A former Wake Forest Baptist doctor is again facing allegations that he inserted a birth control device in a woman’s body during surgery without her knowledge and ruined her chances of ever getting pregnant.
Attorneys for Kimberly Bryant of Cabarrus County re-filed a lawsuit in Forsyth Superior Court against Dr. Mehmet Tamer Yalcinkaya, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Wake Forest University Health Services and N.C. Baptist Hospital. Attorneys Harvey and Harold Kennedy and Donna Taylor filed the lawsuit Thursday afternoon.
The original complaint was filed in September 2017 but was voluntarily dismissed without prejudice this past February. Bryant’s attorneys said they had dismissed the original complaint because of new information.
The new lawsuit asks for compensatory and punitive damages of at least $10.1 million. The lawsuit alleges fraudulent concealment, medical malpractice and negligence.
Joe McCloskey, a spokesman for Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, declined to comment.
“We don’t comment on pending litigation,” he said.
Yalcinkaya has previously denied the allegations but could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday. His attorney, Tamura Coffey, said she and Yalcinkaya have not yet seen the lawsuit.
“Dr. Yalcinkaya denies the allegations and he will be defending his care,” she said.
In an interview last year with the Winston-Salem Journal, Yalcinkaya said the device was not an IUD and that it has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The device, he said, is used to prevent infertility and prevent scar tissue from forming back.
Yalcinkaya declined during the interview to discuss any conversations he had with Bryant prior to the surgery, citing federal medical privacy laws.
Yalcinkaya worked as the director of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center for nine years and is currently practice founder of Carolinas Fertility Institute, which has offices in Winston-Salem, Greensboro and Charlotte. He left Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in 2014.
According to the lawsuit, Bryant was 29 when she went to the Center for Reproductive Medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in 2007. Yalcinkaya diagnosed her with uterine fibroids and scheduled her for surgery to remove them, the lawsuit said. The lawsuit said Bryant told Yalcinkaya that she wanted to preserve her fertility and that she and her husband wanted children.
Yalcinkaya performed surgery on Oct. 5, 2007 and placed a Gore-Tex barrier inside Bryant’s body that would function as a plastic IUD.
“That said foreign object had no therapeutic or diagnostic purpose,” the lawsuit said.
At no time did Yalcinkaya tell Bryant that he had inserted this device into her body, the lawsuit said. The Gore-Tex barrier had an expiration date of April 21, 2012, and the lawsuit alleges that Yalcinkaya still didn’t tell Bryant that he had inserted the device into her body.
The lawsuit said that Bryant didn’t learn about the device until it broke into two pieces, requiring her to have surgery on Feb. 21, 2017. One of the surgeons, Dr. Erica Johnston, told Bryant what the surgical team had found, the lawsuit said.
“I am outraged; and you should be outraged, too,” Johnston told Bryant, according to the lawsuit.
Johnston told Bryant that she would have to have a hysterectomy, the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit said that Yalcinkaya and Bryant had a physician-patient relationship and because of that relationship, Yalcinkaya had a duty to inform Bryant what he was planning to do before the surgery and what he had done after the surgery. Yalcinkaya, instead, fraudulently concealed what he had done, knowing full well that Bryant and her husband wanted to have children, the lawsuit said.
And Bryant and her husband struggled to have children in the years after the surgery, never knowing that a foreign birth control device was inserted in her body without her consent, the lawsuit alleges.
“He knew that she wanted to have children,” the lawsuit said. “The reliance was detrimental because Plaintiff lost her right to have children, and caused her to suffer past and future emotional distress, and past and future loss of enjoyment of life.”
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and the other corporate defendants are liable because they knew what Yalcinkaya did and failed to do anything about it, the lawsuit said. The lawsuit alleges that Yalcinkaya acted with “conscious and intentional disregard to the rights of Ms. Bryant, which he knew or should have known, was reasonably likely to result in damage to the Plaintiff.”