High school senior files med mal suit claiming metal wire left in stomach

Michelle Massey Nov. 15, 2010, 9:42am


A high school senior and her mother have filed a medical malpractice suit claiming a metal wire was left in her stomach following a laparoscopic procedure.

Claudia Garcia and Maria Garcia filed suit against Covidien Inc., Anchor Products Co., Ochsner Medical Center-Westbank and Dr. Jennifer Lohmann-Bigelow on Oct. 6 in Jefferson Parish District Court. The defendant removed the case to federal court in New Orleans on Nov. 4.

Claudia Garcia underwent a laparoscopic surgical procedure performed on Oct. 19, 2009 by Dr. Lohmann-Bigelow at Ochsner Medical Center located in Jefferson Parish.

The doctor used a Covidien and/or Anchor tissue removal device, which broke during the surgery, the lawsuit claims.

Garcia states that as a result, she had a dramatic increase in pain and was unable to sleep, sit or function independently.

An MRI was performed in December 2009 which revealed the presence of "some artifact" left in her pelvis. A second surgery was performed in which a five-inch metal wire was discovered. Garcia states the wire was a component of the defective tissue removal device.

Garcia states an extended absence from school caused her to be unable to complete the first semester of her senior year in high school and her graduation was delayed.

Defendant Covidien and Anchor are accused of manufacturing the defective and unreasonably dangerous device. The Medical Center is accused of supplying the defective device for the surgery and failing to take all appropriate steps to prevent the injury. Dr. Lohmann-Bigelow is accused of failing to removal all foreign objects and thus breaching her duty of providing applicable standard of care to Garcia.

Plaintiff Claudia Garcia is seeking damages for physical pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, mental anguish, medical expenses, lost wages, interest and court costs. Plaintiff Maria Garcia is seeking damages for mental anguish and interference with mother-daughter relationship.

The plaintiffs are represented by Patricia S. LeBlanc, Deborah A. Villio and Tiffany M. Fleming of LeBlanc Butler in Metairie.

U.S. District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10-cv04184

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