Summary judgment sought in med-mal complaint

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Jan 16, 2012

GALVESTON - The defendants in a medical malpractice lawsuit arising from a sponge reportedly left inside a woman's abdomen have each filed motions for summary judgment.

CHCA Mainland and Dr. Janice R. Crowder submitted documents before the Galveston County 122nd District Court last Dec. 27, asserting plaintiff Phaedra R. Mills "failed to file suit within a reasonable time after discovering her injury."

In the original complaint filed Jan. 18, 2011, Mills claims Crowder, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Texas City's Mainland Medical Center, failed to remove all surgical sponges prior to closing her abdomen approximately seven years ago.

The original petition explains that Crowder performed a Caesarean section on Mills on Nov. 3, 2004, without any assistance, which reportedly and ultimately caused the complainant to suffer a possible hernia.

Mills adds she sought medical attention for alleged problems with her abdomen and pelvis two years ago and learned that the left lower quadrant of her abdomen contained a lap sponge marker which had to be surgically removed.

The respondents' motions summarily argue the plaintiff filed suit "well after the two-year statute of limitations passed," stating she "offers no explanation as to why she waited so long."

They also contend that Mills "cannot meet her burden in showing fraudulent concealment."

The hospital is represented by Serpe, Jones, Andrews, Callender & Bell while Sheperd, Scott, Clawater & Houston serves as Crowder's counsel.

Case No. 11-cv-0077

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