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March 2019: Defense Verdict in Ureteral Injury During Robotic Hysterectomy

March 5, 2019

Senior Trial Partner Anthony M. Sola, assisted by Partner Daniel L. Freidlin and Associate Geoffrey A. Bleau, obtained a defense verdict after a 3-week trial in Supreme Court, Nassau County before Judge Steven Jaeger. The case involved an allegation that the defendant gynecologist negligently injured the 49-year-old patient’s ureter, and then failed to detect the injury intraoperatively, during a DaVinci Robotic assisted hysterectomy. Eight days after discharge, the patient was readmitted to the hospital with a totally transected and necrotic ureter. She underwent several procedures that failed before a successful re-implantation of the ureter was accomplished. She claimed, however, that she suffered from permanent incontinence as a result, among other complaints.

 

At trial the defense demonstrated the injury was a thermal injury from cauterization of the nearby uterine artery that could not be detected intraoperatively. Consequently, it was a known complication. As to plaintiff’s complaint of a permanent incontinence, we were able to impeach her credibility in various ways, including by demonstrating how subsequent urodynamic testing was inconsistent with her claims.

 

The jury returned a unanimous verdict of no departures.

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