A Navy wife says Naval Hospital Jacksonville left a portion of a needle in her spine when she gave birth there over a decade ago.
Her lawyer, Sean Cronin of Cronin & Maxwell, said the U.S. Government now has six months to respond to the claim or he’ll file a lawsuit.
Cronin who specializes in handling military medical malpractice cases had his client’s CT scans displayed on a easel in his boardroom, Thursday.
“The medical provider jammed the needle through the space here,” he said pointing to them.
The images show a thin, white line sticking out of the bottom of her spine.
“We’re filing a claim against Naval Hospital Jacksonville for medical malpractice, fraud and negligent concealment,” Cronin said.
Amy Bright, who now lives in Texas, said her husband was stationed in Jacksonville in 2003 when she had her third child, Jacob, by caesarean section. She said three centimeters of needle was left inside her back when she received her spinal anesthesia.
Bright said she’s had chronic pain ever since, but didn’t find out the cause until it showed up on her scans last year.
“It feels like fire, like a poker next to my tailbone,” is how she described the pain. “And then on occasion it shoots down the left side of my leg on my calf and down and into my foot.”
She said the piece of metal is too risky to remove.
Her lawyer said the hospital had an obligation to tell her and document the incident. Bright said that’s what she’s most upset about.
“If they would have said, ‘Hey, I’m sorry. I made a huge mistake, let’s fix it,’ but instead they didn’t tell me,” she said.
Cronin said he’s filing what’s called a federal tort claim, handled by a federal judge.
“The judge will hear evidence and determine an appropriate award,” he said. “The defendant is the United States of America for conduct of Naval Station Jacksonville Hospital.”
A Navy spokeswoman referred WJCT to the Department of Justice which declined comment.
Lindsey Kilbride can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 904-358-6359 or on Twitter at @lindskilbride.