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Fayetteville doctor finally held accountable for patient's death

Fayetteville patients go to their doctors for help. They expect to receive accurate diagnoses and the proper type of treatment for their illnesses, injuries and life-threatening health conditions. Patients don't expect to be harmed by their doctors when they are in need of medical help.

Several years ago, a woman who had recently been diagnosed with cancer had undergone an operation to have cancerous tissue removed from her rectum and colon. The operation had been performed by a Fayetteville doctor. After the operation, the patient was supposed to undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatments in order to prevent her cancer from spreading. However, the doctor made a crucial mistake during the woman's surgery. As a result of the doctor's mistake, the patient was never able to get the treatment she needed. She died from cancer about one year later.

Ten weeks after the patient's surgery, it was discovered that the woman's doctor had left a foreign object in her body. The doctor forgot to remove a surgical sponge from the patient's abdominal cavity, and as a result, the patient suffered a life-threatening infection. Complications from the infection were so severe that the woman had to remain in the hospital for nearly an entire year until she died from cancer. Because the woman had to first be treated for her complications from the surgery, she could not receive cancer treatments.

The woman was only 56 years old when she died. She left behind her husband of 35 years and her three children.

The patient's family filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the woman's doctor in 2008. Since then, the family has been requesting that the doctor take responsibility for failing to provide the woman with adequate medical care. Earlier this month, a North Carolina jury finally put an end to the family's legal battle.

The jury awarded the victim's family more than $6 million in damages. Although no amount of money can ever make up for a loved one's wrongful death, the victim's family can at least rest assured knowing that the woman's doctor will have to pay for her negligence.

Source: The Fayetteville Observer, "Jury orders former Fayetteville doctor to pay $6 million in malpractice suit," Ali Rockett, Oct. 17, 2012

  • Our firm represents victims and their families who have been injured by medical malpractice, including surgical errors. Visit our Fayetteville surgical errors page for more information.

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Fayetteville doctor finally held accountable for patient's death | Britton Law, P.A.