Woman sues California hospital, claims physicians left 8-inch forceps inside her after surgery

A 52-year-old California woman is suing Redding, Calif.-based Shasta Regional Medical Center after physicians allegedly left an 8-inch long surgical tool inside her after surgery, reports WBIR Channel 10.

Mary Harber underwent surgery at the hospital last spring to remove a benign tumor from her stomach. She was discharged April 19. After experiencing severe back, kidney and stomach pain, she sought care at Susanville, Calif.-based Banner Lassen Medical Center's emergency room on May 1, where physicians discovered she had a pair of surgical forceps in her abdomen. Physicians had to remove 18 inches of Ms. Harber's small intestine, which had "looped through the handle of an 8-inch surgical forceps," according to the lawsuit.

The suit names Shasta Regional Medical Center and Richard Mooney, MD, who was involved in the initial surgery and the removal of the forceps, as defendants. Ms. Harber seeks to recoup funds for medical and incidental expenses, along with a loss of earnings in the past and future, according to the report. The lawsuit also seeks damages on behalf of her husband, Jacob Harber.

Ms. Harber's lawyer, Michelle Jenni, said she was in settlement negotiations with the defendants' lawyers as of Wednesday. Dr. Mooney and Shasta Regional Medical Center CEO Richard Fletcher did not respond to WBIR's request for comment.  

Editor's note: Becker's Hospital Review reached out to Shasta Regional Medical Center for comment and will update as more information is available.

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