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Suit: Surgical error led to more surgery, urinary incontinence
Lancaster County, Court of Common Pleas
other-loss of consortium; urological-incontinence
Medical Malpractice – OB-GYN, Surgical Error, Gynecological Surgery
Nerisa C. Williams and Arthur Williams v. Kenneth J. Baker, M.D. and Carolinas Complete Care for Women, LLC,
January 30, 2017
Arthur Williams (Male, 46 Years),
Nerisa C. Williams (Female, 43 Years)
David Bradley Jordan;
Jordan Law Firm;
Arthur Williams, Nerisa C. Williams ■ James W. Boyd;
Law Office of James W. Boyd;
Arthur Williams, Nerisa C. Williams
Kenneth J. Baker, M.D.,
Carolinas Complete Care for Women LLC
Dennis Gary Lovell Jr.;
Carlock, Copeland & Stair, LLP;
Kenneth J. Baker, M.D., Carolinas Complete Care for Women LLC ■ Douglas W. MacKelcan III;
Carlock, Copeland & Stair, LLP;
Kenneth J. Baker, M.D., Carolinas Complete Care for Women LLC
In 2012, plaintiff Nerisa C. Williams, 43, a part-time employee at Walmart and disabled by multiple sclerosis, underwent a hysterectomy performed by OB-GYN Kenneth J. Baker, M.D. During the surgery, the ureter was injured. Williams later required another surgery to reimplant the ureter, which she claimed resulted in permanent urinary incontinence. Williams filed suit against Baker and his practice, Carolinas Complete Care for Women, LLC, alleging medical malpractice. Williams alleged that Baker stitched around the ureter and failed to recognize that he did so. As a result, she argued that a second surgery was required to remove the stitches and reimplant the ureter. According to Williams, damage to the ureter during the second surgery resulted in permanent incontinence. Williams asserted that the second surgery, which led to the known complication of incontinence, would not have been necessary had the initial surgery been properly performed. She acknowledged a history of mild multiple sclerosis, which caused temporary incontinence when she was first diagnosed. However, she asserted that the multiple sclerosis was in remission at the time of the hysterectomy and she had not experienced incontinence for years prior to the hysterectomy. The defense disputed any violations in the standard of care and denied there was any stitching around the ureter. The defense contended that, rather than stitches, the ureter was damaged by kinking, which resulted in the need for the follow-up surgery. The defense further maintained that Williams’ incontinence was due to her pre-existing multiple sclerosis and had nothing to do with the surgery.
Williams alleged that stitching around her ureter during a hysterectomy resulted in the need for a second surgery. A reimplantation of the ureter was undertaken during the second surgery, resulting in permanent urinary incontinence. The second surgery involved an InterStim implant. Williams argued that surgery would be needed every four years into the future in order to change batteries in the implant. Williams sought approximately $685,000 in past and future medical expenses and $500,000 for pain and suffering. Her spouse, Arthur Williams, claimed damages for loss of consortium.
The jury found for Nerisa Williams and awarded her $700,000 in damages. The jury awarded no damages to Arthur Williams for loss of consortium.
Nerisa C. Williams:
$500,000 Personal Injury: economic damages; $200,000 Personal Injury: non-economic damages
Brian M. Gibbons
There was no appeal. The judgment was paid and this case is closed.
This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiffs’ counsel. Defense counsel also contributed to the report.