June 23, 2015, PNLR E-Newsletter
Negligent performance of laparoscopic hysterectomy
The plaintiff alleged that a gynecological oncologist and his medical group negligently performed the surgery by using an improper technique and applying undue pressure in advancing an optical trocar, resulting in lacerations to her small bowel and iliac arteries. Weldon v. Jazaeri.
Patricia Weldon, 45, underwent a laparoscopic hysterectomy performed by resident Amelia Bailey under the supervision of gynecological oncologist Amir Jazaeri. As Bailey advanced the optical trocar, Weldon’s anatomy became unclear and her vital signs declined. The physicians discontinued the laparoscopy and performed a laparotomy, which revealed lacerations to Weldon’s small bowel and iliac arteries.
Weldon required emergency surgery to repair the lacerations. She was transferred to the hospital’s intensive care unit for several days before undergoing an open hysterectomy. She required about eight months of recuperation and later developed a bowel obstruction.
Weldon sued Jazaeri and his medical group, alleging negligent performance of the laparoscopic hysterectomy in that the attending physicians used an improper technique and applied undue pressure in advancing the optical trocar. Suit did not claim lost income.
The jury awarded $650,000 plus prejudgment interest, bringing the total award to $825,000. The defendants’ posttrial motions are pending.
Citation: Weldon v. Jazaeri, No. 2012-0288 (Va. Cir. Ct. Charlottesville May 20, 2015).
Plaintiff counsel: AAJ members Richard Shapiro and Kevin Duffan, both of Virginia Beach, Va.
Plaintiff expert: Steven McCarus, obstetrics and gynecology, Celebration, Fla.
Defense expert: David G. Mutch, obstetrics and gynecology, St. Louis.