Doctor Ordered to Pay Amputee

By ELAINE SILVESTRINI FREEHOLD BUREAU

FREEHOLD — A Monmouth County jury has ordered a doctor to pay $2.7 million to a man who lost a leg to an infection following surgery.

The Plaintiff was on a ladder fixing an antenna in February 1995 when he fell and broke his left leg, according to his lawyer, John Connelly.

The Plaintiff was taken to the Community Hospital, where The defendant performed surgery, affixing a plate and screw to the broken bone, Connelly said. The Plaintiff later developed a bone infection. Doctors at Monmouth Medical Center, Long Branch, tried unsuccessfully to save the leg.

In November 1995, the Plaintiff’s leg was amputated below the knee, Connelly said.

Connelly also said he presented an expert witness who testified that because of the nature of the wound, which involved contamination and multiple bone fragments, the internal plate and screw were not appropriate. Connelly said the expert recommended an apparatus that involves pins protruding from the leg that are held together by rods on the outside. Such a device, Connelly said, would have dramatically decreased the risk of an infection.

The defense presented an expert who said the treatment given to the Plaintiff was appropriate, and that even with appropriate treatment, a certain percentage of people with this type of injury develop problems, according to The defendant’s attorney.

The defendant’s attorney said he will ask the Superior Court judge to overturn the verdict, which he said is not supported by the evidence. Connelly said the Plaintiff’s wife was awarded $100,000.

Note that the law is continually evolving and changes regularly. This website is not meant to be a comprehensive statement of any area of the law, but is intended only to afford some familiarity with basic terms and concepts in New Jersey. You should consult a lawyer for more detailed information. All materials on this website are the property of Drazin and Warshaw, P.C., copyright 2001, and are not to be used without written permission.

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