STSW lawyers obtain $1.42 Million Dollar Verdict in Wrong Site Surgery Case Against Local OB/GYN
A Baltimore City jury recently returned a $1.42 million dollar verdict against local OB/GYN, Maureen Muoneke, M.D., in a case arising out of the removal of the wrong ovary of one of her long-time patients, Nadege Neim. During the trial, STSW lawyers successfully demonstrated that Dr. Muoneke had been treating Ms. Neim over the course of several years after having diagnosed her with a dermoid cyst on her left ovary. A dermoid cyst is a solid mass/growth on the ovary that contains such things as hair, teeth, glands and other sebacious materials. Dermoid cysts are well known to cause tortion (twisting) of the ovary which can result in loss of blood flow and death of the ovary and cancer. In addition, dermoid cysts are known to rupture, resulting in the spillage of the materials inside the cyst into the abdominal cavity causing severe chemical peritonitis, and even death. In August 2010, Dr. Muoneke recommended to Ms. Neim that she have the left dermoid cyst removed to avoid any future complications with any pregnancies. At the time, Ms. Neim was 29 years old. On September 22, 2010, Dr. Muoneke took Ms. Neim to surgery for the removal of the left dermoid cyst and possibly the left ovary in total if it proved too difficult to remove the cyst without damaging the healthy part of the ovary. Unfortunately, during the operation, Dr. Muoneke negligently removed Ms. Neim's right ovary, her only completely healthy ovary. Perhaps more disturbingly, following the surgery, Dr. Muoneke never told Ms. Neim that she had removed the right ovary as opposed to the left ovary and never told her that she still had the dermoid cyst in her body. In fact, it was not until a month later that Ms. Neim found out through a routine CT scan at another hospital that her right ovary had been removed. Shockingly, when Ms. Neim attempted to contact Dr. Muoneke to discuss the CT scan results, Dr. Muoneke never returned her calls and refused to release Ms. Neim's medical records to her. Following the filing of the lawsuit, STSW attorneys discovered, through the process of subpoenaing Dr. Muoneke's records, that Dr. Muoneke had altered/changed at least two of Ms. Neim's medical records from prior to the surgery to reflect the fact that Ms. Neim had complained of right sided pelvic pain prior to the surgery. This was a clear attempt to justify why she had removed the right ovary. At trial, Dr. Muoneke offered no explanation as to why there were two versions of Ms. Neim's records, one that contained no complaints of right sided pelvic pain prior to surgery, and the doctored version that did contain those complaints. As a result of these efforts to cover her tracks, as well as the clear evidence of medical negligence in this case, the jury returned a verdict of $1.42 million in favor of Ms. Neim.
At STSW, our lawyers routinely handle medical negligence and/or fraud cases against physicians in the Baltimore and Washington D.C. areas. If you or a loved one have been the victim of medical malpractice / negligence, call our lawyers for a free consultation at (410) 385-2225.