On December 7, 2015, a Massachusetts medical malpractice tribunal sided with a Massachusetts surgeon who had been accused of medical negligence in the performance of a laparoscopic cholecystectomy that allegedly led to internal injuries involving the patient’s ducts connected to her gallbladder.
The plaintiff claimed that her surgeon failed to diagnose her internal injuries caused by the negligent performance of the surgery, both during and after the surgery, despite her abnormal blood test results and significant abdominal pain and other symptoms shortly after the surgery.
Under Massachusetts medical malpractice law, “every action for malpractice, error or mistake against a provider of health care shall be heard by a tribunal consisting of a single justice of the superior court, a physician licensed to practice medicine in the commonwealth under the provisions of section two of chapter one hundred and twelve and an attorney authorized to practice law in the commonwealth, at which hearing the plaintiff shall present an offer of proof and said tribunal shall determine if the evidence presented if properly substantiated is sufficient to raise a legitimate question of liability appropriate for judicial inquiry or whether the plaintiff’s case is merely an unfortunate medical result.”
The medical malpractice tribunal that considered the gallbladder surgery malpractice claim determined that there was not sufficient evidence to raise a legitimate question of liability appropriate for judicial inquiry, despite the plaintiff providing an expert’s report stating that the defendant surgeon violated the standard of care by failing to convert the laproscopic procedure to an open procedure, and by failing to recognize the seriousness of the plaintiff’s symptoms following the procedure.
The plaintiff, who is the mother of two, had filed her Massachusetts medical malpractice case on January 12, 2015 against the defendant surgeon and the hospital where the 2013 surgery took place, seeking to recover about $547,000 in economic damages, including $200,000 in hospital-related expenses, compensation for her lost wages (the plaintiff alleged that she has been unable to return to work since the 2013 surgery), and compensation for her subsequent surgeries and numerous radiographic procedures. The plaintiff also alleged that she has been unable to return to her activities of daily living since her original surgery.
Despite the Massachusetts medical malpractice tribunal’s findings, the plaintiff still has the option of filing a Massachusetts medical malpractice claim in court as long as she posts a $6,000 bond (Massachusetts medical malpractice law provides, “If a finding is made for the defendant or defendants in the case the plaintiff may pursue the claim through the usual judicial process only upon filing bond in the amount of six thousand dollars in the aggregate secured by cash or its equivalent with the clerk of the court in which the case is pending, payable to the defendant or defendants in the case for costs assessed, including witness and experts fees and attorneys fees if the plaintiff does not prevail in the final judgment”).
If you or a family member were harmed as a result of medical negligence in Massachusetts, you should promptly find a Massachusetts medical malpractice attorney who may investigate your Massachusetts medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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