Answered on Jan 31st, 2012 at 5:25 PM
Yes. If the surgeon that did the gallbladder surgery should have determined during the surgery that there was a problem with the liver and he failed to take appropriate steps to treat the condition, there may be a cause of action. If the liver failed resulting in permanent damage that would have been avoided if the blockage had been discovered during the gallbladder surgery then there may be a cause of action. In order to prove that the surgeon was negligent, you will need to establish, through expert testimony of another surgeon, that a reasonable surgeon, under similar circumstances, should have recognized that there was a problem with the liver . You will next have to prove that the failure to treat the liver problem was a deviation in the standard of care and that as a result the patient suffered permanent injury to the liver. If you are unable to prove that the injury to the liver, due to the short delay, would have been avoided then there will be no damage as a result of his negligence. You should have the patient discuss the specifics of the surgery so that he or she can be advised whether this type of case has merit and whether the surgeon can be held responsible for the outcome. Hope this helps.