A legal gavel rests on top of a desk.

They may not be pleasant, but colonoscopies are necessary. They’re also generally safe. Many patients undergo them after age 45 as a precautionary measure.

Imagine it’s time for your yearly colonoscopy. It’s likely the doctor won’t find anything more than an occasional hemorrhoid. It’s no sweat–and you’ll be back at home the same day. 

But what if something goes wrong? Is it possible for medical malpractice to happen during such a routine procedure? 

Colonoscopy lawsuits aren’t the most common type of malpractice lawsuit. But they do happen. They’re also necessary if you want to get compensation for injury and suffering. 

Do you have colonoscopy complications as a result of doctor negligence? Contact Hampton & King today for a free consultation. 

Woman holding her stomach, where her colon is.

Should You File a Colonoscopy Lawsuit?

Colonoscopies save lives. They allow doctors to detect colon cancer and other diseases early on. But on a few occasions, they have taken lives or resulted in serious injury. This happens when doctors fail to follow the standard of care. 

If you have complications after a colonoscopy, should you file a colonoscopy lawsuit? That depends on whether your injury happened because the doctor was negligent. 

As with any surgery, there are risks associated with colonoscopies. Doctors inform patients about these risks beforehand. So not all colonoscopy injuries or complications result in colonoscopy malpractice lawsuits. 

The following are common reasons for filing a colonoscopy malpractice lawsuit:

Reasons for Filing a Colonoscopy Lawsuit 

  • Failure to diagnose colon cancer during a colonoscopy
  • Not informing the patient about a bowel perforation, or not correcting it in time
  • Failure to diagnose or treat irritable bowel syndrome 
  • Passing the colonoscopy scope through a dilated colon
  • Not recommending a colonoscopy to diagnose rectal bleeding and other serious symptoms
  • Failing to inform patients about risks before they undergo a colonoscopy
  • Infecting the patient with unsterilized equipment 
  • Failing to remove polyps, allowing cancer to spread 
  • Not telling high-risk patients about possible complications they could have 

The Colonoscopy Lawsuit Recording That Shocked the Nation

It was a patient’s worst nightmare– and it was all caught on tape. 

In 2013, a patient in Virginia sat in pre-op. He was about to undergo a routine colonoscopy. Not wanting to forget the doctor’s post-ops instructions, he pressed “record” on his cell phone. But then the effects of anesthesia set in. The patient fell fast asleep. His cell phone, tucked into his pants, ended up under the operating table. With no one the wiser, it recorded everything that went on during the colonoscopy. 

Once out of surgery, the patient pressed “play”. What he heard shocked him straight out of his post-op stupor! Anesthesiologist Tiffany Ingham had mocked him throughout the procedure. He heard her say, “After five minutes of talking to you in pre-op, I wanted to punch you in the face and man you up a little bit.”

Ingham went on to joke that the patient had various diseases. Then, to add (an actual) injury to insult, she wrote a false diagnosis on the patient’s records. 

“I’m going to mark hemorrhoids, even though we don’t see them and probably won’t.” she said in the recording. “I’m just gonna take a shot in the dark.”

The fiasco became the most infamous colonoscopy malpractice lawsuit of the decade. The patient won $500,000 in damages against Ingham and her practice.

Man looks out the window from hospital bed.

Other Colonoscopy Malpractice Lawsuits

The following patients didn’t have an audio recording as evidence. But they were still able to prove that doctors were negligent during or after a colonoscopy.

Here’s some additional examples of  a colonoscopy gone wrong:

  • 59-year-old Raymond Gaspard won $1 million after a surgeon perforated his colon. The doctor failed to warn him about the signs of colon perforation after a colonoscopy. He also failed to treat the perforation after detecting it in a CT scan. As a result, Gaspard suffered acute peritonitis and sepsis. He had to have several major surgeries, including having a segment of his bowel removed.
  • In 2014, a man with a family history of colon cancer received a diagnosis of that very cancer. His doctor knew about his family history. But he never recommended that he undergo a colonoscopy. So the man found out about the cancer too late, and he passed away.  His family won $1 million in a colonoscopy malpractice lawsuit. 
  • A 42-year-old woman passed away from lack of oxygen to the brain while under anesthesia for an outpatient colonoscopy. Her family won $8,344,514 because the doctors failed to monitor the woman’s oxygen during the procedure. 

Have you or a loved one suffered from complications related to a colonoscopy? Are those complications the result of negligence? If so, it’s vital to file a colonoscopy malpractice lawsuit as soon as possible.

Hampton & King has the expertise you need to get the maximum financial compensation for your injuries. Discuss your case with our medical malpractice attorneys today.