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Many patients expect to feel better after having surgery to fix a problem. Massachusetts residents who have anxiety over a procedure may be relieved to know that the operation will leave them in a better state. However, a doctor error during surgery can actually leave people in worsened conditions, as one recent incident reminds us.

In 2009, a woman entered a Michigan hospital to have gallbladder surgery. During the procedure, the surgeon accidentally cut an artery that went into the woman’s liver as well as a duct that led to her small intestine. As a result, the woman was rushed to another medical center for a second operation According to the lawsuit she filed, that surgery has left her with persistent pain that has limited her activity as well as a large scar that runs across her rib cage.

After a four-day trial and more than a day of deliberation, a jury ordered the hospital to pay the woman $60,000 for the mistake. Her attorney alleged that the surgeon failed to take precautions to identify the duct and the artery that should have been cut. A spokeswoman for the hospital noted that the surgeon is no longer on staff.

The victim of this incident may have chronic pain and a permanent scar as a result of the medical error. People who find themselves with long-term impacts as a result of medical malpractice do have options to seek justice. An attorney can help an individual file a lawsuit seeking compensation for not only their medical expenses but also the additional pain and suffering they incurred as a result of a doctor’s negligence.

Source: MLive, “Jury orders Hurley Medical Center to pay nearly $60,000 in malpractice case,” Gary Ridley, Dec. 17, 2013