Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law Blog

Patient Dies at the Hands of Gynecological Doctor

Posted by Briggs Bedigian | Oct 25, 2016 | 0 Comments

Doctors often assure patients that they are in good hands when undergoing a routine medical procedure. Patients trust their physicians to do all they can to ensure they will come out of the surgery safely. However, when a doctor makes a mistake during a medical procedure, some patients never make it out alive.

Dr. Robert Rho bills himself as a “world renowned expert” in gynecological cosmetic surgery. Rho, 52, is board certified as a cosmetic gynecological surgeon who performs everything from labiaplasty to liposuction in his Flushing, New York offices. However, he recently had a patient die from an abortion, rarely a deadly procedure for the patient. He now faces manslaughter charges.

On July 9th, Jamie Lee Morales, 30, went to Dr. Rho's office for the procedure. According to prosecutors, Rho punctured Morales' uterus and cut an artery. Morales began bleeding profusely. Rho performed a procedure that was supposed to stop the bleeding; however, he let the patient leave without observing to make sure his patient was safe. Morales collapsed and appeared disoriented before she fell unconscious on her way home. By the time she was taken to a hospital, it was too late to save her.

“Dr. Rho caused a laceration of the victim's cervix, a perforation of the uterine wall, and a disruption and transection of the uterine artery,” said a press release from the office of the District Attorney in Queens.

Prosecutors say Rho did not do enough to Morales from bleeding to death. However, Rho claims Morales' vital signs were stable and she was able to walk out of the Liberty Women's health clinic. Rho has pleaded not guilty and was released on $400,000 bond. He has surrendered his passport and agreed not to practice medicine until the case is resolved. If found guilty, he could face up to 15 years in prison.

According to his attorney, Rho has performed almost 40,000 of these procedures over his 23-year career without any prior problems. According to statistics, between 1998 and 2010, the rate of maternal death per 149,000 abortions is only 1. That is about 14 times lower than the rate of maternal death in live births.

This is not the first time Rho has had to appear in court. About five years ago, an employee accused Rho of sexual harassment. Former receptionist Jiyeon Byun claimed Rho demanded hugs and wanted her to go on a trip to Atlantic City with him. She said she continued to refuse his advances but she did not know where to turn for help. However, a jury rejected Jiyeon Byun's claims in favor of Rho.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a doctor's medical mistake or misdiagnosis, Gilman & Bedigian team is ready to help. We are fully equipped to handle the complex process of filing a medical malpractice claim. Our staff, including a physician and attorneys with decades of medical malpractice litigation experience, will focus on getting you compensated, so you can focus on healing and moving forward.

About the Author

Briggs Bedigian

H. Briggs Bedigian (“Briggs”) is a founding partner of Gilman & Bedigian, LLC.  Prior to forming Gilman & Bedigian, LLC, Briggs was a partner at Wais, Vogelstein and Bedigian, LLC, where he was the head of the firm's litigation practice.  Briggs' legal practice is focused on representing clients involved in medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases. 

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