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Jury Awards Woman $1.3 Million for Botched Tummy Tuck Surgery

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A jury awarded a Michigan woman $1.3 million in a medical malpractice case after the woman suffered serious injuries fro a “tummy tuck” surgery gone wrong.

On June 4, 2009, Pagan underwent a “tummy tuck” or abdominoplasty, which included liposuction of the abdominal flap, at Dr. Rouchdi Rifai office in Jackson, according to the lawsuit. Complications from the surgery left Pagan, 43, with long-term physical and medical issues as she continues to receive treatment for what has been a big, gaping stomach wound that has never entirely healed, reported. Once an active business owner, Pagan lost her business while her health was failing and now endures pain while trying to do basic household tasks, her lawsuit alleged.

The trial lasted 10 days under Circuit Judge Thomas Wilson. Jurors found Dr. Rifai had a responsibility to meet a standard of care and he breached that duty, causing Pagan’s injuries and physical and economic losses, reported.

Pagan was awarded $500,000 for pain, suffering, scarring and disfigurement and associated mental or emotional distress and $382,000 in loss of income, according to After less than six hours of deliberation, the jury also found Pagan would have lost a total of $430,000 in income through 2017.

According to Pagan’s lawsuit, there were issues with the surgery from the start. Pagan claimed she experienced clots, burning sensations and dark-colored drainage, from the time of her surgery through the time her lawsuit was filed in 2011. Dr. Rifai reportedly cleaned the wound area without anesthesia and frequently prescribed her ointment and pain medication. However, he did not refer Pagan to a wound care specialist, despite numerous requests from her, reported.

Pagan’s lawsuit alleged by late July 2009, she was in seriousof pain and the wound worsened. The wound was later deemed infected, but Pagan was still did not referred to a specialist, the complaint states.

In August 2009 – close to eight weeks after the surgery – Pagan went to the Allegiance Health emergency room, at which point her health started to improve. She was sent to Allegiance’s wound care clinic, where she was informed she had a staph infection, reported.  She remained in the hospital for six days.

As a result of the doctor’s untimely diagnosis and treatment of Pagan’s wound, the area had become highly infected and issues developed and persisted, Pagan said.

Pagan was discharged from the hospital wound care clinic in 2010, but her treatment continues. She still has a large scarred area, which sometimes opens up, Pagan said, and areas of deformed tissue. She remains in pains and continuously has checkups with infectious disease control doctors and takes medication, reported.

“I am very limited with what I can do physically, and mentally for that matter,” she told disclaimer: This article: Jury Awards Woman $1.3 Million for Botched Tummy Tuck Surgery was posted on Thursday, February 27th, 2014 at 7:35 pm at and is filed under Medical Malpractice Lawsuits.

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