A surprisingly common mishap that occurs in Oregon and all other states is the leaving of a surgical tool or accessory in the patient's body after completing an operation. There is a general protocol for counting all items prior to closing up the incision, but somehow surgical teams manage to violate that protocol every so often. In some instances, the surgical error can have fatal consequences.
Other times, it may be serious but not fatal. The body's internal organs do not generally react well to a foreign object taking up permanent residence. In one case in another state, a man underwent surgery to help treat a diverticulitis condition. The doctors sewed him up but left a gauze pad inside his abdomen.
Ever since the operation, the man experienced pain and symptoms of feeling sick. He made several hospital visits, which resulted eventually in discovering the foreign body in his intestines. By that point, he had perforations in his intestine that needed to be addressed by surgery. He also had to have a separate surgery to remove the gauze. Later, his colon had to be removed.
The patient is the front guitarist and founder of the platinum-record group Alien Ant Farm. The several years of worsening symptoms severely limited his ability to make a living. He even lost his health insurance coverage. He missed many public appearances, concert dates and other work with the band. He recently had another surgery to close up the perforation.
He filed a lawsuit against the hospital and doctors involved in the apparent surgical error. In this case, a large part of the damages is a claim for lost wages and lost earning capacity. The plaintiff has a permanent partial disability that has had a permanent impact on his ability to work and will continue to do so. Additionally, due to the many surgeries and other disruptions in the man's life, the claim for pain and suffering could be a very substantial one. The basic principles of negligence that govern the case would be the same if the suit was being prosecuted here in Oregon.
Source: pe.com, "RIVERSIDE: Alien Ant Farm rocker sues hospital for malpractice", Stephen Wall, Dec. 2, 2015