In 2013, 24 year-old Sara M. Lambert Smith of Beckley, West Virginia gave birth to her only child. A week later, she returned to the hospital where she gave birth to complain of bleeding. She was treated by Dr. Roy Wolfe, who decided that she needed to undergo a hysterectomy. And, as reported by Kyla Asbury of the West Virginia Record, U.S. District Judge Irene C. Berger has ruled that this decision is a clear example of medical malpractice.
On November 15th, following a lawsuit that was initiated by Smith and her husband, Scott in December 2014, Berger ruled that Dr. Wolfe’s choice to perform a hysterectomy in addition to a number of other unnecessary and harmful procedures fell “egregiously below the standard of care” that should have been provided. Her court, in fact, found that Smith had a greater than 25 percent chance of retaining both her uterus and ability to have children in the future had the hysterectomy not been performed.
“The court finds that Dr. Wolfe’s failure to attempt alternative treatments prior to performing a hysterectomy, on a twenty-four-year-old patient with stable vital signs and no evidence of hemodynamic instability, constitutes a reckless disregard to a risk of harm to the patient,” Berger wrote in her ruling, “Therefore, there is no limitation on economic damages, and the limitations on non-economic damages is $643,020. Ms. Smith’s economic loss totaled $29,661.67.”
One can only imagine the emotional toll that this instance of medical malpractice has taken on the Smiths. At such a young age, the couple was likely preparing to grow their family beyond the inclusion of one child. Dr. Wolfe’s negligence has crushed any hopes of that dream becoming a reality. So, even with the judgement ruling in Smith’s favour to the tune of $672,681.67, it is highly questionable if she feels that justice has been served.
As Asbury points out, “Sara Smith’s damages include, among other things, Berger wrote, the loss of her fertility, the early menopause and hormonal changes after her hysterectomy, and emotional damages related to the loss of fertility, hormonal changes and marital problems.” The two-day bench trial was held in July. However, as of the publishing of Ashbury’s story last week, there is no update on Smith’s condition.
The team, here at Allegiant Experts, sends our warmest wishes to the Smiths. Facing the wrath of medical malpractice is nothing that any American citizen should ever have to endure. Sadly, no one is particularly immune to such negligence. And, as a result, we endeavor to help those who are battling for justice against perpetrators of medical misconduct.
If you are an attorney who is representing a patient who has suffered due to medical malpractice, the Allegiant Experts team of clinical experts would like to hear from you. We have long been dedicated to not only bringing to justice those who are guilty of medical malpractice, but helping to reduce the number of such incidents that occur in our country.
To learn more about our clinical expert services or our experience with hospital and medical malpractice cases, please don’t hesitate to call us at 407-217-5831 or email us at email@example.com.