Medical Verdicts

Did kidney failure, death stem from persistent UTI?


Cape Girardeau County (Mo) Circuit Court

In 1995, a woman presented to her Ob/Gyn with a urinary tract infection (UTI). A culture revealed Proteus bacteria. Some time later, kidney stones developed, resulting in kidney failure in 1998. The patient was placed on dialysis. After continuing infection and blood clotting, the 47-year-old woman was ineligible for a kidney transplant. She died in July 2000.

In suing, the patient’s family argued that the kidney failure could have been surgically reversed in 1998 had the Proteus bacteria been properly treated.

The Ob/Gyn claimed that the patient’s primary-care physician was responsible for follow-up of her bacterial infection. The primary-care physician, however, claimed it was the Ob/Gyn’s responsibility.

  • The Ob/Gyn and the kidney specialist settled with the plaintiff for $950,000 under the condition that they are allowed to seek contributions from the primary-care physician.
The cases presented here were compiled by Lewis L. Laska, editor of Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts. While there are instances when the available information is incomplete, these cases represent the types of clinical situations that typically result in litigation.

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