$11,000,000 Settlement for Failure to Diagnose Resulting in Loss of Legs

Carol Forte represented a man who was taken to J.F.K. Medical Center when he developed pain and swelling in his legs, along with other symptoms of severe circulatory impairment and a compartment syndrome.

The plaintiff claimed that the first vascular surgeon who was called to provide a consultation by the E.R. doctor negligently delayed coming to see him. The defendant claimed to have evaluated the patient in the ICU, but there was no note in the chart. The second vascular surgeon, a partner of the first, claimed to have evaluated the patient in the ICU about 14 hours after the patient arrived at the hospital, but again, there was no note of an examination in the chart.

Ms. Forte argued that that the defendants should have immediately evaluated the patient and taken him to the operating room for emergency surgery and that, if they did evaluate the patient, they failed to diagnose that he had a condition that led to a compartment syndrome in both legs, requiring immediate fasciotomies to relieve the pressure on the muscles. This procedure was not done until the third day after his admission to the hospital. By that time, there was extensive muscle damage and both legs needed to be amputated above the knee.

Ms. Forte was assisted at trial by her partner Kenneth Elwood.