Medical Negligence - Malpractice Resulting in Radial Nerve Injury
This medical malpractice physician negligence case arose on September 30, 1998, when the plaintiff, a thirty-one year old woman, underwent surgery to remove a metal plate and screws from her right upper arm. Prior to the surgery, the defendant informed the plaintiff that there may be a “slight incidence of fracture” to the arm following the procedure. Despite this risk, plaintiff elected to have the plate removed because it was the source of serious discomfort.
Unfortunately, during surgery, plaintiff’s radial nerve was severed as a result of defendant’s negligence. Immediately post-operatively, plaintiff was found to have a complete radial nerve palsy and a resulting wrist drop. After the serious radial nerve injury was discovered, defendant altered his records to suggest that he had a discussion with plaintiff prior to the procedure regarding his concern about “her radial nerve.” Notwithstanding his purported concern about injury to the radial nerve, defendant stated in his operative note that the “radial nerve was not visualized.”
Due to defendant’s medical negligence, plaintiff required right radial nerve repair with sural nerve graft and two tendon transfer surgeries in an attempt to restore wrist extension. Consequently, she suffered a 25% loss of function of her hand and wrist, has significant scarring and disfigurement of her upper arm, and experiences constant and severe pain in her arm. Plaintiff’s settlement included compensation for her medical expenses, lost wages, and future lost earning capacity.
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