A prominent gynecologist committed malpractice when he removed a patient's healthy ovary and left a piece of plastic in her body after a 2007 robotic surgery.
Dr. Daniel H. Laury, formerly of Medford, is liable for more than $100,000 in a lawsuit filed by Michelle Elsey and husband Toby Elsey, according to a verdict announced Thursday in U.S. District Court. Jurors returned the verdict of medical malpractice against Laury after hearing two days of testimony from the plaintiffs and seven physicians, including Laury.
Laury's attorney, Thomas Armosino Jr., of Medford, declined to comment on the outcome. The Elseys' Medford attorney, Bob Robertson, could not be reached for comment.
The Elseys, now residents of Montana, were seeking nearly $1 million in damages. The jury of four women and three men awarded Michelle Elsey more than $10,500 in medical expenses and $100,000 as compensation for physical pain and mental anguish.
Jurors denied Toby Elsey any payment for loss of his wife's companionship as a result of her diminished health.
Laury used a da Vinci robotic device that malfunctioned in Michelle Elsey's Sept. 28, 2007, surgery at Providence Medford Medical Center, according to hospital records. Providence was not a party in the suit.
Foreign objects were revealed in Elsey's body during a CT scan in Bozeman, Mont., more than three years after the robotic surgery. A laparoscopy sheath, as well as extraneous coils used as birth-control devices, were removed from her pelvis at a Bozeman hospital.
Elsey, formerly of White City, was unaware of the foreign objects' presence before seeking medical treatment in Bozeman. Jurors heard testimony that Laury was not informed of any damage to the robotic surgical equipment, although Elsey experienced pain after the procedure.
Suffering pelvic pain prior to the 2007 robotic surgery, Elsey consented to the surgical removal of her right ovary and fallopian tube, as well as her appendix. But the organs were deemed normal and functioning following the surgery. Laury already had performed a sterilization procedure on Elsey in April 2007.
Laury's hysterectomy procedures had come under fire from the Oregon Medical Board, which ordered corrective action against him in 2004. The board also ordered Laury to continue treatment with a psychiatrist and psychotherapist required to report on Laury's "fitness to safely practice medicine," according to the document filed with the state.
The board launched its investigation of Laury based on his change in privilege status at Providence and the now Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center. Action against Laury — who neither admitted nor denied any violation of the Medical Practice Act — was discontinued in January 2006.
Now listing Hermiston as the location of his practice, Laury had been quoted in several newspaper articles about women's health and robotic surgery, and he appeared on Jackson County radio and television programs, including hosting an RVTV show, "The Doctor is Listening."
Reach Mail Tribune reporter Sarah Lemon at 541-776-4487 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.