Bonnie Valle lived the last seven years of her life with a towel the size of a large hand towel lodged behind her left lung. The towel was discovered upon autopsy and had been left there during a 1995 surgery for emphysema.
Valle complained of chest pains for seven years after her surgery, saying she felt there was something in her body pressing on her lungs.
The hospital claimed the woman suffered no ill health effects from the towel and the judge dismissed claims against the doctor. The family settled with the hospital for an undisclosed sum.