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Monday
Aug172009

Complaint Filed Against Obstetrician, Hospital for Unauthorized Sterilization During Cesarean

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A Chicago woman filed a complaint on August 7, 2009 alleging battery and negligence after a bitubal ligation was performed on her against her will and without her consent. The alleged unauthorized sterilization was performed on Nada Dollah at Rush-Copley Medical Center by her doctor, Nizar Olabi, whom Dollah claims had only obtained informed consent to perform a cesarean section.

Dollah is seeking compensatory damages from Olabi as an individual as well as from Olabi’s company, Women’s Health Physicians and Rush-Copley Medical Center, which the plaintiff claims negligently failed to ensure that Olabi understood his role and did not obtain informed consent prior to sterilizing her, thereby failing to protect her from unauthorized intrusion.

 

Via Chicago Now (Marian Wang)

 

__________________________

 

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY

COUNTY DEPARTMENT, LAW DIVISION

NADA DOLLAH

                       Plaintiff,

                v.

NIZAR F. OLABI; Individually,

WOMEN’S HEALTH PHYSICIANS,

S.C., an Illinois corporation, and RUSH-

COPLEY MEDICAL CENTER, INC.,

An Illinois corporation

                          Defendants.

 

COMPLAINT AT LAW

Plaintiff, Nada Dollah, by and through her attorneys, Boyd & Kummer, LLC, by way of Complaint against the Defendants Nizar Olabi, Women’s Health Physicians, S.C. and Rush-Copley Medical Center, Inc., states as follows:

Introduction

1. This Complaint at Law arises out of the Defendant’s unauthorized sterilization procedure of the Plaintiff, Nada Dollah by performing a bitubal ligation of her against her will and without her consent.

Parties

2. At all times relevant to this action, the Plaintiff, Nada Dollah (“Dollah”), resided in Naperville, County of DuPage, State of Illinois.

3. At all times relevant to this action, Defendant Nizar Olabi (“Olabi”), is and was an obstetrician- Gynecologist licensed to practice medicine in the state of Illinois. Olabi is a physician, the President and Secretary of Women’s Health Physicians, S.C. in Aurora. On information and belief, Olabi is a staff member with admitting privileges at Rush-Copley Medical Center, Inc. in Aurora, Illinois. Olabi is being sued in his individual capacity.

4. At all times relevant to this action, Defendant Women’s Health Physicians, S.C. (“Physicians”) was an Illinois Corporation authorized to and doing business in the State of Illinois. Physicians is in the business of providing medical care and treatment.

5. At all times relevant to this action, Defendant Rush-Copley Medical Center, Inc. (“Rush-Copley”) was an Illinois Corporation authorized to and doing business in the State of Illinois. Rush-Copley is in the business of providing medical care and treatment. On information and belief, Olabi is a staff member with admitting privileges at Rush-Copley.

Jurisdiction and Venue

6. This Court has jurisdiction over the persons and subject matter to this action because acts underlying this cause of action took place in Illinois.

7. This Court is the appropriate venue in which to adjudicate this action because ne or more of the Defendants reside in Cook County and/or does business in Cook County.

Acts Complained Of

8. Dollah was pregnant with her third child in March 2008.

9. In or around March 2008, Dollah sought obstetric-gynecological services of Olabi at Physicians.

10. Dollah consulted with Olabi regarding her pregnancy at Physicians.

11. Dollah employed Olabi for compensation paid and/or to be paid, to provide her with proper gynecological medical and surgical care and treatment to attend and perform certain surgical procedures on her, namely, a cesarean section for delivery of her child.

12. Olabi accepted employment for consideration, pursuant to which he undertook, entered upon and rendered to Dollah gynecological medical and surgical care and treatment, namely, a cesarean section for delivery of her child.

13. On or around May 28, 2008, Dollah was scheduled for a cesarean section.

14. Olabi agreed to perform the cesarean section on Dollah at Rush-Copley.

15. Rush-Copley granted Olabi admitting privileges at Rush-Copley and granted him staff status.

16. Olabi is an officer and employee of Physicians.

17. Olabi is an agent, apparent agent and/or employee of Rush-Copley.

18. Dollah was admitted to Rush-Copley on May 28, 2008, for the purpose of delivering her child via cesarean section.

19. Olabi and his employees and agents performed the scheduled cesarean section on Dollah and delivered Dollah’s daughter.

20. The only surgical procedure Olabi was scheduled to perform on Dollah was a cesarean section.

21. Unbeknownst to Dollah, Olabi and/or his employees or agents also performed the surgical procedure of bitubal ligation (“Sterilization”) on Dollah.

22. Dollah had not authorized the Sterilization.

23. Neither Olabi nor his employees or agents obtained Dollah’s consent to sterilize Dollah.

24. As such, Olabi and/or his employees or agents sterilized Dollah against her will and without her consent.

 

COUNT I – BATTERY

25. Dollah re-alleges, restates and incorporates paragraphs one through 24 above as if fully set forth herein.

26. Defendants contacted Dollah in a harmful and/or offensive nature insofar as Defendants performed/allowed to be performed the Sterilization on Dollah’s person.

27. Dollah did not consent to the Sterilization.

28. Through performing the unauthorized Sterilization on Dollah, the Defendants willfully and wantonly battered Dollah.

29. Moreover, under the doctrine of apparent authority, Rush-Copley is vicariously liable for the intentional torts committed to Dollah while furthering the business of Rush-Copley.

30. Under the doctrine of apparent authority, Physicians in vicariously liable for the intentional torts committed to he Dollah while furthering the business of Physicians.

31. As a direct and proximate cause of the Defendant’s battery on Dollah, Dollah has been denied the opportunity to bear any more children, has sustain permanent damages and loss of normal life, and experienced and will continue to experience extreme pain and suffering.

            WHEREFORE, the Plaintiff, Nada Dollah, respectfully requests that this Honorable Court enter judgment in her favor and against the Defendants, and award her compensatory damages in an amount to be established by the proofs, but in no event less than $1,000,000.00; punitive damages in an amount sufficient to deter future similar conduct on the part of Defendants, but in no event less than $1,000,000.00; the costs incurred in this matter and any further relief that this Honorable Court deems fair and just.

 

COUNT II – NEGLIGENCE

32. Dollah repeats and re-alleges paragraphs 1 through 31 above as if fully set forth herein.

33. Olabi was the obstetrician-gynecologist scheduled to perform a cesarean section on Dollah on or around May 28, 2008, at Rush-Copley.

34. Olabi exercised supervision and control of his employees and/or agents during Dollah’s delivery.

35. Olabi had a duty exercise due care in, inter alia, obtaining informed consent to sterilize Dollah, limiting the surgery performed on Dollah to that which Dollah consented to, properly informing Dollah of the extent of the surgery that was going to be performed on her; protecting Dollah against unauthorized intrusion; and maintaining orderly records.

36. Rush-Copley, as an institution and through the physicians practicing within the obstetrician-gynecological unit, had a duty to exercise due care in, inter alia, determining which physicians are granted admitting privileges at their facility, ensuring that Olabi understood his role and what was expected of him in carrying out its surgical procedures; maintaining procedures to ensure Dollah provided informed consent for the Sterilization, enforcing that Olabi – who was granted admitting and staff privileges at Rush-Copley – obtain informed consent from Dollah prior to sterilizing her; and protecting Dollah from unauthorized intrusion.

37. Physicians, as an institution and through the physicians practicing within the obstetrician-gynecological unit, had a duty to exercise due care in, inter alia, determining which physicians are granted admitting and staff privileges at their facility, ensuring that Olabi understood his role and what was expected of him in carrying out its surgical procedures; maintaining procedures to ensure Dollah provided informed consent for the Sterilization, enforcing that Olabi – who was granted admitting and staff privilgese at Physicians – obtain informed consent from Dollah prior to sterilizing her; and protecting from unauthorized intrusion.

38. Olabi, in breach and violation of his duty of due care, negligently failed to obtain informed consent to sterilize Dollah, negligently expanded the scope of the surgery beyond what Dollah consented to including, but not limited to the Sterilization of Dollah without her consent; negligently failed to inform Dollah of the extent of the surgery that was going to be performed on her; negligently failed to protect Dollah against unauthorized intrusion; and negligently failed to maintain orderly records.

39. Rush-Copley, in breach and violations of its duty of care, negligently failed to ensure that Olabi understood his role and what was expected of him in carrying out its surgical procedures; negligently failed to maintain procedures to ensure Dollah provided informed consent from Dollah prior to sterilizing her, negligently failed to protect Dollah from unauthorized intrusion, and negligently failed to protect Dollah.

40. Physicians, in breach and violations of its duty of care, negligently failed to ensure that Olabi understood his role and what was expected of him in carrying out its surgical procedures; negligently failed to maintain procedures to ensure Dollah provided informed consent from Dollah prior to sterilizing her, negligently failed to protect Dollah from unauthorized intrusion, and negligently failed to protect Dollah.

41. Moreover, Rush-Copley is vicariously liable for the negligent acts of Olabi in providing care at the hospital.

42. Physicians is vicariously liable for the negligent acts of Olabi in providing care through its clinic.

43. As a direct and proximate cause of the Defendants’ deviation of its standard of care, Dollah has been denied the opportunity to bear any more children, has sustained permanent damages and loss of normal life, and experience and will continue to experience extreme pain and suffering.

            WHEREFORE, the Plaintiff, Nada Dollah, respectfully requests that this Honorable Court enter judgment in her favor and against the Defendants, and award her compensatory damages in an amount to be established by the proofs, but in no event less that $1,000,000.00; attorney fees, the costs incurred in this matter and any further relief that this Honorable Court deems fair and just.

 

 

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Reader Comments (28)

Incredible!

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKathy

Why in the world would a doctor do that?!?

I will say that with my 3rd. c-section, during my surgery prep. I was asked over and over whether I was getting a tubal. I said "no!" every time. Thankfully I have a doctor that is supportive of me having a large family. I can't imagine being sterilized against my will.

I have met numerous women on the net and in real life that have had 4 c-sections. 3 is not the magic number when it comes to cesareans.

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermorgan

Hi Morgan,

I have no idea! You don't perform surgery unless you have informed consent, so what happened? I guess a bad mix-up?

August 18, 2009 | Registered CommenterJill

Thanks for your blog - it's really awesome! Great info.

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJenni

Oh, wow. How did she find out? The bill? I think it's interesting that some of these cases are being tried in criminal court as battery. So was the case in which the surgeon put the temporary tattoo near a patient's genitalia while she was under anesthesia.

There is an increased risk to mother and fetus / baby with every subsequent cesarean, so usually, several repeat cesareans are not a good plan of action. Unfortunately, with so many nonindicated primary sections and an insistence by most doctors and facilities that women do not try VBACs, women who have many more pregnancies are forced into multiple repeat cesareans.

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMomTFH

"I was asked repeatedly if I wanted to be sterilized before my second c/s. I emember thinking that they were being insensitive to ask me while I was being rolled away.

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAudrey

"You don't perform surgery unless you have informed consent, so what happened?"

Actually, you do not perform surgery unless you have informed consent and written/signed consent from the patient. (Unless it is an emergency and the patient is incapacitated). This case is dead in the water for the hospital if they do not have a signed consent for tubal ligation. The mom may have verbally stated up and down a thousand times that she wanted one, if that paper is not signed, it means nothing. Makes no difference how many previous C-Sections she had. She could of had 5 previous sections and her uterus could be paper thin, we are still not performing a tubal without written consent. My educated guess is this is a colossal process fail, just like amputating the wrong leg in the OR. Let me give you all a little OR primer to help you understand, if I may:
1. First thing we do is obtain a signed written and witnessed informed consent from patient stating the reason for the surgery. A C-Section and Tubal should have been on the consent.
2. In the OR right before the surgeon starts we perform a "Time Out" procedure. This is were the OR nurse states loudy "Time out. We are performing a C-section and bilateral tubal ligation on Ms.X" The surgeon and anesthesiologist must verbally acknowledge this is correct before beginning surgery. The "Time Out" is stated loudly and in front of the patient as an added safety net.
3. After acknowledgment of the right surgery, right patient, etc, the procedure begins.
It sounds like maybe this process was not under taken in this case. To be perfectly honest, some surgeons (not the majority) can be impatient, A-holes and ignore the nurse during the time out. Or they will mumble acknowledgment under their breath. Basically they can act like impatient toddlers. It makes me crazy when safety measures are poo-poohed as ridiculous, yet this is why wrong legs still get amputated, and women get sterilized without consent.

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterReality Rounds

Although I'm not real familiar with med/mal cases, the interesting thing to me is that they sued for medical battery in addition to negligence. I think that battery is an underutilized cause of action in birth lawsuits.

August 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe Mommy Blawger

Hey, Mommy Blawger! How have you been? I check your blog-- er, blawg-- every now and then to see what's going on.

Thanks for stopping by.

August 18, 2009 | Registered CommenterJill

MomTFH - I still have nightmares from the tattoo story. Wasn't it a pretty little rose or something? I cringe just typing it.

Audrey, that is really insensitive. Is that common to ask someone going in for a c/s? :(

RR, I was thinking about the surgical consent form, but I forget that "informed consent" can be a nod or a "yes."

August 18, 2009 | Registered CommenterJill
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