Lack of Informed Consent/Improper Performance
A 52-year-old male alleged lack of informed consent and improper performance of a low anterior resection. The patient had undergone a screening colonoscopy, during which time three polyps were removed. One of them, a well-differentiated adenocarcinoma, had invaded the superficial submucosa and had a negative margin of 0.8mm. Anastomosis could not be achieved at the time of surgery, so the patient had a temporary colostomy, which was successfully reversed. The pathology from this surgery showed no evidence of residual cancer or cancer spread. The plaintiff argued that this meant the need for surgery was never indicated, and claimed altered bowel habits affecting his quality of life and ability to work. The plaintiff claimed past and future medical expenses, past and future wage loss, and general damages.
Result: Defense verdict. Thurston County Superior Court, Judge Wilson