$4.2M Verdict After Failed Knee Surgery Leads to Amputation
By Dean I. Weitzman, Esq. on December 11th, 2015
A Philadelphia-area woman who had her left leg amputated after a serious infection occurred following a double knee replacement surgery in 2010 has been awarded $4.2 million in damages by a Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas jury.
The plaintiff, Annabelle Glasgow, had the surgery after her doctor, Dr. Easwaran Balasubramanian of Temple University Hospital, diagnosed her with degenerative arthritis in both knees in late 2010, according to a Dec. 9 story in The Legal Intelligencer. The diagnosis was confirmed by X-rays and her surgery was performed on Dec. 1, 2010. She was known to also suffer from diabetes at the time of the surgery.
Following the surgery, the patient went to a rehabilitation center, where she was placed under the care of another Temple physician, Dr. Frederick P. Nissley, the story reported.
At the rehab center, the patient suffered from wound drainage and a large blister at the incision in her right leg, which indicated an infection was present, the story reported. Glasgow was discharged from the Temple rehab center on Dec. 22, 2010.
On Jan. 31, 2011, Glasgow returned to see her doctors and open wounds were found on her right leg and left heel, which required additional surgeries and several skin grafts, according to the story. By July 13, 2011, she had three more surgeries to address poor wound healing.
A month later, the patient was told that she might need an amputation of her left leg above the knee, the story said. The amputation was completed after doctors determined that her leg “had inadequate blood flow to sufficiently heal.”
Glasgow’s lawsuit against the two doctors alleged that Nissley and other care providers “failed to diagnose and treat Ms. Glasgow’s MRSA [Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus] infection,” which led to the amputation, the story reported. “Defendant Nissley also failed to obtain vascular studies to evaluate the adequacy of blood flow to her lower extremities.”
In addition, Balasubramanian scheduled Glasgow’s surgery “without advising plaintiff of the risks of the surgery such as losing her lower extremities and poor wound healing due to her history of diabetes,” the story reported. Balasubramanian also did not order vascular evaluations for the patient to determine whether she was suffering from arterial or venous insufficiency, the story stated.
Glasgow’s lawsuit alleged that Balasubramanian “should have been aware that Glasgow’s symptoms were consistent with an infection, and that Nissley was aware of those symptoms and discharged her anyway.”
After a seven-day trial, the jury ruled in Glasgow’s favor, finding Balasubramanian 40 percent negligent and and Nissley and Temple University Hospital each 30 percent negligent. Glasgow received $500,000 for past pain and suffering, $1.36 million for future pain and suffering, $127,000 for lost wages, $82,000 for past care costs, and roughly $2.13 million in future medical expenses, for a total of about $4.2 million.
These kinds of cases are a somber reminder that patients and their families must be vigilant about the medical care they receive so they know what is being done for a patient’s care every step of the way. But at the same time, patients and families aren’t doctors and they can’t know every question to ask.
That’s where skilled, expert, compassionate and thorough legal representation is needed by patients and their families who have been harmed by medical errors or omissions during their treatment. These kinds of cases happen on a regular basis, but they can be fought by legal teams that are prepared to battle for their clients’ rights all along the way to a fair settlement or to a just verdict.
We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a similar medical malpractice, birth injury or related case anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.
Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.
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