Medical Verdicts

Did negligence lead to ureter, colon injury?


<court>Lucas County (Ohio) Common Pleas Court</court>

Following a laparoscopic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy in a 53-year-old woman with chronic pelvic pain, a pyelogram revealed an injured ureter. The injury was repaired and the patient discharged.

The woman returned to the hospital a week and a half later, at which time it was discovered that her sigmoid colon had also been injured in the first surgery, leading to a fistula. She was treated with a colostomy, and 6 months later the bowel was reanastomosed.

In suing, the woman claimed the physician was negligent for injuring her ureter and colon, and failing to detect the damage in a timely fashion. Had the injury been promptly identified, she argued, her complications would have been less severe.

The defendant denied negligence, noting that ureter injury is a known complication of salpingo-oophorectomy. He further claimed that the damage subsequently discovered developed as a complication of the ureter injury, which was detected and repaired promptly after surgery.

  • The jury returned a defense verdict.

The cases in this column are selected by the editors of OBG Management from Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts, with permission of the editor, Lewis Laska, of Nashville, Tenn ( 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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