On February 27, 2014, a Lynchburg, Virginia medical malpractice jury rendered its verdict in the amount of $4 million against a family practitioner who the jury found to have been negligent in his treatment of his patient in 2007 that resulted in the loss of a large portion of the patient’s right foot along with permanent damage to the muscle and tissue below the knee. Pre-trial interest in the amount of $1.6 million was added to the verdict, for a total of $5.6 million. However, Virginia’s cap on damages in medical malpractice cases reduced the jury’s verdict to $1.8 million.
The Underlying Facts
The then 45-year-old plaintiff went to the Lynchburg General Hospital Emergency Room on February 24, 2007, after he experienced the sudden onset of leg pain that was accompanied by discoloration of the limb. He was examined and treated in the hospital emergency room and discharged to home on the same day. He then went to the defendant family practitioner two days later. Vascular studies were not done until March 6, 2007, which showed severe interruption of blood flow in the effected leg. On March 8, 2007, the plaintiff returned to the family practitioner because of severe pain, who then sent the man to a vascular surgeon that day for removal of the blood clot. However, by that date, the treatment options were limited and the amputation was required.
The failure to immediately refer the plaintiff to a vascular surgeon and the delay in surgical treatment resulted in the bad outcome for the patient, according to his medical malpractice lawsuit. He alleged that he would not have needed an amputation or suffered permanent injuries had the family practitioner referred him to the vascular surgeon at the time of his first visit to the family practitioner.
As a result of the alleged medical negligence, the man incurred medical expenses in the amount of $342,000 and he suffered lost wages in the amount of $45,000. The plaintiff’s medical malpractice lawsuit was filed in October 2011 and trial was held in February 2014. The jury deliberated for several hours before rendering it verdict in favor of the plaintiff and against the family practitioner and his medical practice.
The defendants’ attorney stated that an appeal is being considered: “[The plaintiff] is a very nice person and we are sorry for what he has been through. But if anything is clear to me, it is that [the defendant family practitioner] cared for and treated [the plaintiff] … [The family practitioner] did what any other physician like him would have done under the circumstances. He absolutely complied with the standard of care.”
If you or a family member may have suffered serious injury or other harms as a result of medical malpractice in Virginia or in another U.S. state, you should promptly seek the legal advice of a Virginia 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 case, if appropriate.
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