Katherine Seaborn got her tubes tied–but she became pregnant anyway. A failed procedure such as Kim’s may warrant a tubal ligation lawsuit. Not only was the pregnancy unexpected, it was dangerous.
Seaborn had an ectopic pregnancy, which is when an embryo implants in a fallopian tube. Thinking she couldn’t possibly be pregnant, she waited too long to get medical attention. The result? She nearly bled to death while on vacation at Disney World.
Failed tubal ligations aren’t common, but they do happen. And the consequences can be disastrous. If they’re the result of a surgeon’s negligence, you may be able to take legal action. Read on to find out when and how to file a tubal ligation lawsuit.
Reasons For A Tubal Ligation Lawsuit
Tubal ligation blocks, cuts, or “ties off” the fallopian tubes to prevent pregnancy. It may seem like a permanent birth control solution. But according to the American Pregnancy Association, 1/1,000 women get pregnant in the first year after the procedure. After five years, that number is 2-10 out of a 1,000.
Pregnancy is one result of a failed tubal ligation. Here’s what else may go wrong:
- Bowel perforation: When the surgeon makes an accidental cut, or punctures the intestines.
- Infection at the surgical site
- Internal bleeding from an incision in the abdomen
- Side effects from anesthesia
- Damage to the bladder or major blood vessels
- Ectopic pregnancy
If a surgeon didn’t follow protocol and harmed you, you may be able to sue for negligence. Hire a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as you’re aware of your injury. Your lawyer can help you file a tubal ligation lawsuit and go after damages.
When Can I File A Tubal Ligation Lawsuit?
Let’s say you had your tubes tied, and the procedure failed. You got pregnant, came down with an infection, or were injured. Does that mean someone was negligent? Is it time to “lawyer up” and sue those wrongdoers for all they’re worth?
Not so fast. Complications can be troublesome at best, and devastating at worst. But they’re not always a doctor’s fault. Sometimes doctors and surgeons aren’t negligent, and the procedure goes well. Yet a pregnancy still occurs.
How is that possible? It’s uncommon, but women can still get pregnant if they resume sexual activity before the tissue has scarred. Fallopian tubes can also regrow and connect back together again. So you can’t file a tubal ligation lawsuit just because you get pregnant.
To Sue Or Not To Sue?
Doctors have the obligation to warn their patients about certain risks before they undergo tubal ligation. If they do so, and the patient consents to the procedure, they will be off the hook. You may not be able to file a tubal ligation lawsuit, even if the ligation fails.
On the other hand, if a complication arises, but doctors do nothing to solve it, that’s a different story. For example, if there’s a bowel perforation, there will likely be telltale signs. The patient’s abdomen may swell. She’ll likely have a fever and be in a lot of pain. If doctors don’t recognize these symptoms and act fast, the result can be permanent injury, or even death. That would be grounds for filing a tubal ligation lawsuit.
Not sure whether you can sue or not? Schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer to discuss your case. Many law firms offer these consultations for free! If your attorney determines it’s in your best interest to sue, you’ll begin the process of filing a tubal ligation lawsuit. But how does it work? You can find the answer below.
How To File A Tubal Ligation Lawsuit
Let’s go over the steps for filing a tubal ligation lawsuit. Note that this is a complicated legal process. It varies by case. Your results can be very different from other cases. There is no set amount of damages that a hospital has to pay for a botched tubal ligation.
- Figure out who you want to sue. Who was at fault? A surgeon? The hospital? Both?
- Decide what category your tubal ligation lawsuit falls into. Your lawyer can help you determine whether you have a case of medical negligence, medical malpractice, or wrongful death.
- Check the statute of limitations. When did you have the procedure done? When did you become pregnant, or notice adverse symptoms? Every state puts a specific time limit on when you can file your claim. Most often, it’s around 2 years after the wrongdoing occurred. If you’re not sure whether you’re within that time frame, consult a lawyer.
- File a formal complaint against the doctor or hospital. Your lawyer will handle this.
- Gather evidence. This is called “discovery”. Your legal team will help you get information and documents to support your case.
- Accept a settlement or go to trial. The plaintiff might offer to pay you for the harm they caused. Or not! If they don’t (or you don’t want to accept what they offer), your legal team will gear up for a trial.
Sound simple? It’s not (unfortunately). Yes, we condensed the process into 6 simple looking steps. But filing a tubal ligation lawsuit is work! Hard, long, tedious work. The kind you’ll love to hand off to an attorney who knows their stuff.
At Hampton & King, suing for medical malpractice is where our specialty lies. We handle many kinds of malpractice suits, including tubal ligation lawsuits. If you’re ready to see justice served for what happened to you, call us today.