More than five years ago, 64-year-old Dennis E. Jenny underwent surgery. He hoped that by undergoing surgery, he would no longer have to experience attacks of recurrent diverticulitis. It is true that the surgery may have corrected one issue, but it was at the expense of another. Seven days after his surgery, Jenny was examined and informed that he had a hole in his left ureter. There, Jenny was told that urine accumulated in his abdominal and pelvic area.
For the next three months, Jenny experienced other injuries from the puncture and was in pain. Doctors drained over a liter of urine from his abdomen and they put a stent in his ureter. Jenny also had multiple urinary tract infections and as a result of consuming an antibiotic, Jenny developed another infection, the C-difficile infection, further adding to his pain. The stent was removed three months later.
Jenny filed a lawsuit against the surgeon for medical malpractice, claiming that the surgeon deviated from the standard of care when he performed the surgery. Jenny introduced an expert witness who testified and supported Jenny’s allegations of negligence. The expert witness indicated that the surgeon injured “the ureter with the harmonic scalpel, an instrument used during the surgery to cut and cauterize adhesions around the bowel.”
The surgeon confirmed that the hole was caused by the surgery. While he performed the surgery, he injured Jenny’s left ureter, which later created the hole. The surgeon, nonetheless, claimed he used the standard of care when he performed the surgery.
It is hard to believe, however, that a hole could result without some form of negligence or deviation from the standard of care. On August 21, 2012, a jury agreed, where they awarded Jenny $750,000.