On January 22, 2015, an Illinois medical malpractice jury returned its verdict in the amount of $3.157 million in favor of the sixty-five-year-old plaintiff who had to have his left leg amputated as a result of the medical negligence of the defendant surgeon who had treated the plaintiff in the hospital. The jury deliberated less than five hours at the conclusion of the two-week medical malpractice trial before finding that the defendant surgeon had failed to provide proper medical treatment for the man.
The plaintiff, who had a history of peripheral vascular disease in his legs, had gone to the local hospital on August 10, 2010, complaining of dizziness, weakness, and what was suspected to be an upper gastrointestinal bleed. The man was admitted to the hospital for treatment. The defendant surgeon was consulted with regard to the man’s medical care for his left leg wounds and on August 12, 2010, the defendant surgeon applied an Unna Boot to treat the leg wounds (an Unna Boot is a non-raveling gauze impregnated with a non-hardening zinc oxide paste used to manage venous insufficiency and other medical conditions). The boot remained on the man’s lower left leg for five days. At the time the boot was applied, the blood flow in the man’s left leg was only 41 percent.
When the Unna Boot was removed, the man’s left leg had necrotic tissue that subsequently required a below-the-knee amputation, followed by an above-the knee amputation. The man filed his Illinois medical malpractice lawsuit against the surgeon, alleging that his treatment was negligent because it was contraindicated to use the boot when his blood flow was only 41 percent in his leg. The man’s medical malpractice lawsuit also alleged that the defendant surgeon was negligent in failing to offer the man surgical options to restore the circulation in his left leg and in failing to consult with a vascular surgeon regarding the man’s condition and treatment (the defendant surgeon was a general surgeon).
The $3.157 million medical malpractice verdict was reportedly the largest medical malpractice verdict in that Illinois county for an amputation claim.
The man’s lawyer said after the jury reached its verdict, “We are pleased that the jury was able to sort through the complicated medical testimony and uncover the truth as to what caused [the man’s] leg amputation. Although the verdict cannot bring back his leg, [the man] is very satisfied with the result and believes that justice was served by the verdict.”
The spokesperson for the defendant surgeon’s employer refused comment after the verdict was reached.
If you, a family member, or a friend suffered serious injuries (or worse) as a result of possible medical negligence in Illinois or in another U.S. state, you should promptly seek the legal advice of an Illinois medical malpractice attorney or a medical malpractice attorney in your state who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice lawsuit, if appropriate.
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