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OB-GYN denied pre-operative urinalysis showed infection

Type:

Verdict-Defendant

State:

Texas

Venue:

Jefferson County

Court:

Jefferson County District Court, 58th

Injury Type(s):

other-abscess; other-staph infection; abdomen; urological-urinary tract infection

Case Type:

Medical Malpractice – OB-GYN, Infection Control, Gynecological Surgery

Case Name:

Regan Corbello v. Ruben Victores, M.D. and Southeast Texas OB/GYN Associates, P.A.,
No. A197538

Date:

March 26, 2018

Parties

Plaintiff(s):

Regan Corbello (Female, 33 Years)

Plaintiff Attorney(s):

B. Adam Terrell;
Weller, Green, Toups & Terrell LLP;
Beaumont,
TX,
for
Regan Corbello

Plaintiff Expert(s):

Steven Rockman; M.D.; OB-GYN; Nederland,
TX called by:
B. Adam Terrell

Defendant(s):

Ruben Victores, 

Southeast Texas OB/GYN Associates P.A.

Defense Attorney(s):

James B. Edwards;
Edwards & Associates;
Stafford,
TX,
for
Ruben Victores, Southeast Texas OB/GYN Associates P.A. ■ Stacy T. Garcia;
Edwards & Associates;
Stafford,
TX,
for
Ruben Victores, Southeast Texas OB/GYN Associates P.A.

Defendant Expert(s):

Noel Boyd;
OB-GYN;
Kingwood,
TX called by:
James B. Edwards, Stacy T. Garcia ■ Craig Thiessen;
Radiology;
Cypress,
TX called by:
James B. Edwards, Stacy T. Garcia ■ Devin Garza;
OB-GYN;
Austin,
TX called by:
James B. Edwards, Stacy T. Garcia ■ Alfred Lea;
Infectious Diseases;
Galveston,
TX called by:
James B. Edwards, Stacy T. Garcia

Facts:

In September 2013, plaintiff Regan Corbello, 33, a car dealership employee, underwent a robotically assisted laparoscopic total hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy by Dr. Ruben Victores, an obstetrician and gynecologist, who is employed by Southeast Texas OB/GYN Associates P.A. The surgery was for treatment of severe dysplasia of the cervix. In standard preparation before the surgery, Corbello underwent a urinalysis that showed the presence of bacteria. Corbello was discharged the day after surgery with pain medication, hormones and prophylactic antibiotics. She was then hospitalized for five days for a urinary tract infection, for which she was prescribed additional antibiotics. Nine days later, in October, she was hospitalized for 10 days for an abdominal abscess, which was drained. She was then admitted to a long-term acute care for a few weeks to undergo intravenous antibiotic therapy, after which she fully recovered. Corbello sued Victores and his employer for medical malpractice. She alleged that the pre-operative urinalysis showed a possible urinary tract infection and that no surgery should ever be performed on a patient with an active infection. She also alleged that a robotically assisted hysterectomy was contraindicated because she was morbidly obese. The plaintiff’s obstetrician and gynecology expert opined that Victores breached the standard of care by operating on a patient whose urinalysis had the presence of bacteria, and that the infection likely migrated into the abdomen from the urinary tract and caused the eventual abscess. The defense expert on infectious diseases opined that the urinalysis was contaminated by bacteria from something external, such as a careless technician or a container that hadn’t been sterilized, and didn’t indicate an actual infection. The expert opined that the urinary tract infection and abscess were caused by two different, unrelated organisms. The defense radiology expert explained how abscesses are formed, diagnosed and drained. Devin Garza was the defendants’ gynecological robotics expert. He opined that robotically assisted surgery is ideal for obese patients because of the faster recovery and lower risk of complications. He also testified that it was within the standard of care for Victores to operate when he did, because the urine sample was clearly contaminated and did not indicate an infection.

Injury:

Corbello was hospitalized for five days for a urinary tract infection and for 10 days for an abdominal abscess, which had to be drained. She also spent a few weeks undergoing inpatient intravenous antibiotic therapy. She testified that the pain from treatment of the abscess was excruciating, and that she claimed mental anguish from being separated from her home and family while in the hospital and long-term care facility. She claimed that the hospitalizations caused her to lose her job at a car dealership, resulting in lost wages and mental anguish. She soon found employment at the Jefferson County District Clerk’s office, which has higher salary and better benefits. She sought $66,000 for past medical expenses; $4,000 for past lost wages; and $300,000 for past physical pain and mental anguish.

Result:

The jury rendered a defense verdict, finding that Victores was not negligent.

Trial Information:

Judge:

W. Kent Walston

Trial Length:

6
 days

Jury Vote:

10-2

Jury Composition:

8 male/ 4 female

Editor’s Comment:

This report is based on information that was provided by defense counsel. Plaintiff’s counsel did not respond to the reporter’s phone calls.