Items Left Inside a Patient After Surgery

Every year thousands of patients suffer serious complications from the most preventable injury: foreign items left in the body after an operation. Surgical items like sponges, clamps, and needles can cause life-threatening infections and other complications, including perforation of internal organs and permanent nerve damage. Retained foreign objects after surgery are classified as “never events,” meaning they are never supposed to occur and are 100% preventable.

It is difficult to estimate the magnitude of how often this type of medical negligence occurs. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, it is anywhere between 1 in 100 to 1 in 5000 surgeries. However, a study done in 2008 reported to the Annals of Surgery that mistakes in tool and sponge counts happened in 12.5% of surgeries. Additionally, the Patient Safety Monitor Alert, announced in 2003 that 1,500 tools were stitched into patients each year. About 1% of these cases result in death. These retained foreign objects, most commonly sponges used to soak up blood and fluids, can spread harmful bacteria or cause painful tumors to grow around the object. The foreign object may not cause any immediate symptoms and may take months or years to be discovered.

Common Retained Foreign Objects

The average surgery uses about 300 surgical instruments, and major surgeries can use up to 600 instruments. All of them must be carefully tracked or they can be negligently left behind. The most common foreign objects or instruments left after surgery include:

  • Sponges
  • Towels
  • Clamps
  • Retractors
  • Gauze
  • Cotton Swabs
  • Scissors
  • Pins

Effects of Foreign Objects in the Body

Serious and potentially fatal consequences result from retained foreign objects after surgeries. Some complications include:

  • The most common signs are symptoms of infection. These infections can become fatal if they reach vital organs.
  • Pain as the foreign objects, if not quickly removed, can cause permanent nerve damage.
  • Damage to organs, blood vessels, and other structures—sharp objects like needles and scalpels can perforate nearby organs and vessels.
  • Death—if infections or internal damages are not detected and treated in a timely manner, results can be fatal for the patient.

Although retained object complications are becoming increasingly more common, they are entirely preventable. There are a number of safeguards hospitals employ to prevent surgical tools from being left in patients’ bodies. However, sometimes the system breaks down due to human error or unforeseen circumstances related to the surgery. Leaving a tool in a patient after surgery is generally a clear case of negligence in South Carolina. A lawsuit for retained foreign objects after surgery falls into the category of a medical malpractice lawsuit. If you have undergone surgery and feel that you have suffered a retained foreign object injury, contact the surgical negligence attorneys at Evans Moore, LLC.

If you or a loved one has suffered complications from items left inside a patient after surgery, you need to ensure you are well represented by an attorney with experience handling retained object cases. The complications suffered could have been avoided and may have lasting consequences that can affect your quality of life for years to come. The retained foreign object attorneys at Evans Moore, LLC are experienced medical malpractice attorneys who work tirelessly to develop a comprehensive legal strategy to ensure that you receive fair compensation for the damages you or your loved one suffered. For more information, feel free to contact us directly at (843) 995-5000 for a free consultation.

Evans Moore Law Firm Files Lawsuit on behalf of the Estate of Eddie Gaskins Alleging Wrongful Death as a Result of the Lee Correctional Prison Riot


Today, May 24, 2018, Evans Moore, LLC, along with Rhoad & Rhoad, and the Law Office of Grover Seaton, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the South Carolina Department of Corrections in connection with the Lee Correctional prison riot that took place on April 15, 2018.

According to Mr. Gaskins’ death certificate, Mr. Gaskins died from exsanguination, also known as severe loss of blood, due to multiple stab wounds and sharp force injuries. The Estate of Eddie Gaskins is the first wrongful death lawsuit filed in connection with the prison riot that left seven (7) inmates dead and an additional twenty-two (22) hospitalized. The Lee Correctional prison riot has been classified as the Nation’s deadliest prison riot in a quarter-century.

The pleadings allege that recent incidents within SCDC, including the Lee Correctional prison riot, show a pattern and practice of gross negligence and conscious indifference by the administrators and supervisors at Lee Correctional Institution in properly monitoring the inmates, providing basic medical care, and supervising and training correctional officers among other issues.

Attorney James B. Moore III, one of the attorneys representing the Estate of Eddie Gaskins stated: “What should have been a likely two-year sentence resulted in a death sentence for Eddie. How much blood must be spilled before SCDC adheres to its own rules? Eddie was not just an inmate; he was a son, a brother, and a father to four young children.”

Attorney Scott C. Evans added: “Lee Correctional Institution has a history of serious human rights violations.  Ten years ago, SCDC’s own documents implicated Lee Correctional staff in the freezing death of a non-verbal, developmentally disabled inmate who was left without clothing or blankets for 7 days in the winter.  Not a single Lee Correctional employee was indicted, fired, reprimanded, or even written up in connection with that inmate’s death.  This continuing pattern of blatant disregard for basic safety and human rights has no place in the modern world.”

Evans Moore, LLC anticipates the filing of a separate lawsuit in Federal Court for the violations of Mr. Gaskin’s civil rights once discovery progresses and the pending investigatory reports are released.

Evans Moore Lawyers Named Super Lawyers for 3rd Consecutive Year

scott c evans and james "boo" moore have been named Super Lawyers Rising Stars

For the third consecutive year, trial attorneys Scott C. Evans and James “Boo” Moore III of Evans Moore, LLC were recognized as 2018 Super Lawyer’s “Rising Stars,” a list of the top up-and-coming lawyers in South Carolina.

These lists are compiled to help people searching for attorneys to find the “best of the best” in their area. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state receive this honor. The annual service selections are made using a rigorous, multi-phased process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates, and peer-reviews by practice areas.

Things to Know About Death Certificates in Investigating Wrongful Death Claims

A certified death certificate may be an important part of your wrongful death claim as a means of obtaining death benefits, claiming insurance proceeds, notifying social security and other legal purposes. Additionally, most probate courts require a certified copy of the death certificate in order to appoint a personal representative or special administer to investigate and pursue legal claims on behalf of the estate or deceased person.

In order to obtain a certified death certificate in South Carolina, we typically start by contacting the South Carolina Division of Vital Records. South Carolina Vital Records issues certified copies of South Carolina birth certificates, death certificates, marriage records, and divorce records for events that occurred in the State of South Carolina. You may be entitled to obtain a certified copy of a South Carolina death certificate if you are a member of the decedent’s family. Below, please find the steps recommended by South Carolina Vital Records to obtain a certified copy of the death certificate on your own.

When consulting with legal counsel regarding a potential wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a family member or loved one, it is important to obtain a certified copy of the decedent’s death certificate. With a death certificate and other necessary paperwork, an estate can be opened and a special administrator or personal representative appointed. The special administrator or personal representative can possess the power and authorization to help your lawyers investigate a potential lawsuit by signing medical authorizations – allowing your wrongful death lawyer to request medical records, request an autopsy report, demand death benefits, and take other necessary legal action.

When an autopsy is performed, it generally takes additional weeks or months for the death certificate to become available. While mistakes on death certificates are uncommon, they do happen, so it is important to review every detail of the certificate once you receive it. In cases of suspected medical malpractice, if your loved one died in the hospital, nursing home, or even a detention center, jail, or prison, his or her attending physician will issue cause of death and sign the certificate. If the physician attempts to cover up a case of malpractice, the cause of death may be falsified. You should obtain the death certificate immediately to determine if the cause of death is plausible and accurate. If you suspect your loved one’s death was attributed to malpractice, you may need to request an autopsy or investigation before the body is cremated or embalmed and buried.

Four Ways to Apply for a Death Certificate

If your loved one or family member has died under suspicious circumstances, you may have the right to investigate a potential wrongful death action. At Evans Moore, LLC, our attorneys will work with you to develop a comprehensive legal strategy to investigate and pursue a wrongful death action. Our goal is to hold the responsible party accountable, to ensure that it does not happen again, and to work as hard as we possibly can to fully compensate you for your loss. Contact us at (843) 995-5000 to learn more about your legal options.

Evans Moore, LLC provides turkeys for more than 150 families

The Georgetown lawyers of Evans Moore, LLC took an opportunity to give back to the community by donating turkeys to families in need this Thanksgiving. The turkeys were delivered on Monday, November 20th.

injury lawyer delivers turkeys to help community

Evans Moore turkey donations

Attorneys James B. Moore III and Scott Evans have decided to make the turkey giveaway an annual event, to continue helping the community as well as connect with Georgetown residents. The firm gave away 150 turkeys this year, and hope the event grows to help even more families next year.

What do you do if a loved one dies in jail or prison?

At Evans Moore, LLC, we all too frequently receive a call from a heartbroken family member or friend regarding the death of a loved one within a detention center, jail, or prison. If someone is denied access to medical care for a serious medical condition and later dies, the family of the decedent often has grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit, and in some circumstances, a medical malpractice and/or civil rights lawsuit. One reason being that the inmate is 100% reliant on medical staff and correctional staff to provide him or her with access to medical care.

Handling a lawsuit against a detention center, jail, or prison is particularly complex due to the number of rules and regulations that govern these facilities. Your lawyer needs to know what questions to ask and how to locate and gather video surveillance, applicable policies and procedures, medical records, investigatory files, and other evidence. Your lawyer should also have access to qualified correctional and medical experts who can assist you in effectively litigating your case before a judge and jury.

hands holding bars in a jail cellIf a loved one or family member dies in a jail, detention center, or prison, it is crucial that you contact a lawyer immediately who has experience handling this specific type of case. Time is of the essence for a number of reasons. You have the right to demand that an autopsy be conducted. Without a reliable autopsy, it can be very challenging to prove the manner of death. Another reason why it is important to contact an experienced, qualified attorney is to help preserve any evidence regarding the circumstances leading to his or her death. You or your lawyer should immediately serve the correctional facility with the appropriate “Do Not Destroy” letter. Many times, the video surveillance, photographs, and other evidence is destroyed, deleted, or misplaced. If a “Do Not Destroy” letter is properly served, you may have additional rights and advantages in the event the evidence you requested to be saved is destroyed or no longer available. Additionally, a majority of deaths within jails or prisons in South Carolina are investigated by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED). Your attorney can act as a liaison between you and SLED to ensure that SLED is informed of any relevant information you possess in hopes that the facility is held accountable. Finally, there are statutory limitations on how much time you have to file suit for wrongful death. Although it is difficult to think about finding a lawyer when someone you love has just died, acting quickly is the only way to ensure that your rights are preserved.

Before bringing a wrongful death case, you should consider the following:

  • Jail or Prison? You or your lawyer must determine whether your loved one or relative was in a detention center/jail or prison at the time of his or her death. Prisons generally house people found guilty of felonies, or serious crimes subject to a year of incarceration or more. Jails generally house misdemeanor offenders and people charged with crimes awaiting trial. If the person has not been convicted, most civil rights actions will be filed pursuant to the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. If the person is convicted, most civil rights actions will be filed pursuant to the 8th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Additionally, most jails and detention centers in South Carolina have private, for-profit medical providers contracted by the county to provide medical services to the inmates and detainees. Filing a lawsuit against a private, for-profit medical provider can have many advantages. For examples, private, for-profit companies generally are not afforded with protections and immunities that the government possesses.
  • State or Federal Prison? Some criminal acts are federal offenses only and some are both state and federal. If your relative or loved one is in a federal prison, any lawsuit or claim would generally be filed pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act, which requires that certain steps and procedures to be taken to protect your rights.
  • Abuse, Neglect, and/or Medical Malpractice? One example of abuse is when a person dies due to excessive use of force by correctional staff. Examples of excessive force can be use of a taser, use of a chemical munitions, use of a restraint chair, or other types of restraints that cause positional asphyxia or suffocation. Examples of neglect are when correctional or medical staff fail to take the necessary steps to protect an inmate — medically, mentally, physically, or emotionally. For example, in the case of a suicide it may still be possible to recover for failure to monitor an inmate and/or provide access to medical care, including mental health care. Another example of medical neglect is when a person is going through alcohol or drug detox and suffers from deliriums tremors or “DTs.” Alcohol and drug withdraw is a serious medical condition that often causes death with detentions centers and jails. The correctional institution is responsible for keeping inmates safe from each other and even themselves.

Law enforcement misconduct victims’ families have options to hold the system accountable for its mistakes.

Recoverable Damages

Details of your case will determine what damages are available in a wrongful death lawsuit. Generally, family members may recover actual and compensatory damages, which includes damages for the pain and suffering your loved one endured leading up to his or her death, as well as any damages you have suffered as a result of losing a family member or loved one. Punitive damages can also be recovered under certain circumstances to punish the jail or prison for its misconduct.

If your loved one or family member has died in a detention center, jail or prison, you have the right to shed light on any injustices he or she suffered. At Evans Moore, LLC, our attorneys will work with you to develop a comprehensive legal strategy against the officials or correctional facility responsible for the misconduct that you or a loved one has been made to suffer. Our goal is to hold the responsible party accountable, to ensure that it does not happen again, and to work as hard as we possibly can to fully compensate your for your loss. Contact us at (843) 995-5000 to speak with an attorney and to learn more about your potential options.

James B. Moore III selected by his peers for inclusion in the 2017 “Legal Elite of the Lowcountry” for his work in Personal Injury Litigation.

Charleston, S.C. – Evans Moore, LLC is pleased to announce that James B. (Boo) Moore III was selected by his peers as one of the top attorneys for Personal Injury in the Charleston area. The voting was part of the process in determining Charleston Business Magazine’s 2017 Legal Elite of the Lowcountry.  

 Legal Elite gives every attorney who lives and works in the Charleston area the chance to participate, and attorneys are not allowed to vote for themselves. The winners are drawn from a pool of peer-nominated candidates and regarded as among the best in their fields. 

 James B. Moore III is partner at Evans Moore, LLC. He is admitted to all state and federal courts in South Carolina, as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Since his entry into private practice, he has obtained significant recoveries in the form of verdicts and settlements for individuals in many different types of cases, including trucking accidents, car accidents, civil rights violations, sexual assaults, police misconduct and excessive force, wrongful arrest and false imprisonment, jail and prison negligence, medical and hospital negligence, nursing home negligence and abuse, negligence at schools and summer camps, college hazing abuse, pharmaceutical errors, and premises injuries.

 About Charleston Business Magazine Charleston Business Magazine is a resource for Charleston area business leaders, rising stars, entrepreneurs, and any people or groups that have a vested interest in the success of the Charleston business community. The magazine highlights what’s new, what’s developing, and what’s being debated in board rooms, legislative chambers, and office hallways. It shares information about who’s making a difference in the Lowcountry, from prominent Charleston corporations to thriving nonprofits and fledgling startups. 


Attorneys of Evans Moore, LLC recognized as 2017 Super Lawyer’s “Rising Stars”

For the second consecutive year, trial attorneys Scott C. Evans and James “Boo” Moore III of Evans Moore, LLC were recognized as 2017 Super Lawyer’s “Rising Stars,” a list of the top up-and-coming lawyers in South Carolina.

Super Lawyers is a Thomas Reuters rating service that ranks outstanding lawyers in more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state receive this honor. The annual service selections are made using a rigorous, multi-phased process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates, and peer-reviews by practice areas.

Honda has broadened Takata airbag recall in the US

There were 772,000 vehicles in the U.S. that were affected by a broadened recall issued by Japanese automaker Honda Motor Co., due to concerns about the potentially dangerous Takata airbag inflators that the vehicles have, a Fox News article reported on January 11.

According to reports, the recall was announced on January 10 after determining which vehicles have the Takata inflators installed in the front passenger seats. The faulty inflators could cause the airbags to burst and have been linked to more than a dozen fatalities and hundreds of injury complaints. The number of recalled vehicles in this expanded group has now reached an estimated 1.29 million vehicles. At least 15 models of Honda vehicles are affected by the recall.  Over 100 million vehicles worldwide, 69 million of which are in the U.S., have been recalled by 17 auto manufacturers since the first recall was issued.

The lawyers of Evans Moore, LLC know that many people suffer serious or fatal injuries in car accidents caused by auto defects. If this has happened to you, we may help you file a legal complaint against negligent manufacturers. Find out how we may possibly help you recover your losses today by calling (843) 995-5000.

NHTSA looks into possible Jaguar and Land Rover vehicle defect

An investigation was recently opened by the federal auto safety regulations offices regarding Jaguar Land Rover vehicles after several reports of the vehicles suddenly moving while in “park”, some including injured parties, were received by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an article of Tech Times reported on January 3.

Reports said the NHTSA is investigating some previous models of Jaguar sedans and Land Rover SUVs that could roll away, even if the driver had shifted the transmission to “park” mode. The NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation has been notified of seven rollaway incidents, four of which have resulted in personal injuries. The investigation was opened for federal authorities and the car manufacturer to figure out if a recall is needed to address the issue.

If the reason for your injury was a defect in your car, it could be frightening to think about fighting a legal battle with such a large entity. Discuss your situation with the Georgetown legal team of the Evans Moore, LLC today by calling (843) 995-5000 to learn more about your options for representation.

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