Doctor pays $1.4 Million for Removing Wrong Organs

Medical malpractice lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm report that a Maryland doctor was recently ordered to pay $1.42 million to a patient after removing the incorrect ovary during surgery and actively lying about the mistake afterwards.

The patient went to see OB/GYN Doctor Maureen Muoneke, who has a practice in Columbia, MD, because of a cyst on her left ovary. The patient, Nadege Neim, was pregnant at the time, and Dr. Muoneke recommended she have the cyst removed to prevent any complications that could harm the fetus. She checked into Saint Agnes Hospital in Baltimore soon after, where Dr. Muoneke performed the surgery.

After the procedure, Muoneke told Neim that the surgery had gone well, and that she had successfully removed the ovary. What she did not specify, however, was the she accidentally removed the right-side ovary instead of the affected left, in addition to the Neim’s fallopian tube.

The woman returned to Muoneke about a month later with severe pain in her pelvic region, although the doctor never revealed to her that she accidentally removed the wrong organs. Ultimately, the pain became so extreme that Neim was taken to Howard County General Hospital. There, a different doctor gave her a CT scan, informed her that the cyst was still on her left ovary, and that the right ovary and fallopian tube were removed.

During court proceedings, the patient claimed that Muoneke even tried to cover up the error by forging the woman’s medical records. Neim claimed that, after the fact, Muoneke fraudulently went into her records and added that she was complaining of pain in the right side of her pelvis, opposed to the left, among other descriptions that justified her falsely removing the right-side organs.

The jury returned with a verdict on the case after an hour of deliberation. They awarded Neim$1.42 million in compensation for the ordeal.

In an eerily similar case, a woman in Texas recently sued for medical malpractice after her left ovary was removed in a surgery without her consent. The patient, Taryn Stevens, filed the lawsuit against the hospital, Memorial Hermann Baptist Beaumont Hospital, and her physician, Dr. Khalid Kayani.

Under Texas malpractice law, plaintiffs are required to provide expert testimony when filing their claim. The judge heard Stevens’ expert reports, denied the defendant’s motion for mediation, and allowed the case to continue; the case is expected to face a trial in the summer of 2013.

Stevens entered Hermann Baptist Hospital in 2010 for a myomectomy, which is a surgery to remove uterine fibroids. These growths can appear on the uterus during a woman’s childbearing years, and it is the surgeon’s goal to remove the fibroids and reconstruct the uterus, leaving the pelvic organs intact.

During the course of the surgery, however, Dr. Kayani removed Stevens’ left ovary, a procedure which she did not consent to. Stevens is suing the doctor and hospital for past and future medical expense, mental anguish, and impairment.

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, nearly 100,000 people die each year from injuries resulting from medical malpractice or negligence. Errors of this kind can take many forms, including a delay in or failure to diagnose, failure to warn about medical risks, improper patient treatment, and medical mistakes. Performing surgery on the wrong organ can lead to particularly catastrophic and devastating injuries, which is why negligence of this kind cannot be tolerated.

Medical malpractice lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm have decades of experience dealing with all types of malpractice cases. If you or someone close to you was seriously injured by the negligence of a health care provider, you may be eligible for significant compensation, and should contact a skilled malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.