A well-known late-term abortion doctor who practices in Boulder, Colorado has been sued by his former patient and her husband who allege that the defendant performed her late-term abortion improperly, leaving a piece of the skull of her aborted fetus inside of her that required surgery and left her infertile. The Colorado medical malpractice lawsuit was filed late last year in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado (Case No.: 1:15-cv-02613-PAB-MEH).
The Plaintiffs’ Alleged Facts
The plaintiffs allege in their federal medical malpractice lawsuit that the woman had an MRI to determine the health and condition of her fetus on November 18, 2013, which indicated that her baby had severe cerebral abnormalities which would reduce the baby’s life expectancy to less than a year if he survived his delivery. The couple discussed the findings and consulted with their medical providers, after which they made the difficult decision that it was in the best interest of the woman’s health to abort the baby despite being close to the end of her second trimester.
Because she could not obtain the late-term abortion in her home state of Nebraska, she went to the defendant abortion doctor in Boulder, Colorado, who agreed to perform the late-term abortion.
The plaintiffs allege in their Colorado medical malpractice lawsuit that on December 3, 2013, the woman had blood work done and had an ultrasound at the defendant’s abortion clinic. The staff of the abortion clinic provided the plaintiffs with reading materials and required them to watch an instructional video produced by the defendant’s clinic that described how the late-term abortion procedure would be performed. The plaintiffs allege that at no time did the defendant or his staff inform or warn them regarding the risks associated with the abortion procedure.
After they finished watching the video, the clinic staff directed the woman into a room where an ultrasound was used to locate the position of the fetus’ heart and the defendant then inserted a syringe containing medication into her abdomen and into the fetus’ heart in order to stop the heart from beating. She was then instructed to return to the abortion clinic the following day.
On December 4, 2013, the clinic staff inserted 1 to 3 laminaria into the woman’s vagina to help dilate her cervix. Packing was then placed in her vagina to hold the laminaria in place.
On December 5, 2013, the clinic staff removed the laminaria placed on the previous day and inserted 6 new laminaria. The woman was instructed to return the next day to begin the final step in the abortion procedure.
When the woman awoke on December 6, 2013, she had stomach cramping and discomfort. She began vomiting and the packing and laminaria started to dislodge. She called the abortion clinic and was told to come in before her scheduled appointment time that day. When she arrived at the abortion clinic, the clinic staff set up an IV drip and placed a suppository in her rectum. After several hours, she stopped vomiting and she was prepared by the clinic nurses for the last step in the abortion procedure.
The clinic staff was unable to get the woman dilated to more than one to two centimeters. The defendant abortion doctor nonetheless proceeded with a dilation and evacuation procedure during which the woman experienced a severe pulling sensation and pain, causing her to pass out. Port-operatively, she was brought to a room where her vital signs were checked. The defendant performed a visual external examination of the woman’s body after which he advised her that the abortion procedure was successful, according to the plaintiffs’ Colorado medical malpractice lawsuit. She was monitored for a couple hours before being released.
Beginning in the early Spring of 2014, the woman began experiencing breakthrough bleeding that caused a gynecologist to order an ultrasound that showed an object of about four centimeters in length that was cutting into the woman’s uterine wall. The gynecologist scheduled the woman for surgery to inspect, and if necessary, remove the object. The gynecologist attempted to remove the object during the surgery but was unable to do so, requiring that he perform a hysterectomy in order to remove the object. Once removed, the object was determined to be a fragment of bone, the shape of which was consistent with the curved portion of a fetus skull, according to the plaintiffs’ federal medical malpractice lawsuit.
The plaintiffs are suing the defendant abortion doctor and his clinic for medical malpractice, alleging their failure to warn (i.e., failure to disclose all medically significant risks associated with the procedure before providing the woman with such treatment), negligent misrepresentation (i.e., misrepresenting that the products of conception and all the fetal tissue and bone had been removed from the woman’s uterus), and loss of consortium.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries due to the medical negligence of an abortion doctor or other medical professional in Colorado or in another U.S. state, you should promptly seek the advice of a medical malpractice lawyer in Colorado or in your state regarding your legal rights.
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