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  • Wrongful Death – Negligently Performed Sigmoid Colectomy: Scally v. William Beaumont Hospital et al.

Sommers Schwartz attorneys Matthew L. Turner and Dina M, Zalewski filed a medical malpractice claim on behalf of David Scally against Kenneth S, Bark, M.D., Raymond Landes, M.D., and William Beaumont Hospital. The lawsuit sought damages for injuries resulting from negligence after a sigmoid colectomy performed for colon cancer.

On December 30, 2019, the plaintiff underwent a laparoscopic-assisted robotic sigmoid colectomy performed by Dr. Bark. After the surgery, the plaintiff had postoperative abnormalities, including profound hypotension, low urine output, and an increasing white blood cell count, which suggested a surgical complication.

According to the lawsuit, the defendants failed to diagnose an intraluminal bleed. The patient was at high risk of an anastomotic leak and ischemia due to a bowel perforation or an anastomotic leak. Five days after the operation, the defendants ordered a CT scan without oral contrast based on the plaintiff’s white blood cell count and poor clinical presentation. The plaintiff argued the defendants should have ordered a CT scan with oral contrast, which would have enabled them to diagnose a bowel leakage or perforation, and which would have shown he was bleeding from an anastomotic leak or peritonitis.

The complaint alleges that the plaintiff should have been taken back to the operating room on January 4 rather than four days later on January 8. By that time, the plaintiff’s entire left colon was necrotic, and the defendant performed a total abdominal colectomy resulting in a permanent ileostomy.

Because of the defendants’ delayed diagnosis and treatment, the plaintiff required prolonged hospitalization, a tracheostomy, and a feeding tube, and he suffered from depression.

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