US-based Nigerian doctor removes wrong ovary from woman •Fined $1.42M

Posted by News Express | 11 March 2014 | 5,621 times

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A Nigerian medical doctor based in Howard County, Maryland, USA, has been ordered to pay $1.42 million in a malpractice lawsuit after a jury ruled that she removed the wrong ovary from a patient and lied about it.

A Baltimore jury came back with its ruling yesterday against OB/GYN Dr. Maureen Muoneke, who has had a practice in Columbia for several years and has had her medical license since 2002, says a report by wbaltv.com of Baltimore, USA.

“The case started in June 2009 when Nadege Neim, 29, who was pregnant at the time, visited Muoneke about a cyst on her left ovary,” reports wbaltv.com.

Citing court records, the medium says that Dr. Muoneke recommended that the 29-year-old “have her left ovarian cyst removed to prevent future complications.” Neim, a medical student, checked into Saint Agnes Hospital in Baltimore in September 2009 to have the cyst on the left ovary removed, but things went very wrong.

“The defendant said to her, ‘The surgery went well. I removed the ovary.’ But never specified that she in fact had removed the right ovary,” said Jamison White, Neim’s attorney. Court records showed the doctor also removed Neim’s fallopian tube.

White said his client returned to Muoneke with complaints of severe pelvic pain nearly a month later, and the doctor never told her she had removed the wrong ovary. Neim finally went to Howard County General Hospital, where a doctor who gave her a CT scan told her that the cyst was still there and that the wrong ovary had been removed.

“As she described at trial, she felt like she was lied to and, in fact, she was,” White said.

Neim’s attorney argued during the trial that Muoneke tried to cover her mistake by altering the patient’s medical records.

“She added things to those records that indicated that Mrs. Neim was having right-sided pain in her pelvis as opposed to the left side – things that were added for the sole reason to attempt to justify why she had removed the right ovary,” White said.

It took the jury an hour to come back with the $1.42 million verdict in Neim’s favor. White said he’s now looking into the possibility of more victims.

“We’ve received at least two phone calls from women within the last couple of days indicating that they were patients of Dr. Muoneke’s and that they believe that either an ovary was removed that shouldn’t have been removed or another part of their anatomy had been removed without their consent,” White said.

An 11 News call to Muoneke’s attorney was not returned. Someone who answered the phone at her previous office in Howard County said she’s no longer practicing there.

Because this was a civil case and not criminal, there is no indication that the doctor will lose her license, 11 News reporter Kai Reed said.

Commenting on the case this afternoon, US-based Nigerian attorney Emeka Ugwuonye, said on Facebook: “Dr. Maureen Muoneke is a personal friend and good woman. Professional practice in a mature society such as the US is fraught with risks of professional errors, which could lead to catastrophic consequences. The Baltimore jury found Dr. Muoneke liable.

“Her case is something to learn from for those curious enough. She remains my friend and I shall give her as much moral support as possible despite this event, which could happen to any professional in America.”  

•Photo courtesy rccghouseofglory.org shows Dr. Maureen Muoneke.


Source: News Express

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