Summary Judgment for Surgeon Who Did Not Remove Tumor during Emergency Appendectomy

October 7, 2020 | Risk Management News

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​An emergency department (ED) patient diagnosed with a pelvic mass or ovarian cyst and acute appendicitis underwent a laparoscopic appendectomy. Although the mass—later revealed to be a malignant tumor—was not removed during the same procedure, the clinicians advised the patient to promptly seek consultation with a gynecologic oncologist. The Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, Second Department, has held that the surgeon was entitled to summary judgment on the patient's medical malpractice and informed consent claims. However, the hospital entities were not entitled to summary judgment regarding the patient's claim that the hospital entities were vicariously liable for the negligence of the emergency physician.

The patient was visiting from another state. On arrival at the hospital ED, the patient reported abdominal pain. After a pelvic ultrasound and computed tomography (CT) scan, the emergency physician diagnosed the patient with a pelvic mass or ovarian cyst and acute appendicitis. The general surgeon...

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