Broken ankle leads to award of more than $9 million

In Pennsylvania and around the country, people seek medical treatment when injured every day. Some injuries may be treated easily while others can be more involved. When surgical errors occur, however, the increased complexity of such situations is tremendous. A single surgical error can lead to a worsened condition as well as out-of-pocket losses for the patient, highlighting the need for compensation for a victim.

A man who previously worked as a public safety dispatcher for the City of Towanda understands this all too well. Due to a fall on some steps in 2004, he broke his ankle. After some initial treatment, he experienced problems with his pinky toe and sought further help. The toe was removed but an ensuing infection led to the amputation of the neighboring fourth toe as well. Continued problems led to the amputation of his entire lower leg, from the knee down, in July of 2009.

Once again, the man developed a post-surgical infection. Only two months later, in September 2009, his entire leg was removed by a doctor other than the one who had performed 12 surgeries by that time. The man initiated a malpractice lawsuit in which a State Supreme Court jury recently made a decision, providing multiple damage awards. For pain and suffering, the defendant received $6 million total, $4 million of which is for future pain and suffering. An additional $2.8 million was awarded for medical expenses and for the loss of wages. His ex-wife also received $350,000.

Any acts by a careless surgeon should be taken seriously and patients should know that help may be available. Talking to a lawyer when any medical error is suspected may be a wise choice and help victims to receive the compensation they deserve.

Source:, “Former Tonawanda dispatcher awarded $9.1 million in medical malpractice suit,” James Staas, February 17, 2014