Former Hawaii resident awarded more than $4 million in Tripler m - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Former Hawaii resident awarded more than $4 million in Tripler malpractice case

Christina Mettias Christina Mettias
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

A former Hawaii resident who got an unnecessary operation at Tripler Army Medical Center has been awarded more than $4 million.

After a nearly three-week trial, a Judge Alan Kay ordered the federal government to pay $4.25 million to Christina Mettias as a consequence of a failed bariatric gastric bypass surgery on Sept. 27, 2010.

Prior to the surgery, Mettias enrolled in Tripler's weight loss program and dropped 34 pounds, attorneys said. When her surgery date arrived, the 5'1” Army wife weighed 189 pounds. However, doctors still urged her to get the surgery, claiming she was likely to gain back the weight she lost.

A court found Tripler at fault.

“You really need this surgery, and that's what she was told over and over again, and then oddly enough, they put her into a weight loss program and lo and behold, she loses weight the old fashioned way,” Attorney Loretta Sheehan said. “At that point, it's incumbent on the health care providers to say 'You're doing great, you don't need this."

Mettias has since undergone numerous surgeries to deal with complications. Doctors say she will have chronic pain and eating problems for the rest of her life.

Tripler hasn't said whether it plans to appeal the verdict.

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