Failure to Remove Ureteral Stent Lawsuit in Baltimore

Compton v. St. Joseph Medical Center

(Filed January 20, 2016)

Jurisdiction
  • Baltimore County
Defendants
  • Richard P. Franklin, M.D.
  • St. Joseph Medical Center
Hospitals
  • St. Joseph Medical Center
Summary of Plaintiff's Allegations

A Montgomery County man presents to St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson to undergo a laparoscopic sigmoidectomy after suffering from acute diverticulitis. There is some question as to whether surgical treatment of complicated colonic diverticular disease is appropriate, but the procedure goes well. During the surgery, ureteral stents are successfully placed in the Plaintiff's right and left ureters without incident. The purpose of these bilateral stents is to protect the kidney during the procedure.

You have to remove the stents, which is an easy procedure that can be done literally by a nurse pulling a string. The right stent is removed immediately after surgery. The left stent is ostensibly removed the following day by the Defendant doctor.

Six months pass, and Plaintiff begins to feel pain and has blood in his urine. He reports to an urologist who discovers that part of the left ureteral stent is still inside of his body which will require another medical procedure.

Plaintiff files a medical negligence lawsuit against the Defendant doctor and St. Joseph Medical Center in Baltimore County. Plaintiff claims that the Defendant doctor failed to properly inspect the stent after it was removed to ensure that it was intact. Plaintiff further alleges that the Defendants violated the standard of care by failing to insure that the stent was completely removed. Plaintiff claims that as a result of the Defendants' negligence he has been caused to suffer lasting physical and emotional injuries, hospitalizations, surgical procedures, and ongoing medical treatment.

Specific Counts Pled
  1. Negligence - doctor
  2. Negligence - St. Joseph Medical Center
  3. Respondeat Superior - St. Joseph Medical Center
Plaintiff's Experts and Areas of Specialty
  • P. Marco Fisichella, MD, MBA, FACS: board certified in general surgery and an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School. Provides less than 10% of his time in medical legal consultation.
Additional Comments
  • It is hard to anticipate the doctor's defense. But the failure to insure that stent was completely removed would seem to be negligence.
  • The biggest problem with this case is likely going to be damages. Certainly, the Plaintiff has some pain and suffering but you would not think this would cause permanent injuries and no specific permanent injuries are cited. But attorney's will file lawsuits too without getting overly specific about the victim's damages so you cannot know for sure. Our thinking has always been that absent something extremely compelling, you need a significant permanent injury to justify the cost of a medical malpractice lawsuit.
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