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Carolinas Verdicts

Find out about the most important recent North and South Carolina cases, selected by VerdictSearch editors. Coverage includes Gaston, Mecklenburg and Wake counties in North Carolina and Charleston, Horry and Richland in South Carolina.

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Suit: Surgical error led to more surgery, urinary incontinence

Amount:

$700,000

Type:

Verdict-Plaintiff

State:

South Carolina

Venue:

Lancaster County

Court:

Lancaster County, Court of Common Pleas

Injury Type(s):

other-loss of consortium; urological-incontinence

Case Type:

Medical Malpractice - OB-GYN, Surgical Error, Gynecological Surgery

Case Name:

Nerisa C. Williams and Arthur Williams v. Kenneth J. Baker, M.D. and Carolinas Complete Care for Women, LLC, No. 2014CP2900696

Date:

January 30, 2017

Parties

Plaintiff(s):

Arthur Williams (Male, 46 Years), 

Nerisa C. Williams (Female, 43 Years)

Plaintiff Attorney(s):

David Bradley Jordan; Jordan Law Firm; Rock Hill, SC, for Arthur Williams, Nerisa C. Williams ■ James W. Boyd; Law Office of James W. Boyd; Rock Hill, SC, for Arthur Williams, Nerisa C. Williams

Plaintiff Expert(s):

Ralph Devito; M.D.; Urology; New Haven, CT called by: David Bradley Jordan, James W. Boyd

Defendant(s):

Kenneth J. Baker, M.D., 

Carolinas Complete Care for Women LLC

Defense Attorney(s):

Dennis Gary Lovell Jr.; Carlock, Copeland & Stair, LLP; Charleston, SC, for Kenneth J. Baker, M.D., Carolinas Complete Care for Women LLC ■ Douglas W. MacKelcan III; Carlock, Copeland & Stair, LLP; Charleston, SC, for Kenneth J. Baker, M.D., Carolinas Complete Care for Women LLC

Defendant Expert(s):

James Williams; Gynecology; Columbia, SC called by: Dennis Gary Lovell Jr., Douglas W. MacKelcan III

Facts:

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.

Injury:

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.

Result:

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

Trial Information:

Judge:

Brian M. Gibbons

Trial Length:

4  days

Trial Deliberations:

2  hours

Jury Composition:

12 jurors

Post Trial:

There was no appeal. The judgment was paid and this case is closed.

Editor's Comment:

This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiffs' counsel. Defense counsel also contributed to the report.