May 10, 2021

A Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) surgeon who was the subject of a recent $3 million medical malpractice verdict also settled a medical malpractice case in December 2019 and has two pending medical malpractice cases against him (one filed in March 2019 and another that was filed in May 2020) and is still able to perform surgeries at NGHS.

The December 2019 settlement involved a woman who had surgery in May 2017 to have her cervix removed during which the surgeon noted that her small bowel had been injured and the surgeon used a stitch to repair it. Days later, the woman suffered fever and severe abdominal pain, was sent to the hospital by ambulance, and had exploratory surgery during which an estimated 2 liters of feces were removed from her abdomen and she suffered severe sepsis with septic shock, according to the complaint.

The 2019 Georgia medical malpractice complaint alleges that a woman who was 13 weeks pregnant had robotic-assisted surgery at NGHS in March 2017. After she was discharged from the hospital, she woke up with unbearable pain and was bleeding heavily. She suffered a miscarriage in the hospital. Several days later, she continued to have severe abdominal pain and went to an emergency room with a fever of 103. A scan showed a large amount of fluid in her abdomen and that her left ureter was cut during the robotic-assisted surgery, according to her complaint.

The 2020 Georgia medical malpractice complaint alleges that a woman had surgery to remove a pelvic mass in March 2018 and that during that surgery her bowel was perforated as documented in her medical records. The complaint alleges that the woman was admitted to the hospital after surgery and had an emergency exploratory surgery three days later because of acute sepsis and green drainage from her midline incision caused by the known bowel perforation that the surgeon had failed to repair.

On March 23, 2021, a Georgia medical malpractice jury returned its verdict in the amount of $3 million for the death of 42-year-old Frances Mitchell who died five years ago after surgery to remove a pelvic mass from her abdomen. The Georgia medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit alleged that the surgeon perforated Mitchell’s small intestine during the surgery and then negligently failed to properly examine her small intestine to check for injury before he closed her up and completed the surgery.

In the last three years, four medical malpractice lawsuits have been filed against the surgeon and NGHS. All of the Georgia medical malpractice lawsuits involve women who had gastrointestinal surgery performed by the same surgeon and experienced perforation of the bowel or other internal injury that required further medical treatment or resulted in death.

NGHS’ chief legal officer stated that the surgeon is one of the few “fellowship-trained gynecologic oncology surgeons in our region, and he is an extremely skilled surgeon who has more than a decade of experience leading patients with difficult, high-risk cases to positive outcomes.” The chief legal officer continued: “Risk is always assessed and discussed with patients prior to surgery. Post-operative care and discharge decisions are made by the care team based on the patient’s unique situation and needs. We respect the patients involved in these cases and feel for anyone dealing with difficult health issues following their care. Our goal is always to keep the focus on care in the right settings, not in the courtroom, but we believe the actions in these cases met the appropriate standards — and independent expert reviews of the cases found no evidence of negligence or malpractice. Unfortunately, these individual cases don’t reflect the thousands of people Dr. Green has helped — including the lives he’s helped save. We look forward to reaching resolution through the judicial process.”


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