On July 1, 2015, after a two-and-a-half week medical malpractice jury trial in the Superior Court in Connecticut, the six-person jury awarded the 58-year-old plaintiff $4.2 million against the defendant surgeon and other defendants for the permanent, debilitating injuries he suffered as a result of alleged medical negligence involving his diagnosis and medical negligence in the performance of his surgery.
The plaintiff had gone to the defendant surgeon in December 2008, complaining of a swollen lymph node in his shoulder area. According to the plaintiff’s medical malpractice lawsuit, the defendant surgeon examined him, misdiagnosed his condition, and scheduled the plaintiff for surgery to excise the swollen lymph node when in fact the plaintiff did not require surgery and was suffering from a mild bacterial infection.
During the December 2008 surgery, the defendant surgeon allegedly injured the plaintiff’s spinal accessory nerve that led to nerve palsy, permanent disfigurement of the plaintiff’s left shoulder, and the inability of the plaintiff to raise his arm above his head or to extend his left arm. The plaintiff’s permanent shoulder injury and physical limitations are particularly devastating for the plaintiff, who was a laborer working for a company that sells treated lumbar and other wood products. The plaintiff was fortunate that his employer has made accommodations for the plaintiff’s physical limitations, changing his work requirements so that he does not have to use his left arm.
The jury of three men and three women heard testimony that the plaintiff lives on a farm and cares for stray animals, including cats. One of the cats scratched the plaintiff on his neck, causing the plaintiff a mild bacterial infection caused by the Bartonella bacterium, better known as “cat scratch fever.” The plaintiff therefore did not require surgery to remove the enlarged lymph node that led to his surgical complication – a simple medical test would have resulted in the proper diagnosis.
After the Connecticut medical malpractice jury rendered its verdict in favor of the plaintiff, one of the plaintiff’s lawyers stated, “This was traumatic for him because he has worked as a laborer all of his life and that’s part of who he is. He’s only able to use his right arm and he has horrible memories of the surgery.” The plaintiff’s other attorney stated, “He lives on a farm, where he and his partner take in stray animals. One of the cats scratched him on the neck and that gave him the bacteria that caused the infection.”
If you or a loved one suffered serious injury (or worse) as a result of medical malpractice in Connecticut or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a Connecticut medical malpractice lawyer or a medical malpractice lawyer in your state who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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