Published On: 6.4.2015 North Carolina
5 Top Botched Plastic Surgery Verdicts
With nearly 15 million cosmetic plastic surgeries performed every year in the US, including laser hair removal, Botox injections and breast augmentations. Bad outcomes from these surgeries — like blood clots, serioius infections, severe allergic reactions, terrible scarring and even deaths — have led to increasingly large verdicts and settlements for plaintiffs.
Breast Cancer Survivor Wins $1.1 Million Verdict
A woman from New York who had overcame breast cancer surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments, worked with a local plastic surgeon to make her breasts appear symmetrical. Her doctor negligently informed the plaintiff of the risks of serious complications from surgery was less than 2%. The actual statistics were printed on his forms, stating the actual risk is as high as 20%. A plaintiff’s expert witness testified that due to the earlier radiation treatments, the risk of serious complications to the plaintiff were as high as 50%.
After the original breast surgery, and two additional surgeries, the plaintiff suffered from a “gaping wound under her left breast, a grossly deformed left breast, and significant asymmetry” in her breasts. The plaintiff was subjected to two more corrective surgeries from a different surgeon, but suffers permanent “extensive scarring and deformities.”
A jury awarded the plaintiff $1.1 million for past and future pain and suffering, lost earnings and medical expenses.
“Dr. Lips” Medical Malpractice Wins $2.5 Million Verdict
A Florida woman underwent a tummy tuck surgery by Miami plastic surgeon Dr. Ricardo Samitier, who advertised himself as “Dr. Lips.” The surgery resulted in the plaintiff bent over, unable to stand up straight for nearly a year. In her pre-op conference, Dr. Samitier indicated that the surgery would take 90 minutes, and that she would be recovered from the surgery in time to attend her son’s wedding a month following the surgery. The surgery actually took over five hours. In order to stop heavy bleeding during the surgery, Samitier “stitched the plaintiff up in a sitting position.”
“Dr. Lips” was unable to attend the trial. He had been arrested and jailed pending criminal charges in another case for which he was later convicted of manslaughter of another patient who had undergone liposuction and penis-enlargement surgery, but had bled to death on the operating table, for which he was sentenced to five years in prison.
For the medical malpractice trial, the jury awarded $2,375,000 to the plaintiff, and her husband received $125,000 for loss of consortium.
Liposuction Wrongful Death Verdict of $40 Million
New York City man died during abdominal liposuction where plaintiff’s estate asserted that the surgeon and attending physicians negligently administered anesthesia, causing the man’s death. A New York medical examiner found the cause of death resulted from complications of local and general anesthesia. An autopsy found toxic levels of lidocaine in decedent’s body. During the surgery, when the patient’s heart rate and blood pressure dropped, the surgeon and anesthesiologist were negligent by delaying resuscitation and re-intubation efforts — because of dead batteries in a laryngoscope. The defendant surgeon, a resident, was only scheduled to assist in the operation. The defendant anesthesiologist instructed the resident to begin the surgery pending the arrival of the scheduled surgeon who never arrived.
As was later discovered, the anesthesiologist was on professional probation at the time of the surgery for substance and alcohol abuse, requiring that an additional supervising anesthesiologist be present which did not occur. The anesthesiologist also forged the signature of the missing surgeon on the surgery record.
The medical center advertised that a “world renowned surgeon” directed the facility, but as it turned out, it did not even have a medical director at the time. In addition, there was no verification of physician’s credentials, and no medical malpractice insurance.
A $40 million verdict was awarded in punitive damages against the medical center, an additional $363,000 in compensatory damages against the ‘stand in’ surgeon and anesthesiologist. The verdict was later reduced to $5 million.
$60 Million Verdict for Vaginal Deformity
After a New York woman lost 200 pounds from a gastric bypass, she had folds excessive skin on her legs and underwent a thigh lift surgery. The plaintiff claimed that the surgeon failed to accurately inform her of the associated risks, including deformity to her vagina. In testimony at trial, the plaintiff alleged that too much skin was taken, causing her vagina to be permanently pulled open and leaving a wound that would break down and bleed.
A jury initially awarded the plaintiff $60 million for past and future pain and suffering. The verdict was later reduced twice, to $4 million, then $600,000 at the final trial.
$825 Million Verdict for Breast Disfigurement
A Plantation, Florida woman elected to have a breast implant and breast lift at the same time. The plaintiff asserted that the plastic surgeon did not adequately explain to her what the risks were by performing both implantation and a lift during the same procedure. Unfortuantely, she was left substantial and avoidable injuries that required an additional 13 painful corrective surgeries.
The jury initially awarded $825 million, but later reduced in a retrial to $2 million.
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