caesarean delivery of twins. The delivery was performed by obstetrician Dr. Ared Garan, at Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center, in the Bronx.

Plaintiff subsequently developed pain that stemmed from her abdomen. A doctor determined that the pain was caused by surgical materials that had not been removed after the Caesarean delivery was performed.

Plaintiff sued Garan; a doctor who assisted Garan and who was identified as “V. Sharma”; the nurses that assisted Garan, Carmy Guangalli and Phyllis Lynch; and Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center. Plaintiff alleged that Garan, Guangalli, Lynch and Sharma failed to properly perform the delivery, that the failures constituted malpractice, and that the hospital was vicariously liable for the actions of Guangalli, Lynch and Sharma.

Plaintiff, Guangalli, Lynch, Sharma and Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center negotiated a pretrial settlement. Terms were not disclosed. The matter proceeded to a trial against Garan.

Plaintiff’s  expert obstetrician noted that a sponge and a surgical ring were left in Plaintiff’s abdomen. He contended that Garan’s responsibilities included the counting and tracking of all materials that were placed in the patient. He also contended that Garan failed to perform an adequate inspection of the operative area.

Plaintiff’s  expert obstetrician further contended that Plaintiff developed immediate symptoms that should have necessitated follow-up tests, but that such tests were not performed before Plaintiff was discharged.

The defense’s expert obstetrician opined that the nurses were entirely responsible for the counting and tracking of all materials that were placed in the patient, and Garan contended that he relied upon the nurses’ performance of those duties. He claimed that they repeatedly reported that all materials had been removed.

Garan also contended that Plaintiff did not immediately report postoperative symptoms. He claimed that her symptoms did not emerge until four months had passed.

Plaintiff developed severe pain that stemmed from her abdomen. She claimed that the pain developed during the immediate wake of the Caesarean delivery, which was performed on Oct. 13, 2004. In February 2005, she underwent a laparotomy that involved the removal of the surgical materials that had been left in her abdomen. However, Plaintiff contended that she suffers residual pain.

Plaintiff sought recovery of damages for her past and future pain and suffering.

The jury found that Garan and the hospital’s staff departed from an accepted standard of medical care. Garan was assigned 60 percent of the blame. The jury determined that Plaintiff’s  damages totaled $1.5 million, but her recovery was reduced by the percentage of the hospital’s liability. Thus, her recovery totaled $900,000.