Sometimes, as the old saying, goes, "the cover up is worse than the crime." The attorney for a woman who is suing Yale-New Haven Medical Center and two of its doctors for malpractice says that had the surgeons admitted their error rather than lying to her, she might not have taken legal action.

Correct Rib Was Marked for Removal

According to the lawsuit, the woman went under the knife in May 2015 so that part of one of her ribs could be removed to determine whether it was cancerous. However, the plaintiff says, the surgeon and his trainee operated on the wrong rib. This error, according to the woman's attorney, occurred despite the fact that the rib designated for surgery was marked not only with metallic coils, but also with a dye.

Patient Says She Was Lied to and Subjected to Second Surgery

When the physicians discovered the error after the surgery, the patient says she was told that they hadn't removed enough of the rib, so she would have to go back into surgery that day. The suit claims that besides lying to her, the surgeons also failed to remove the metal coils when finishing the surgery.

It wasn't reported which of the two doctors made the surgical errors. However, the plaintiff's attorney says that the surgeon in training was the one responsible for "the outrageous claim that 'not enough rib had been taken,'" which he says, "takes this to another level of culpability."

Other Safety Issues Reported at Medical Center

Despite Yale's prominence as an Ivy League institution, its medical center has had some issues. It has received a hospital safety rating of C. Further, according to Connecticut's Department of Health, 80 "adverse events" were reported in 2014. Among these were other operations on the incorrect body part.

The plaintiff's attorney says that so far, the surgeons haven't taken responsibility for their actions. Therefore, he says, "it will be up to a New Haven jury to hold them accountable."

While medical professionals can't be expected to never make errors, when they do not provide the standard of care expected of them, they and the facilities for which they work can and should be held accountable. Medical malpractice attorneys can advise people on whether they have a case.