Will we have a case for medical malpractice?

Asked over 5 years ago - Cincinnati, OH

My daughter had gastric bypass. The doctor was to do bypass, gall bladder removal and hernia repair. The surgery was over 7 hours long and the doctor said he did not do the hernia repair because she had been under too long.He said that she had a big wad of mesh in her stomach and he would have to go back later and take care of that. Five days later she is admitted to the intensive care unit where she has been on a ventilator fighting for her life for the last three months. The bowel went through the mesh and strangulated and she developed many leaks in her intestines and they are not able to get them all healed. She will have a j tube and live on TPN, at least for quite some time. The doctor who did her surgery retired immediately after her surgery (we knew he was going to retire) and she has a wonderful surgeon but she has been through hell and is still fighting. She had a $90,000 job that she has lost because of the length of this but should be able to get long term disability through her employer.. We assume that she is ok mentally and will be able to teach nursing again but we are not sure since they are having difficulty getting her off the ventilator and weaned from all the drugs she has been on. My question is, even though there are leaks around the bypass also, the new doctor says the problem was the mesh and not necessarily the bypass even though she really should not have been considered for that surgery (she had a perforated bowel 2 years earlier and had a reversible colostomy then and had a rectal/vaginal fistula 20 years ago during childbirth) We do not want to file a lawsuit but she stands to lose everything and we don't know if she will ever be able to work again. Her husband has power of attorney, should he wait until the year is almost up and see if she is ok, or should he get something in the system about it now? He does not have money to work with. Thank you.

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Judy Greenwood

    Contributor Level 9

    Answered . I would suggest that her husband start gathering her medical records now and consult with an attorney
    who specializes in medical malpractice cases as soon as possible. There are time limits on bringing
    negligence cases in each state, in many states this is two years in some states the time limit is shorter.
    A medical expert will need to evaluate the records to determine if there was substandard or negligent care which caused your daughter's injury and this takes time. You don't want to be in a situation where there
    is not enough time to evaluate the case and you are running up against a statute of limitations. Once you
    know if there is a legal case to pursue, you can decide if you want to pursue it.

    Please note well that this reply is merely informative. It should not be the basis of any decisions you make regarding your legal rights as far too little information has been provided to supply a solid legal opinion. Also, you should be aware that all jurisdictions impose time limits ("statutes of limitations") within which suit must be properly commended, and the failure to do so will supply an absolute defense to the claim. You should consult further with us or another attorney if you wish to investigate or pursue the matter further.

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