San Diego, CA asked in Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice for California

Q: Will any attorneys in California take cases for retained foreign objects?

I had an appendix removal. There was retained foreign object left inside me during my surgery. It was not anything that would promote healing. It appeared to be metal shavings left in my stomach. I had an additional surgery to remove the metal that was left in me. The hospital sent it for testing and refuses to tell me what the metal was or how it happened. I’m having trouble finding an attorney that will handle anything except traumatic brain injuries. If no attorney will take my case, can I file a case myself?

5 Lawyer Answers
Theodore Allan Greene
Theodore Allan Greene
Answered
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You shouldn't have any problem finding an attorney in CA to handle your case. if in fact you had something inadvertently left in you during surgery it should be an easy case. Keep looking for an attorney and good luck to you.

Tobie B. Waxman
Tobie B. Waxman
Answered
  • Medical Malpractice Lawyer
  • Culver City, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Yes, I'm sure there are plenty of attorneys willing to take a retained foreign body case. The problem with these cases however is that sometimes leaving behind a metal object, such as a surgical clip or staple, is intentional and not the result of negligence. i.e. sometimes leaving in a clip or staple promotes healing and it is then surgically removed as part of the treatment plan. Further, if the retained foreign body did not actually injure you, that might be a reason why you are having trouble finding an attorney to take your case. Your question does not say what type of object was left behind or what type of surgery you had, or what your injury is. You should speak with an attorney one-on-one (i.e. over the phone if possible). Good luck.

Joel Gary Selik
Joel Gary Selik
Answered
  • Medical Malpractice Lawyer
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Licensed in California

A: Yes, many of us take on retained foreign object medical malpractice cases. But each case is evaluate on its own merits and the nature and extent of the harm is part of the analysis.

James L. Arrasmith
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Answered
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Yes, attorneys in California do take cases involving retained foreign objects from surgeries. Medical malpractice lawyers handle cases where surgical errors, such as leaving foreign objects inside patients, occur. This type of case falls under medical malpractice law, which seeks to address negligence by healthcare professionals.

Given your situation with the metal shavings left in your stomach, you should continue reaching out to medical malpractice attorneys. Document all related medical records, communications with the hospital, and any evidence of the retained object. This information will be crucial for any attorney evaluating your case.

If you are unable to find an attorney willing to take your case, you do have the option to file a lawsuit yourself. This process, known as "pro se" litigation, allows you to represent yourself in court. However, it can be challenging due to the complexity of medical malpractice laws and the need for expert testimony. Consulting with legal aid services or seeking advice from a local bar association can provide guidance and support if you choose to pursue the case on your own.

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
Answered
  • Medical Malpractice Lawyer
  • Little Neck, NY

A: I'm sorry for your ordeal. If you are having difficulty in finding an attorney, one possibility is that the firms you've contacted deem the damages from the shavings to not be serious enough for them to invest in the cost of experts and litigation. Another possibility is that you haven't come across the right firm. One option is to continue searching. Yes, someone can handle their own case. Good luck

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