The Arkansas Court of Appeals has thrown out a jury verdict in a medical malpractice case on grounds that leaving a sponge in a patient is not an automatic reason for liability.
Alan Sargent sued Dr. Marc Rogers in Garland County after Rogers operated and found a sponge he left inside Sargent during a gall bladder operation two years before. Prior to trial, Circuit Judge John S. Patterson partially ruled in favor of Sargent, and the trial was held only to determine damages, which the jury put at $100,000.
The Appeals Court found that a jury should answer the question of whether leaving a sponge in a patient constitutes a deviance in the standard of care.
The court sent the case back to Garland County for a new trial.
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