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Abscess costs woman capacity to carry another child – $1.5 Million Verdict

The patient went to the emergency room with complaints of abdominal pain two days after being discharged following the birth of her first child via C-section. A CT scan was read as possibly showing an abscess on her uterus, and she had an elevated white blood count and a fever. The ER physician believed the patient had an abscess. The defendant OBGYN admitted the patient and believed abscess was unlikely, and instead chose to treat her for a common post-partum infection. The patient was placed on IV antibiotics. While some of her lab results improved from her admission, she had not showed significant improvement 48-72 hours after IV antibiotics were started. The defendant continued to discount the imaging study showing a fluid collection with gas bubbles and an enhancing rim for several more days. By the seventh day of the admission the patient’s condition had deteriorated and a consulting infectious disease doctor ordered a repeat CT scan, which showed that the fluid collection was almost certainly an abscess. Shortly after those results were read, the patient underwent a complex laparotomy to remove uterine tissue that had become necrotic as a result of the abscess. She will not carry another child. She works as a teacher for preschool children with special needs. The defendant contested liability, causation, and damages through expert testimony. The jury returned a verdict of $1,500,000.00 after deliberating for an hour and a half. The parties later settled the case for $1,450,000.00 to avoid an appeal.


Type of action: Medical Malpractice

Injuries alleged: Uterine Abscess Requiring Surgical Resection; Loss of Childbearing Capacity

Name of case: Confidential

Court: Richmond Circuit Court

Case no.: Confidential

Tried before: Jury

Name of judge: Hon. Melvin Hughes

Date resolved: March 29, 2018

Special damages: $192,000 Medical Bills; $45,000 Wage Loss

Demand: $1,250,000

Offer: None

Verdict or settlement: Verdict

Amount: $1,500,000

Attorneys for plaintiff: William B. Kilduff, Christopher L. Spinelli, and W. Randolph Robins, Jr., Richmond

Plaintiff’s experts: Eric Swisher, MD (OBGYN); Gerald Donowitz, MD (Infectious Disease); Robert Sheiman, MD (Radiology)

Defendant’s experts: Alfred Abuhamad, MD (OBGYN); Allen Morrison, MD (Infectious Disease); Brian Holly, MD (Radiology)

Insurance carrier: The Doctors Company