Jury awards patient $1.9M over botched surgery

January 23, 2012 8:22:56 PM PST
A Harris County jury has awarded nearly $2 million to a woman whose life was changed forever when she went in for a hysterectomy. She says the surgeon she trusted wasn't the person who actually performed most of the surgery.

The woman says she met with her surgeon, who was employed by Kelsey Seybold, and she thought that he would perform her hysterectomy. It turned out not to be that way and she says it changed her life.

Lauren Williams is still recovering from a surgery that went terribly wrong.

"They damaged my urethra tube, my intestines and my rectum were all damaged," Williams said.

In 2008 she underwent a laparoscopic hysterectomy at Methodist Willowbrook Hospital, never thinking she would end up in a three week medically induced coma, and near death. But it wasn't until she filed a lawsuit against Kelsey-Seybold Clinic and her ob-gyn, Dr. J. Patrick Benge, that she found out a resident performed more than 50 percent of that surgery.

Attorney Chelsie Garza explained, "The big thing to take away is signing a consent form is not signing a blank check. It doesn't allow the doctors to do whatever they want once you're under anesthesia."

Last Friday, a Harris County jury agreed with Williams, awarding her $1.9 million in medical expenses and lost wages.

In a statement, Kelsey-Seybold said, "Kelsey-Seybold's concern is always for our patients. Because the matter is ongoing, Kelsey-Seybold must respectfully refrain from commenting at this time."

"No matter who you think is going to do the surgery, you need to confirm with them verbally that they're going to do the surgery, and not anyone else," stressed attorney Randy Sorrels.

As for Williams, she's already undergone five major surgeries, with more in the future. But she want other patients to learn from her experience.

She said, "The life I once had I can never get back. I was young vibrant, full of life."

Williams has another surgery scheduled in March. She says she would like to get back to work, but she doesn't know when that may happen. Kelsey Seybold does have the option to appeal the verdict, but they haven't said if they will do so.