A Baltimore City, Maryland jury has awarded $2.3 million to a woman who suffered a debilitating leg injury during what should have been a routine surgery. The now-59-year-old was a registered nurse working in the position of case manager for a private nursing home when she presented for a total right knee replacement.
During the procedure – and as is customary – the surgeon placed a tourniquet on her thigh. A tourniquet is a compression device (usually a bandage) used to control blood circulation to an extremity for a limited period of time. Unfortunately in this case, the tourniquet damaged the peroneal, femoral and posterior tibial nerves. The peroneal nerve did not heal and as a result, the woman experiences “foot drop,” a condition which prevents her from lifting and flexing her foot. As a further consequence of this complication, her knee rehabilitation efforts after the surgery were compromised. Because of the medical mistake, the patient has been unable to return to work and requires the use of a cane in order to walk.
The jury’s award was comprised of $1.3 million in economic damages (medical bills and lost wages) and $1 million in noneconomic damages (pain, suffering, mental anguish, etc.). The noneconomic damages award will be reduced to $785,000 under the State’s cap on such damages.
Nerve and vein injuries are, unfortunately, not uncommon during surgical procedures. At Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin & White, we have successfully resolved a number of cases for clients who were needlessly injured during what should have been routine surgical procedures. If you believe you were the victim of medical malpractice, call our experienced medical malpractice attorneys for a free consultation at 410-385-2225.