If your surgeon amputated the wrong limb, attorney Chris Mellino welcomes you to contact our Cleveland office for a free consultation. You may also download his free guide to filing a medical malpractice claim in Ohio.
How Often Do Amputation Mistakes Happen?
“Unthinkable errors by doctors and surgeons — such as amputating the wrong leg or removing organs from the wrong patient — occur more frequently than previously believed,” a CNN article reported October 18, 2010.
Dr. Martin Makary, M.D., a professor of surgery and public health at Johns Hopkins University, blamed human fallibility. “Even the best surgeons can be expected to make mental errors occasionally,” he said.
The most common amputations result from:
- a doctor’s failure to perform vascular studies;
- untreated or improperly treated infections; and
“A lot of wrong-side, wrong-patient errors occur outside of the operating room,” said Dr. Philip Stahel, whose study of more than 27,000 medical records “showed that many operating-room mistakes start out in biopsy labs or during the imaging and diagnosis process,” per CNN.
In the case of Malya Jeffers, a strep infection was allowed to take over her two-year-old body and turn into sepsis as she and her family were left sitting in an emergency room for five hours. As a result, the toddler’s left hand, part of her right hand, and her feet were amputated, according to ABC News.
“When the bacterial infection goes through the bloodstream, you have sepsis and a problem with your blood clotting ability,” said Dr. Ari Brown. “As a result, [the infection] cuts off the blood flow to the extremities and those areas die.”
The little girl’s family filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital and five ER staff members.
According to Fox News, 27-year-old Claudia Mejia reportedly acquired a group A strep infection while giving birth in a hospital.
“As Mejia’s body tried to fight off the deadly bacteria, nurses treated her with minor painkillers Tylenol and ibuprofen,” the site reported. But “[s]he went into toxic shock, her kidneys began to shut down and the blood flow to her arms and legs ceased, causing gangrene to set in.” Doctors ultimately removed the young woman’s uterus and amputated her arms and legs. “She and her lawyers believe she either got the infection … at the hospital or its doctors and nurses failed to quickly and properly treat it.”
Can I File an Amputation Lawsuit?
If you were forced to undergo an amputation because doctors failed to diagnose an illness, or if you had the wrong arm or leg amputated, attorneys Chris Mellino and Tom Robenalt invite you to contact our Cleveland office with any questions you may have. We may be able to help you pursue compensation for:
- current and future medical expenses;
- lost wages;
- lost earning potential;
- altered quality of life; and
- any incidental expenses directly related to your loss, including modifications you had to make to your home or vehicle.
As an example, February 17, 2014, buffalonews.com reported that a jury awarded a 45-year-old man $9.1 million after a broken ankle led to 12 surgeries and a leg amputation. That amount breaks down to $2.8 million in economic damages for hospital bills and lost income, since his disability forced him to stop working, and a total of $6 million in non-economic damages for past and future pain and suffering. His now ex-wife was also awarded $350,000.
According to the paper, Donald Schultz fell on on steps and fractured his ankle, which affected the nerves in his pinky toe. A year later, Schultz began seeing a different doctor, who performed several operations before severing the toe. That amputation caused an infection, which led to the amputation of Schultz’s fourth toe. In July 2009, the doctor amputated Schultz’s leg below the knee, and that led to yet another infection, which led to the amputation of what remained of his leg.
Why You Should Call Chris Mellino and Tom Robenalt Before Speaking with Another Amputation Lawyer in Cleveland
If you or a loved one had a limb amputated, you need an attorney who specifically handles those claims and understands how losing an arm or leg has changed and will change your life. You also want to hire someone who won’t be afraid to take your case to court if necessary.
“One of the first questions some adjusters will ask when a serious personal injury claim comes in is, ‘Who’s representing the plaintiff?’” attorney Chris Mellino says in his free book. “Since this information is important to the insurance company, it should be important to you.”
Chris Mellino and Tom Robenalt are respected throughout northeast Ohio for their ability to dig below the surface to make sure nothing is overlooked. In fact, Chris has been involved in several landmark cases, including Moskovitz v. Mt. Sinai Medical Center (1994) and Watkins_v._Cleveland_Clinic_Foundation (1998). Other attorneys and former clients send us the majority of our cases. Ultimately, our firm’s success depends on our dedication to our clients. Our testimonials are a testament to this commitment.
Mellino Robenalt is the only medical malpractice law firm in Cleveland to be accepted into Primerus, which screens potential members by speaking to judges, other lawyers, bar associations, clients, and insurance carriers about a firm’s integrity, work product, fee structure, education, civility, and community service.
In the last three decades, we’ve established a network of resources to help analyze cases and make sure clients are well-compensated for their injuries. We also wrote the book on medical malpractice. Request your free copy here, or contact us for a free consultation.