Doctor Performed Unnecessary Hysterectomy on New York Dance Instructor

Jacky Gale | July 23rd, 2014

new york hospital malpractice lawyersA New York jury recently returned a verdict for a hospital malpractice lawsuit, finding in favor of the plaintiff. However, the plaintiff was stunned at the total amount of compensation – a mere $142,000.

In her NY hospital negligence lawsuit, Jill Jacobs, a former ballerina turned NYU dance instructor, alleged that Dr. Bhavana Pothuri performed a hysterectomy on her instead of a routine surgical procedure for uterine fibroid removal. Jacobs later learned that she never even had cancer of the reproductive organs, rendering the hysterectomy medically unnecessary.

Jacobs will experience lifelong complications

Jill Jacobs’ nightmare began on December 30, 2008, when she presented to her doctor because of right lower quadrant pain. She was referred to the NYU emergency department immediately out of concern that she could have appendicitis. A CT scan revealed a uterine fibroid, which is a benign growth of tissue on the uterine wall. The fibroid was large, and was reportedly causing the plaintiff great pain and distress.

The plaintiff accepted a next-day appointment with Dr. Pothuri, apparently with the understanding that she was to undergo surgery to remove the uterine fibroid. However, at the time she was admitted, the plaintiff signed a consent form agreeing to the removal of any reproductive organs that were affected by cancer. According to Jacobs’ NY hospital malpractice lawyer, she did not fully understand the consent form and felt that she was under pressure to sign it on her way to the operating room.

Additionally, the results of Jacobs’ blood test became available the evening prior to her surgery. They demonstrated that she was free of cancer. As a result of her hysterectomy, Jacobs must deal with premature menopause. She also reports severe psychological trauma, including chronic depression, in addition to physical complications such as urinary problems and abdominal issues.

According to the NY Daily News, the alleged “butchering” of Jacobs led her to relive nightmarish memories of her kidnap and rape at age 20. “This was a violation of a woman’s body like none other and this was a violation that resurrected for Jill Jacobs a violation 30 years ago,” said her lawyer.

Although the results of the blood test formed the basis of the ruling in favor of the plaintiff by Justice Eileen Rakower, the “shockingly low” jury award does not appear to adequately compensate the ex-ballerina, according to her counsel. The jury award includes $132,000 for past pain and suffering, and $10,000 for five years of expected suffering. However, Jacobs expects to suffer from lifelong complications, both physical and emotional.

Working with New York hospital malpractice lawyers

Performing the wrong surgical procedure is only one example of the countless ways in which doctor negligence can affect patients and their families. If you or a loved one has experienced any type of medical malpractice – including pharmaceutical errors, wrongful diagnosis, anesthesia errors, or surgical mistakes– contact a personal injury attorney right away.

The hospital malpractice lawyers at The Sanders Firm specialize in helping victims obtain maximum compensation for their injuries. We proudly serve families in the Bronx, Long Island, Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan boroughs. Call our offices toll-free at: 1.800 FAIR PLAY (800.324.7752) to schedule a free initial consultation.


  1. NY Daily News, EXCLUSIVE: Ex-dancer awarded 'shockingly low' $142K after uterus was removed without her knowledge, http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/exclusive-woman-awarded-142k-uterus-removed-article-1.1844340

  2. Justia State Case Files, Jacobs v Pothuri, http://statecasefiles.justia.com/documents/new-york/other-courts/2012-ny-slip-op-31320-u.pdf?ts=1337786469