Home Medical Malpractice NC Supreme Court declines case of woman who claims Wake Forest doctor ruined her chances of getting pregnant | Crime

NC Supreme Court declines case of woman who claims Wake Forest doctor ruined her chances of getting pregnant | Crime

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The N.C. Supreme Court won’t review a lower court’s ruling in favor of a former Wake Forest doctor accused of inserting a device into a woman during surgery without her permission, ruining her chances of getting pregnant, according to a written order issued last month. 

Kimberly Bryant sued Dr. Mehmet Tamer Yalcinkaya, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Wake Forest University Health Sciences and N.C. Baptist Hospital, alleging medical malpractice, fraudulent concealment and negligence and other claims. She sought $10.1 million in damages. Yalcinkaya denied all the allegations against him, both in court papers and in a 2017 interview with the Journal. 

In February, the N.C. Court of Appeals upheld a decision made by Judge Eric Morgan of Forsyth Superior Court to grant what is known as a motion for summary judgment. That means Morgan ruled in favor of the doctor and Wake Forest without having a jury trial. The decision meant that Bryant’s lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice, prohibiting her from ever raising her claims again in a civil lawsuit. 

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Her attorneys, Harvey and Harold Kennedy, filed an appeal to the N.C. Supreme Court. The court denied a petition to hear the appeal on Aug. 17. 

Harvey and Harold Kennedy could not immediately be reached for comment Monday. Tamura Coffey, attorney for Yalcinkaya, did not immediately return a message seeking comment. Attorneys for Baptist also could not be reached for comment Monday. 

The lawsuit alleged that Bryant went to Yalcinkaya in 2007. At the time, Yalcinkaya was director of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Baptist. Bryant needed surgery to remove uterine fibroids. According to the lawsuit, Yalcinkaya inserted what is known as a Gore-Tex barrier into Bryant’s body that acted like an IUD birth-control device. Bryant alleged that Yalcinkaya never told her about the device and that over the next 10 years, she could not get pregnant. 

In 2017, Bryant alleged she found out about the device when it split in two, requiring emergency surgery. A doctor involved in that surgery told her that she would have to have a hysterectomy. 

The N.C. Court of Appeals ruled that Bryant had failed to prove her claims. According to the ruling, Yalcinkaya documented that during the surgery, he learned Bryant had State IV endometriosis. Endometriosis is a painful condition in which the cells inside the lining of the uterus start growing outside of it. He inserted the device to prevent scar-like tissue from coming back. 

According to the ruling, Yalcinkaya told Bryant that he had inserted the device and told Bryant and her husband that she might have difficulty getting pregnant, even with the fibroids removed and using in-vitro fertilization. 

Bryant claimed in her appeals that Yalcinkaya told her to rest for three months and then try again to get pregnant. Yalcinkaya denied saying that. 

Yalcinkaya told Bryant, according to the appellate court’s ruling, that she needed to do drug therapy and possibly have a second surgery to deal with the fibroids and the endometriosis. Bryant said she was never told any of this. 

Bryant never went back to Yalcinkaya, the court said. 

A main issue that came up was whether the Gore-Tex barrier was medically necessary and therapeutic. The court ruled that at the very least, the barrier had a therapeutic purpose when Yalcinkaya placed it in Bryant’s body. And because of that, some of Bryant’s claims were barred by a four-year statute of limitations, the court concluded. 

The court ruled that Bryant also did not have enough proof for other claims, such as constructive fraud or actual fraud. For example, the court said, Bryant did not provide sufficient evidence that Yalcinkaya intentionally concealed that she needed another procedure after the first one. 

Yalcinkaya also had notes giving information about the kind of barrier he inserted into Bryant and he testified consistently that the barrier would be in Bryant’s body permanently, according to the court. 

Another woman tried to file a lawsuit against Yalcinkaya, alleging that his negligence led to a near-fatal infection from fibroid surgery, but she was ultimately unable to file a complaint because the statute of limitations had expired. The matter was dismissed with prejudice, meaning she could not file again, according to court documents. 

Yalcinkaya left Baptist in September 2014. He is currently practice founder of Carolina Fertility Institute, which has offices in Winston-Salem, Greensboro and Charlotte. 

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