There aren’t many people in Massachusetts who want to undergo surgery. Most people do so at the advice of their doctor with the hope that the procedure will improve their lives or, at the very least, prevent additional harm. However, one man now claims in a medical malpractice suit that a doctor performed an unnecessary surgery which resulted in permanent damage to his arm.
The patient sought treatment from the doctor in Dec. 2008 because he had a swollen lymph node. The doctor recommended surgery to remove the node, although the patient claims that a test would have indicated that he had a relatively easy to treat bacterial infection. The infection was caused by a stray cat that he had taken in and scratched him.
Unfortunately, the doctor damaged the man’s spinal accessory nerve during the surgery. As a result of the damage, he is now unable to use his left shoulder, is permanently disfigured, unable to raise or extend his left arm over his head and has nerve palsy. This is especially problematic for the man because he has always worked as a laborer and can no only complete tasks that require the use of his left arm.
A jury recently agreed with the man’s claims of medical malpractice and awarded him $4.2 million. The award can help the man with medical costs, lost wages and pain and suffering stemming from the unnecessary surgery. While most medical care workers are professionals, events such as this also happen to patients in Massachusetts. A civil lawsuit can potentially hold doctors liable for their mistakes while protecting other patients from similar suffering.
Source: nhregister.com, “Wallingford man gets $4.2 million in medical malpractice case“, Luther Turmelle, July 1, 2015