Hanging Christmas lights is a tradition in many New Jersey homes. Dad often hangs the lights while the rest of the family helps. This task often involves climbing around on roofs and ladders, and one must be very careful not to fall. One unfortunate gentleman did fall while hanging Christmas lights in December 2011, and what began as a Christmas tradition ended in a claim of hospital negligence.
Records indicate that upon falling, the man shattered part of his right leg. He sought treatment from his local VA hospital and endured three surgeries over the next several years. As part of the surgical procedures, doctors placed and replaced metal screws and plates in his leg. Additionally, the patient received extensive physical therapy in an attempt to lessen his pain.
Despite the various surgical procedures, the patient's pain continued, and he sought treatment outside of the VA hospital system. At this time, it was determined that his leg would need to be amputated. According to reports, the x-rays of the leg showed metal pieces that had been inserted in his leg that were either broken or incorrectly placed.
In addition to the x-rays and medical reports, this patient also was able to provide evidence of a rather unusual nature. After his leg was amputated, he donated it to a group that trains dogs in search and rescue. The leg had been preserved by this group and was available for examination.
At times, New Jersey patients find that they have suffered a similar fate as the result of surgical errors. If this is the case, they will want to review their options with experienced legal counsel. It is possible that a suit for hospital negligence can assist in the patient's financial and physical recovery.
Source: seattletimes.com, "'Angry piece of flesh': Amputee's right leg plays key part in VA malpractice suit", Lewis Kamb, Jan. 11, 2017