Family Wins $1.3M Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

Family Wins $1.3M Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

A jury has awarded $1.3 million to the family of a Pearisburg woman who died after a doctor’s failure to diagnose a hernia following the removal of an ovarian cyst.

“I think this is a case where justice was done and the truth won out,” said Russell. “The jury’s verdict … and the amount of money they awarded really went a long way in helping the family to heal.

The Suit

The jury found Dr. David Meincke and Montgomery Obstetrics and Gynecology in Blacksburg negligent in the treatment of Carolyn Shumate, 64. It also found that she died as a result of the negligence.

Shumate had filed the lawsuit against Maincke two months before her death. It claims that Maincke should have diagnosed the hernia she was suffering from when she reported pain after her surgery.

When Shumate died, the lawsuit was changed to name her son Michael as the plaintiff.

The Events

Shumate went to Montgomery Regional Hospital for the treatment of her cyst. She underwent laparoscopic surgery to have it removed.

Two days after the procedure, she began vomiting and suffering from abdominal pain and nausea. She called Dr. Meincke who advised her to take anti-nausea medication and that if she didn’t improve, to go to the emergency room. Later that day, she was readmitted to Montgomery Regional.

Meincke should have ordered a CT scan to look for a hernia at that time, said Tony Russell, Michael Shumate’s attorney. If he had caught the hernia early enough, he could have saved the bowel, Russell said.

Meincke mistakenly believed Shumate had a hematoma. He began to perform surgery to drain the blood in the hematoma three days later, but instead of blood, he found about half a foot of dead bowel.

The dead bowel was removed and the live bowel reconnected, but Shumate gradually grew sicker until she was placed on life support. She spent six months in nursing home and hospitals before she died.

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