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Memorial Hospital surgical patient awarded nearly $1 million, doctor found guilty of battery

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- An El Paso County District Judge ordered a Colorado Springs to pay nearly $1 million to a former surgical patient.

In October, a jury found that Dr. Tiffany Willard, a physician at Colorado Springs’ Memorial Hospital Central, was guilty of medical battery against a former patient following surgery to remove a hemorrhoid. 

On Friday, Dec. 9, a judge ordered Willard to pay the former patient $974,543.87 to cover past and future medical costs. 

According to the former patient's attorney, Willard was working at Memorial Hospital Central at the time of the surgery in October 2020. According to the consent agreement, the patient agreed to an external surgery removal of the hemorrhoid. However, when she woke up from the surgery, her attorney claims she was in pain. 

“(The patient) went into surgery expecting to have a simple procedure performed to extract a small skin tag outside of her body,” the patient's attorney told 13 Investigates. “Instead, Dr. Willard performed an internal PPH stapled hemorrhoidectomy, an invasive, internal procedure intended for circumstances very different from those with which (the patient) presented.” 

The patient's consent agreement had no mention of any internal surgeries or procedures. 

As a result of the surgery, the plaintiff’s attorney said his client was left with “severe fecal incontinence,” had several follow-up surgeries, as well as "pain and humiliation" in her life. 

In 2022, the patient filed a complaint against Willard, accusing her of medical battery and negligence. A jury found Willard guilty of battery, but not negligence. 

13 Investigates reached out to UCHealth, the medical provider overseeing operations at Memorial Hospital Central, for comment. We are waiting on a response. 

13 Investigates also reached out to Willard’s defense team for comment. Her team provided us with the following statement:

Dr. Tiffany Willard and her legal team respectfully disagree with the jury’s decision in this case. Dr. Willard has always strived to provide the very best, informed care for her patients.  We are planning to file an appeal in the coming days

Evans Case, LLP

As of Dec. 12, it appears Willard is still an employee with UCHealth. The medical provider's website has her listed as working at UCHealth Surgical Clinic - Memorial Hospital Central (Primary), UCHealth Memorial Hospital Central, and UCHealth Memorial Hospital Central Trauma Center.

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Dan Beedie

Dan is a reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about Dan here.

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