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Woman's Medical Ordeal Ends in $270,000 Verdict

Victor Lewin - Tuesday, February 18, 2014

In a problem that patients in Nova Scotia might be able to relate with, a woman in Saskatchewan told her story of medical woes in what she called a four-year nightmare after a botched surgery left her in severe pain. She blames both the surgeon and the health care systems in two provinces for the medical malpractice mistakes and was eventually awarded $270,000 by a judge ruling in her favor.

On April 8, 2005, the woman underwent a bladder operation. However, after the surgery, she suffered from intense pain and did not know what was wrong despite regular medical appointments. Finally, an urologist discovered the problem during an internal exam that showed mesh tape on her bladder had been torn, leaving pieces inside her.

During the trial, the judge determined that the surgeon should have known about the mistakes from the symptoms the patient described, including a bloody discharge. She endured years of suffering, which the courts recognized in the verdict. The payment covered time off work and related medical expenses. While the victim agreed that anyone could make a mistake, she suggested that, if the signs suggested there was a problem, the medical professionals that were caring for her should have identified the issue and taken steps to fix it. She reportedly suffered through over 20 different appointments with healthcare providers over the years in an attempt to have the problem fixed, undergoing two different surgeries in Canada. Finally, she was treated in the Mayo Clinic in New York after successfully arguing that Saskatchewan government should pay for the operation, which cost tens of thousands of dollars.

A hospital patient has a reasonable expectation that surgery will improve medical problems. A personal injury lawyer might be able to seek compensation for expenses, lost wages, and even pain and suffering for a client who suffered from a similar mistake as the woman in the case above.

Source: CBC News, "EXCLUSIVE Malpractice victim says surgeon and system failed her", Geoff Leo, February 13, 2014

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