Courtland woman sues Obici, surgeon

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 13, 2005

A Courtland woman who says a surgical towel was left inside her during a recent operation has filed an $800,000 lawsuit against Obici Hospital and surgeon Dr. Ray Ramirez.

The suit, filed in Suffolk Circuit Court late Thursday, claims that Ramirez left a towel, about a foot long and similar to a washcloth, in the abdomen of 69-year-old Mary Brown during a colon operation on April 9.

Six days later, on April 15, Brown had to have a second surgery to remove the towel from her intestinal area, according to the lawsuit.


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The suit charges that Ramirez and his surgical team failed to keep up with all the materials used in the operation. It also claims that the hospital did not inform Brown upon realizing the towel was missing, and neglected to review an x-ray that would have shown the towel was still inside her.

Brown said she is still suffering the painful after effects from the two surgeries.

&uot;It was a horrible experience,&uot; said Brown. &uot;It was painful and it still bothers me a lot.

&uot;I couldn’t eat or keep water down,&uot; she said. &uot;My stomach swells up like a ball where I had that surgery.&uot;

Efforts to reach Ramirez and hospital officials were unsuccessful.