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Jury sides with woman who suffered complications from unneeded surgery

Jackson County jurors awarded nearly three-quarters of a million dollars to a woman who claimed urinary complications in the wake of a hysterectomy.

“We alleged and proved that it was an unwarranted hysterectomy, a surgery she should never have had,” said Stephen Gorny of Gorny Dandurand.

Gorny represented plaintiff Mindy Muller, whose right ureter was ligated during the 2017 procedure. Muller’s suit alleged that the entire operation was contraindicated from the start.

“It is pretty rare that we get a case where we’re alleging that the surgeon should have never taken their patient to the operating room,” Gorny said. “It is a pretty heavy allegation.”

Gorny said the defense for Dr. Lisa Amsterdam claimed that the injuries involved, which necessitated a follow-up surgery due to acute renal failure, was a recognized complication of the hysterectomy. They also contended the plaintiff was a proper candidate for the procedure, which was performed in response to the discovery of cervical abnormal cells on her cervix.

The plaintiff’s expert said that a far less invasive procedure could have been used. Gorny said that the jury seemed persuaded by his arguments based on conversations after the trial. He said three jurors did not sign the verdict form, with two wanting to go higher than the $745,021.24 award.

“They immediately decided that this surgery was unnecessary,” he said. “They all agreed after being educated on the less invasive procedure that that was perfect for her. They didn’t even care about whether it was a recognized risk of the procedure because they all said she shouldn’t have been in there anyway.”

BK Christopher and Robert Givens of Horn Aylward & Bandy represented the defense. Christopher did not return a message, and Givens declined to comment.

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$745,021 verdict

Medical malpractice

Breakdown: $145,021.24 for past economic and medical damages, $250,000 for past noneconomic damages, $350,000 for future noneconomic damages

Venue: Jackson County Circuit Court

Case Number/Date: 1916-CV03208/Nov. 4, 2022

Judge: Kenneth Garrett III

Plaintiffs’ Experts: Bruce Bryan, St. Louis (gynecology)

Defendants’ Experts: Dr. Gregory Heidrick, Lincoln, Nebraska (gynecology); David Anderson, Springfield, (urology)

Last Pretrial Demand: $315,000

Last Pretrial Offer: $0

Insurer: MMIC

Caption: Mindy Muller v. Lisa Amsterdam, M.D.

Plaintiff’s Attorney: Stephen Gorny, Gorny Dandurand, Kansas City

Defendant’s Attorneys: BK Christopher and Robert Givens, Horn Aylward & Bandy, Kansas City