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What legal recourse is available for a botched surgery resulting in the death of a family member?

Madison, WI |

An otherwise healthy family member in her mid-80's went to a small-town hospital for laparoscopic surgery for the removal of an ovary that had a growth. The doctor was unable to perform the surgery laparoscopically, so a general surgeon was brought in to perform a more invasive surgery. While doing so, this surgeon "nicked" her intestine "six or seven" times while attempting to get to her ovary. The growth was benign, but the wounds he inflicted during surgery resulted in the contents of her intestine leaking out and causing a massive infection that lead to her death. Is there any legal recourse available for us?

Attorney Answers 7


  1. Best answer

    Yes, you do have recourse. Although injury to the intestine is a known risk of this surgery, the numbr of times you mention is questionable. Furthermore, even if the number of times the surgeon nicked the intestine is acceptable (which I doubt), often in these cases the fault lies in the failure of the surgeon to properly manage these injuries after surgery. YOu should consult a lawyer in Wisconsin immediately to avoid letting the time in which to file a lawsuit pass. If you do not know a lawyer, I suggest you do an AVVO or Google search for personal injury attorneys in your area.


  2. There are many good malpractice attorneys in Wisconsin. if you can't find one in Madison, go to Milwaukee. Nicking the intestine is a known complication, but 6 or 7 times, if true, needs to be properly evaluated by an experienced attorney. I am not familiar with Wisconsin law, but usually wrongful death members are parents, spouse, or children. You should get an attorney as soon as possible.


  3. I am sorry for your loss. I would consult with a local medical malpractice attorney who can review the medical records and the informed consent that was signed to give you an opinion on your options. You can find a qualified attorney on AVVO.

    Good luck.

    AVVO DISCLAIMER I am licensed in Minnesota only and my answers on Avvo assume Minnesota law. The answers I provide are for general information only and are NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE and therefore must not be relied upon. Legal advice must be based on the interaction between an attorney and client and specific exact facts and the law. I do not retain clients without a signed RETAINER AGREEMENT. The Avvo forum does not allow for the discussion and the interaction necessary to form a complete legal analysis. Therefore the answers given to any specific question would most likely be different if there was attorney-client interaction. The exchange of information through this forum does not establish such an attorney client relationship. An attorney-client relationship is established only by personal and direct consultation with me followed by the execution of a written attorney-client agreement signed by each of us. The communications on this website are not privileged nor are they confidential and I assume no duty to anyone by my participation on Avvo or because I have answered or commented on a question. All legal proceedings involve deadlines and statutory time limiting statutes. So that legal rights are not lost for failure to timely take appropriate action and because I do not provide legal advice in the answers to any question, if you are an interested party you should promptly and personally consult with an qualified attorney for legal advice licensed in the proper jurisdiction. Finally, see Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference.


  4. Yes. You need to gather up the decedent's medical records and and schedule an appointment with a personal injury attorney in the area who handles wrongful death and medical malpractice claims. Do not delay, because oftentimes the statute of limitations for bringing medical malpractice claims is shorter than for other types of torts.

    Legal Disclaimer:

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

    Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

    This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.


  5. I am not licensed in WI and can offer general advice. Nicking the intestine can be a risk of the procedure, but several times seems excessive and not recognizing the problem can be an issue. You need to talk to a local lawyer because there may be laws that restrict damages in the event that your loved one succumbs to the damages. It is my hope for you and your family that your family member recovers.


  6. A local malpractice lawyer would need to order the medical records to review.


  7. YES. You need to get a lawyer as soon as possible to review the records and prevent the destruction of any potential evidence. There are a number of excellent lawyers in your state. If you have any questions or need help being pointed in the right direction please do not hesitate to ask. Good luck to you and your family.

    Know YOUR Rights. Take Action Now. CALL 855-648-4695. Legal disclaimer:This message does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Any statements are made for general informational purposes and do not constitute legal advice. Mr. Crockett is licensed in Texas in Illinois only.

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