New Hampshire Trial Lawyers Association Verdicts and Settlement Report

PO Box 447

Concord, NH  03302-0447

 

 

Case Title:                         Anonymous v. Anonymous                               

 

County:                               Anonymous                                                              

 

Date of Injury                                    June 2002                                                       

 

Liability Facts:                     

This is a medical negligence claim arising from the defendants’ failure to recognize and diagnose the plaintiff’s necrotizing fasciitis and initiate prompt surgical intervention. Several days after a workplace fall on a construction site, the plaintiff came to the defendant hospital for care and treatment of his red, extremely swollen right leg. On presentation, the plaintiff was febrile, tachycardic, hypotensive and unable to ambulate independently.  The plaintiff’s lab results showed an extremely elevated white blood cell count, elevated bandemia and a left shift.  The plaintiff also rated his pain at the top of the pain scale even after receiving IV Morphine and Dilaudid, and having taken Vicodin and Tylenol for the prior two days.  Despite the plaintiff’s concerning presentation, the treating physicians failed to perform any diagnostic testing other than the laboratory studies, and failed to get an infectious diseases or surgical consult to figure out what was going on with the plaintiff’s leg. As a result of the defendants’ failures, the plaintiff’s necrotizing fasciitis went undiagnosed and untreated for two days, allowing the condition to destroy the skin, muscle and fascia tissues in the right side of the plaintiff’s body. The plaintiff suffered a severe systemic infection, he required eight debridements of all of the tissue from the top of his right shoulder to the bottom of his right foot, he required hospitalization and hyperbaric oxygen treatments at the MGH burn center ICU and now deals with severe permanent scarring over more than 35% of his body.

At the time of his injuries, the plaintiff was a 27-year old construction worker with one child.  As a direct result of the defendants’ negligence, the defendant lost his chance for an opportunity for a better outcome through immediate surgical intervention, and he is now permanently impaired, unable to work in his chosen profession to the degree that he once was able.  Furthermore, he has lost much of the enjoyment of his life as a young man who is permanently disfigured and impaired due to the defendants’ negligence.

 

Plaintiff:        Sex   M        Age    27      

           

 Plaintiffs’ Theory of Liability:                  

 

            The defendants failed to possess the knowledge and exercise the degree of care and skill that the average and prudent practitioner should have under the same or similar circumstances by failing to properly assess and diagnose the plaintiff’s condition; failing to properly observe, monitor, and follow the plaintiff given his presenting symptoms and worsening condition; failing to order the necessary and appropriate diagnostic tests for the plaintiff; failing to properly refer the plaintiff for consultations and additional observation, care, and treatment; failing to order the necessary and appropriate medications; and failing to order consultations with the appropriate specialists.                                         

                                                                             

Injuries:

 

             As a result of the defendants’ negligence, the plaintiff suffered extreme pain and suffering, a severe systemic infection, eight debridement procedures, intensive care hospitalizations and burn treatment and he now has permanent scarring over more than 35% of his body. The plaintiff has experienced, and will continue to experience, physical pain and emotional suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of opportunity, loss of earnings and earning capacity, loss of a better outcome and he has incurred substantial expenses for his care and treatment.     

           

Special Damages:

                                                            Medical Expenses:                              $   629,873.96   

                                                           

Verdict/Settlement:

                         

            The plaintiff settled his claims after suit was filed but prior to trial for a confidential amount.  Notably, because the plaintiff’s underlying injuries arose on a worksite, there was a worker’s compensation lien on his recovery of almost $432,000, which the plaintiff’s counsel was able to negotiate down to $95,000 in full and final settlement of that lien.

 

Counsel:

 

            For Plaintiff:   Mark A. Abramson, Esq. and Holly B. Haines, Esq.

                                                                                   Abramson, Brown & Dugan, P.A.

                                                                                   1819 Elm Street

                                                                                   Manchester, New Hampshire