Understanding the Legal Essentials of a Bowel Injury Lawsuit in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery

Paul A. Walden, Burak Zeybek, John Y. Phelps

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Bowel injury is a known inherent complication of minimally invasive gynecologic surgery; however, it does not automatically signify medical malpractice. Plaintiff attorneys representing patients seeking legal recourse from a bowel injury typically allege claims of intraoperative negligence, delay in diagnosis, or lack of informed consent in an effort to circumvent the assertion that it is a known inherent complication. In addition, damage awards in bowel injury lawsuits can easily exceed the amount covered by the policy limits of a medical malpractice insurance plan, leaving the gynecologist financially responsible for the difference. Therefore, it is crucial to understand when it may be appropriate to consent to a settlement offer, which can relieve the gynecologist from financial liability for amounts awarded above the medical malpractice policy limits. The purpose of this medical-legal review is to make minimally invasive gynecologic surgeons more aware of the legal strategies used by plaintiff attorneys representing patients who have incurred bowel injuries, and how to limit liability in lawsuits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-37
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Bowel injury
  • Lawsuit
  • Liability
  • Minimally invasive gynecologic surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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