Mar 14, 2023

RI woman wins $4 million in botched surgery lawsuit

PROVIDENCE — A Superior Court jury awarded a Little Compton woman $4 million after finding a surgeon negligent by misidentifying anatomy during a 2017 procedure at Women & Infants Hospital that left her with significant scarring and at risk of future injury to her kidney, according to lawyers involved in the case.

An eight-member jury deliberated for one and a half hours before delivering a unanimous verdict May 24 to Tammy Sisson against Dr. Alfredo Gil, said Sisson's lawyer, Michael P. Quinn Jr., of Decof, Barry, Mega & Quinn. The judgment will ultimately amount to approximately $5.83 million.

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On Oct. 23, 2017, Sisson, then 55, underwent a total laparoscopic hysterectomy at Women & Infants Hospital during which she sustained a severe injury to her right side ureter, the tubelike organ that carries urine from the kidneys to the bladder. The injury went undiscovered for five days, Quinn said.

The damage required Sisson to undergo multiple procedures, as well as surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital. Now 60, Sisson was left with internal damage, significant scarring and substantial risk of future kidney injury, Quinn said.

Her lawyers had alleged that Gil negligently misidentified pelvic anatomy during the initial procedure, causing him to mistakenly slice the ureter with a surgical instrument.

A spokeswoman for Care New England, the health-care system that operates Women & Infants, declined to comment.

Judge Stephen Nugent presided over the eight-day trial during which the jury had access to hundreds of pages of medical records, medical illustrations, and heard from medical and lay witnesses, including the surgeon.

According to state Department of Health records, Gil has been licensed since 2003 and practices as an OB-GYN with Tollgate OB-GYN Midwifery Services Inc., also a defendant in the case. Gil has faced no disciplinary actions.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that the jury's verdict was rendered solely against Dr. Alfredo Gil.