Lisa-Maria Carter sued Dr. Larry Glazerman, Tampa General Hospital, and the University of South Florida, after surgery to remove a cyst left her with no abdominal muscles, feet or hands. The lawsuit charges Dr. Glazerman with mistakenly slicing through her small bowel during the surgery. Necrotizing fasciitis bacteria can be present in the intestines without causing harm but was released into her body and led to a massive infection with devastating results. Formerly an intelligence analyst with the Department of Defense, Carter now resides in a nursing home. At the time of the surgery, Dr. Glazerman was the USF director of minimally invasive gynecologic surgery.
The complaint states that after the first operation, Dr. Christopher Hults operated and found Carter’s small bowel almost completely sliced through. She went through eight operations in twelve days to address the infection but the flesh-eating bacteria had spread and resulted in the loss of parts of her intestines, stomach, hands, feet and the majority of her forearms and lower legs. After three trials with two hung juries, Lisa-Maria Carter was awarded $109M in January 2018 in the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, Hillsborough County, Florida, state court.
Gynecologists specialize in the female reproductive system. Fully qualified gynecologists have at least 8 years of medical study and training. Many of these physicians undergo surgical training in order to correct female pelvic, reproductive, or urinary tract problems. When gynecology surgery goes wrong, as in the case of Lisa-Maria Carter, a gynecology expert witness is needed to analyze medical records and report on whether the medical standard of care was breached.
The “medical standard of care” is typically defined as the level and type of care that a reasonably competent and skilled health care professional, with a similar background and in the same medical community, would have provided under the circumstances that led to the alleged malpractice. In a medical malpractice lawsuit, it is almost always a qualified expert medical witness who will testify as to what the appropriate medical standard of care was under the circumstances — and how the doctor’s deviation from that standard played a role in the plaintiff’s injuries. (David Goguen, J.D., Nolo.com.)
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