[Note: each case is different and depends on the unique facts of that case. Past results to not predict future results.]
A 65 year old woman has been awarded $1.85 million after a Fredericksburg, VA, jury found that a nurse had failed to advise the surgeon that patient called three times complaining of post operative pain.
During the surgery, which took place in September, 2012 and was performed by Bradford King, MD, the surgeon had inadvertently cut the common hepatic duct in performing a laparoscopic cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal surgery).
The patient called the office on the afternoon of surgery, five days later and then again 14 days after the surgery, to complain of a variety of symptoms, including pain that could not be controlled by narcotic medication, the inability to eat anything, and, two weeks after surgery, "black bile" being regurgitated.
The same nurse, who worked for the surgeon part-time, took calls two and three, discontinued one narcotic and started another without getting the permission of the surgeon, and never passed the messages along. Regarding the last call, she testified that she felt the symptoms were "a little wierd" and told the patient to go to the emergency room.
The patient testified that she believed that the nurse was communicating with the surgeon during these calls.
More details about this gallbladder surgery malpractice case are here.