On December 7, 2022, an appeals court upheld the denial of a summary judgment by Supreme Court, Queens County Judge O'Donoghue, filed on behalf of a local gynecologist. The patient had undergone a hysterectomy for abnormal uterine bleeding during which her left ureter was accidentally severed. The gynecologist-surgeon, Dr. Germain argued that during the surgery she operated on the right side of the patient and an assistant gynecologist-surgeon (who was not sued) operated on the left side. Thus, the defendant gynecologist-surgeon claimed she could not have severed the plaintiff's left ureter.
The appellate court observed that plaintiff's expert asserted that there was a failure "to visualize the ureters to confirm their location prior to vessel transection" which constituted a departure from accepted standards of surgical practice; and, that "given the injured plaintiff's dilated cervix and bleeding encountered on the left hand side, Dr. Germain should have been aware that there was an increased risk for ureteral injury, but did not take any steps intraoperatively to reduce the risk of injuring the ureter." The plaintiff's expert also stated that the defendant, Dr. Germain was plaintiff's treating physician and ultimately responsible for the outcome of surgery. Bhuiyan v Germain, 2022 WL 17480693