A Louisiana woman delivered a child in 2009 and then sought a tubal ligation and a ventral hernia repair from her obstetrician. The patient was an LPN, and was concerned about the risk of infection and scarring and consented to a laparoscopic procedure. The physician did not perform a laparoscopy but began the procedure as a laparotomy. The patient has a 6-in scar on her abdomen.
The women sued those involved with the operation and alleged lack of informed consent for the laparotomy.
The hospital argued that the consent procedure was to make sure the consent form that was signed by the patient in the doctor’s office was present in the medical record. The physician claimed that the patient had signed a general consent form that permitted him to do what was reasonable in his judgment, and that he had determined that a laparoscopic procedure presented more risk to the patient.
The verdict: A jury found in favor of the patient against the gynecologist, and awarded $150,000.