Posted: May 15, 2013

Botched cancer surgery verdict upheld
 Pennsylvania Superior Court has upheld a medical malpractice verdict in the odd case of a missing ovary and a woman who died of cancer. In a civil lawsuit against a doctor and Geisinger Medical Center, the husband of Sharon Zawatski claimed negligence because her cancer returned following a 2004 surgery to remove the disease. The lawsuit charged that the doctor failed to remove both ovaries, permitting the cancer to return in her left ovary. A Luzerne County jury agreed and awarded almost $2.4 million. But the doctor and hospital appealed the verdict, saying there had been insufficient evidence to support the claim that Mrs. Zawatski’s left ovary had not been removed. According to an article in The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, the ovary was not found inside Sharon Zawatski’s body during an autopsy. But several physicians and nurses also testified that there was no medical documentation showing the ovary had been removed, and a nurse who assisted in the surgery and kept track of all removed specimens did not have the ovary on her list, either. That evidence was sufficient to support the jury’s verdict, the appellate court said. Get more information about cancer misdiagnosis lawsuits.