Not guilty in laparoscopic surgery case.

Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois
Counsel: Steven C. Steinback and Heather T. Gilbert
Demand: $2 million
Asked: $1.3 million
Outcome: Not Guilty

This case involved allegations of negligence during laparoscopic surgery performed by co-defendant physicians which purportedly resulted in a laceration to Plaintiffs sigmoid colon and the need for subsequent surgery to repair the injury, including a colostomy and reversal of same.

Plaintiff alleged negligence in that surgery was not indicated for removal of the ovarian mass; co-defendant physician failed to obtain informed consent; co-defendant physicians’ utilized improper technique in performing the surgery; co-defendant physicians’ negligently lysed adhesions on the left pelvic sidewall when performing surgery to remove a right ovarian mass; co-defendant physicians failed to diagnose and treat the perforation intra-operatively; and co-defendant physicians were apparent agents of the Hospital. Defendants contended that surgery was indicated to remove the ovarian mass based on the patient’s complaints of pain in the region and the irregular appearance of the mass; informed consent was obtained for the surgery; the operative technique utilized was proper and in compliance with the standard of care; lysis of the adhesions on the left pelvic sidewall was necessary to obtain better visualization of the operative field; there was no evidence of injury to the sigmoid colon intra-operatively; and co-defendant physicians were neither employees nor agents of the Hospital.