Articles Posted in Vascular Surgery Malpractice

After a five week trial, a Connecticut woman has been awarded $25 million to a woman whose leg was caused to be amputated due to negligent treatment of a blood clot.  In November of 2009, the young and athletic woman sought treatment at a local hospital for an asthma attack.  While at the hospital, the physicians voiced concern regarding the woman’s additional complaints of numbness and pain in her left leg.  Diagnostic testing revealed a blood clot however because the hospital that the woman had presented to was a small, community hospital, there was no vascular surgeon on duty.

When the on-call vascular surgeon was consulted by phone, he ordered another test and then ultimately ordered that she be sent home with instructions to follow up with him in person in three days.  After she was released, her condition worsened and she ultimately ended up requiring the amputation of a portion of her leg.

In addition to suing the vascular surgeon who was consulted, the woman also named the hospital emergency room doctors as defendants.  Those doctors, who are considered generalists, pointed the finger at the vascular surgeon claiming he was the one with the expertise regarding how to treat this condition.  The jury found that the vascular surgeon was sixty percent responsible and that the emergency room physicians and hospital were forty percent responsible.

A Harford County, Maryland jury has awarded a 53-year-old woman $3.5 million in a medical malpractice case against two surgeons Dr. Roger E. Schneider, chairman of Upper Chesapeake Health System, and his partner, Dr. Mark D. Gonze, and their business, Vascular Surgery Associates. The woman underwent surgery for blocked arteries in 2007, with a terrible outcome. The woman claimed that the doctors used an improper grafting technique, which led to blood loss and damage to the woman’s spinal cord, which left the woman paraplegic, in constant pain and unable to walk. The award consisted of $1.3 million for noneconomic damages (pain, suffering, etc.), $2 million for future medical bills, and more than $200,000 for her past bills.

This verdict is interesting because it occurred in Harford County. That county is well-known by plaintiffs’ lawyers, defense lawyers and insurance companies to be a very conservative venue for trying cases. Whenever I go to a court ordered settlement conference for a medical mapractice case that I am handing in that county, the chief judge always reminds me that we are in Harford County and he claims that there hasn’t been a malpractice verdict in favor of a plaintiff for years. It seems he will have to admit that the tide has turned. The reality is that a good case is a good case regardless of where it is to be tried, as the case above indicates.

As an experienced Baltimore, Maryland medical malpractice lawyer, I have handled a number of medical malpractice cases in Harford County and elsewhere involving vascular surgery and paralysis. They are extremely complicated and require expertise that most general personal injury attorneys do not have.

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