Family Wins $1.3M Verdict in Negligent Obstetrical Care Suit
A jury has found that a woman died as a result of poor obstetrical care and awarded her adult children a $1.3 million verdict.
According to the lawsuit, Carolyn Shumate died because the doctor failed to diagnose a hernia a few days after a surgery to remove an ovarian cyst when she complained of pain and nausea.
The jury found that Montgomery Obstetrics and Gynecology’s Dr. David Meincke acted negligently in his treatment of Shumate, 64, and that Meincke’s negligence caused her 2004 death.
Shumate originally filed the lawsuit, but it was changed to name her son Michael as the plaintiff when she died.
Shumate had her cyst removed by laparoscopic surgery by Dr. Meincke on Feb. 5, 2004 at Montgomery Regional Hospital.
Shumate began to vomit and suffer from abdominal pain and nausea two days after the procedure. When she called Dr. Meincke, he advised her to take anti-nausea medication. He also told her that if her condition persisted to admit herself to the emergency room. She went back to the hospital later that same day.
According to Michael Shumate’s attorney, Tony Russell, Meincke should have ordered a CT scan at this time to check Shumate for a hernia. If it had been discovered early enough, the bowel could have been saved, said Russell.
Meincke thought Shumate was suffering from a hematoma – a pocket of blood. But when he performed the procedure to drain it, he discovered not blood, but about half a foot of dead bowel.
Meincke removed the dead tissue and reconnected the healthier bowel. However, Shumate’s condition continued to worsen until she had to be put on life support.
She was in hospitals and nursing homes for six months until she died August 15, 2004.
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