No Malpractice Liability Against Surgeon For “Rope” Proving to be Suture Material Intentionally Left In Plaintiff’s Arm

A plaintiff brought a medical malpractice action against the surgeon who repaired a deep laceration in his arm, alleging the surgeon's negligence caused the arm to develop a granuloma requiring further surgery. During the second surgery the surgeon noted that “a piece of rope” was removed from the plaintiff's arm.


Liability against the surgeon could not be established, even under a res ipsa loquitur theory, based on the purported “piece of rope” subsequently removed from the plaintiff’s arm where a pathology report confirmed the “rope” was actually suture material purposefully left in the arm. An expert testified the surgery performed by the defendant was properly and timely performed, the granuloma the plaintiff developed was a known complication and did not result from malpractice, and the suture material was purposefully left in the arm. The plaintiff did not provide an expert affirmation or rebut the defendant's showing that there was no foreign body inadvertently left in the defendant's arm.


The physician’s motion for summary judgment dismissing the plaintiff’s complaint was granted.


See: Masik v. Lutheran Medical Center, 92 A.D.3d 733, (N.Y.A.D. 2 Dept.  Feb 14, 2012).