Jury Awards $250,000 for Erroneous Cutting of Hepatic Duct

A woman in Napa, Ca., has been awarded $250,000 in a malpractice suit against the surgeon who removed her gallbladder and erroneously cut her hepatic duct. The verdict includes $70,393 for past medical expenses and $179,607 for pain and suffering.

According to court documents, while performing a laparoscopic cholecystectomy (gall bladder removal), the surgeon cut the hepatic duct instead of the cystic duct. The plaintiff’s lawyers argued that the surgeon could have attempted to identify the correct duct before cutting it by taking an x-ray picture -- an intraoperative cholangiogram, which many surgeons routinely perform in conjunction with laparoscopic cholecystectomies.

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