On November 28, 2017, a New Jersey medical malpractice jury returned its verdict in the amount of $11.05 million in favor of a man who had to have both of his legs amputated due to the delayed diagnosis and treatment of his circulatory problems that allegedly resulted from the defendants’ medical negligence.
The plaintiff’s New Jersey medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that he arrived at a hospital emergency room on May 13, 2013, complaining of severe pain in his legs and being unable to move his legs. Upon arriving in the emergency room, the emergency room physician determined that he had no pulse in either leg and that his legs were swollen, for which the standard of care required that he promptly have a surgical procedure to relieve the pressure built up in his legs, according to the plaintiff’s New Jersey medical malpractice claims.
The medical malpractice plaintiff contended that the emergency room physician contacted the defendant on-call surgeon at 5:00 a.m. that morning for the surgeon to come to the hospital to perform emergency surgery on the plaintiff’s legs in order to relieve the pressure, but the surgeon advised the ER doctor that he would see the plaintiff later that day. The plaintiff alleged that the standard of care required the surgeon to immediately come to the hospital ER to examine the plaintiff, and then perform emergency surgery to save his legs.
The defendant surgeon alleged that he did in fact provide a surgical consultation despite the fact that the plaintiff’s chart contained no note regarding a surgical consultation on May 13, 2013. The defendant surgeon’s colleague testified at trial that he examined the plaintiff at 7:00 p.m. on May 13, 2013, but the man’s chart did not contain any note from the defendant surgeon’s colleague.
The defendant surgeon and his colleague both testified that it did not matter that the chart failed to document any surgical consultation on May 13, 2013 because by the time the man arrived in the ER, it was already too late to save his legs.
The plaintiff finally had a facsiotomy three days after he was admitted to the hospital, but by that time, it was too late to save his legs: he required both of his legs to be amputated above his knees.
The three-week New Jersey medical malpractice trial resulted in the jury determining that the defendants had breached the standard of care that resulted in the need for the plaintiff’s bilateral leg amputations. The medical malpractice jury further determined that the man should receive $3.55 million for his future medical expenses and $7.5 million for his pain and suffering in the past and in the future.
The New Jersey medical malpractice jury determined that the defendant surgeon was 45% responsible for the verdict, his colleague was 45% responsible for the verdict, and that the plaintiff’s pre-existing condition contributed 10% to his injuries. Therefore, the defendants will be responsible for $9.94 million of the verdict.
The New Jersey medical malpractice case is captioned Fava v. Moss.
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