$10,000,00.00 Jury Verdict
When a person undergoes a surgical procedure, the physician and the operating team (typically nurses) have an obligation to ensure that no foreign bodies/objects such as surgical sponges, clamps and other instruments are left inside the patient. As obvious and seemingly simple as the task of “counting out” the objects which enter the surgical field may be, objects are routinely left within patients’ bodies. Stated simply, there is no legitimate explanation for the occurrence of such an error. Regrettably, often patients experience very serious (and sometimes fatal) results due to the retention of surgical sponges, clamps, instruments and other foreign bodies/objects.
In this realm of medical malpractice, there are particular legal tenets which govern the defendants’ liability and a patient’s ability to assert a claim. For instance, Georgia law places a time limit on the period within which a patient may sue his/her providers (doctor(s)/nurse(s)) after discovery of the retained object. Similarly, Georgia’s “captain of the ship” doctrine imposes a certain burden of responsibility/liability upon a physician based upon his/her reliance upon hospital staff.