Insurer Didn’t Want to Take Responsibility in Patient’s Wrong-Site Surgery Case

A Virginia medical malpractice case involving a patient who was harmed by a wrong-site surgery has recently been filed.  Lexi Fincher had a small mass on the back of her right shoulder that was causing her pain.  She went to see a central Virginia doctor, who diagnosed the mass as a benign tumor, also known as lipoma.  Surgery was scheduled for May 2008, to remove the mass at the Fredericksburg Ambulatory Surgery Center.

What should have been a routine surgery, turned into a fiasco.  The nurses at the surgery center prepped the back of the patient's shoulder for surgery.  However, the problem started after Ms. Fincher was under anesthesia.  The doctor examined both sides of her shoulder and could not locate the lipoma.  After examining the MRI that was conducted beforehand, he decided that the lump was on the front of her shoulder, despite that a radiologist had reported that the lipoma was on her back.

The doctor went on an exploration trying to find the lipoma.  He unnecessarily split muscle and tissue.  Even with all that probing and splitting of tissue and muscle, the lipoma was not removed.

Ms. Fincher returned to his office the next day.  When the dressing was taken off, she could still see the lipoma.  The doctor admitted to the mistake.  However, the surgeon’s medical malpractice insurance company claimed that the surgeon didn’t do anything wrong and denied the patient’s attempt to settle the case.

While this might be a smaller medical malpractice case, Ms. Fincher wants to make a point.  You’ve got to stand up and take responsibility when you make a mistake.

Here’s my take - we have to stand for something and that something is you can't scream for tort reform and deny valid claims.
Ben Glass
Ben Glass is a nationally recognized Virginia injury, medical malpractice, and long-term disability attorney
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