The defendant obstetrician assigned a first-year resident to perform the dilation of the cervix; the resident testified that, prior to this event, she had never been involved in this type of surgical procedure. The resident also testified that she only made one pass with the dilator, but because she did not feel comfortable, she handed the dilation over to the obstetrician. Thinking that the internal os was dilated, and without checking for himself, the obstetrician proceeded to insert a ring forceps into the vagina, grasped, rotated and pulled downward. The tissue snapped back and a second attempt was made, at which time he realized, after the fact, that the cervix was not dilated. As a result of the defendants’ surgical errors, the plaintiff suffered permanent physical injury, scarring, and emotional problems, and underwent an ileostomy requiring prolonged use of a colostomy bag. She has had additional surgery but continues to have bowel issues that forced her to decrease her work hours and reduce her income.
The defendants appealed the jury’s verdict to the Michigan Court of Appeals, which then affirmed the lower court result. The Michigan Supreme Court denied the Defendants’ application for leave to appeal.