A Cheyenne, WY jury ruled in favor of a local medical center and a trauma surgeon in a malpractice case brought about by woman who fell off an operating table during a 2010 gall bladder surgical procedure.
Jurors cleared Cheyenne Regional Medical Center and Dr. Richard Fermelia of any negligence, and they dismissed Samantha Garcia of Nebraska’s claim that the hospital did not protect her from falling during the surgery.
Garcia, a former certified nursing assistant at Cheyenne Regional Medical Center, stated the fall led her to undergo four surgeries on her back. She was seeking about $2 million in damages.
The jury deliberated for just two hours before ruling in favor of the hospital and the surgeon.
According to a June 11 article on WyomingNews.com, testimony and evidence presented during the trial confirmed Garcia dealt with pre-existing back pain for about 10 years prior to the gall bladder procedure.
The article quotes a prepared statement from hospital spokesperson Kathy Baker as saying “there was no negligence in the actions of Cheyenne Regional Medical Center or Dr. (Richard) Fermelia. That was confirmed by the jury's decision."
Hospital officials did not comment on what efforts the facility has taken since the incident involving Garcia to ensure the safety of patients during surgical procedures.