The plaintiff, Wendy Young alleged that on May 11, 2016, the hospital’s physician, Catherine C. Grazi-ani performed a robotic hysterectomy on her using a robotic surgical system. After some days, Wendy started experiencing pain and ‘‘a black and blue’’ on her left side. On June 10, 2016, she learnt that her injuries were due to a robotic camera falling on her left side. She was not told about the incident…law360, Conn. Court Revives Suit Over Patient’s Robot Surgery Injury, Y. Peter Kang 2020

Wendy then sought damages for injuries she received from the defendant, Hartford Hospital. However, Young did not submit the certificate of good faith certificate and written opinion regarding medical negligence pursuant to General Statutes § 52-190a because she claimed that her complaint fell under the ordinary negligence category and not medical negligence.

The trial court disagreed with the plaintiff and determined the case to be one of medical malpractice. Under the Connecticut law, such cases require a medical expert’s opinion to be submitted with the complaint. Because no such expert opinion was filed by Young, the trial judge granted the hospital’s motion to dismiss.

Upon appeal by Young, the Conn. Court by a 2:1 majority said, a “holistic and reasonable reading of the complaint” does not rule out that Young’s injuries were caused by ordinary negligence rather than medical malpractice. The panel also said that because the facts must be construed in a light most favorable to the plaintiff at the motion to dismiss stage of a case, it was wrong for the trial judge to grant the hospital’s dismissal bid.

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Kayur V. Patel, MD, MRO, FACP, FACPE, FACHE, FACEP
KayurVPatel@ExpertWitness.MD