Exploratory Laparotomy Leaves Behind a Sponge - Mazow | McCullough, PC
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Exploratory Laparotomy Leaves Behind a Sponge

$150k Awarded in Medical Malpractice


The plaintiff was 85 years old when she underwent an exploratory laparotomy at the defendant’s hospital in Essex County, Massachusetts. Two nurses and one scrub technician conducted various counts of the sponges and instruments during the surgery. The intra-operative notes confirmed that all of the counts were correct.

Approximately three months later, the plaintiff began to experience a sudden onset of fever and pain in her abdomen. She was brought back to the hospital and a CT scan revealed a retained foreign object in her abdomen. The plaintiff underwent a surgery to have the object removed.


The defendants all denied that they were responsible for the miscounting of the sponges. Furthermore, due to the advanced age of the plaintiff, the family of the plaintiff was unsure if she would be able to participate in discovery or a trial. Mazow | McCullough, PC pushed the insurance company hard to engage in early mediation. Mazow | McCullough, PC used its experience with prior retained foreign object cases, including a threat that it would file for summary judgment and proceed on an assessment of damages, to get the insurance company to settle this case early.


Within one month of filing suit, Mazow | McCullough, PC attended mediation and settled the case for $150,000.