A man’s surgery goes painfully wrong. What happened?
When we first met Bill, it was clear he felt frustrated and lost. Previously an award-winning professional chef, Bill had all but lost the ability to use his right hand after undergoing a seemingly routine carpal tunnel release surgery. Immediately after the procedure, Bill felt burning, stabbing pain in his hand, and in the following days his symptoms magnified, causing his hand to swell and become discolored and his thumb and index finger to become numb and hypersensitive to touch. The pain grew so great that it kept him awake at night.
After weeks of follow up appointments, Bill learned that he had developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) as the result of an injury to his median nerve during the surgery. Bill’s life now became an endless search for relief from the pain, including an extended stay at a Cleveland Clinic, assessments by leading neurologists and pain management specialists in Philadelphia, additional surgeries, treatments, therapies, and mind-numbing pain medication.
More than the pain, what Bill found hardest to recover from was the loss of his old life. With two boys at home, he could no longer coach and play baseball, host family barbecues, or participate in his role as a father in his own family.
We immediately took on the case. After reviewing the medical records, it became clear that the orthopedic surgeon who performed Bill’s surgery had limited training and experience. He vehemently denied that he had performed the carpal tunnel release negligently but, during his deposition, admitted that during his 10 years of medical school, residency and fellowship, he was not trained to perform the carpal tunnel procedure. He learned the necessary techniques years later during a short educational course, and performed it only infrequently. The surgeon also admitted that it was his responsibility to identify, protect and avoid causing injury to the median nerve.
After weeks of investigation and mediation we were able to negotiate a confidential seven-figure settlement shortly before the case went to trial, relieving Bill from the financial stress caused by the loss of his job and helping him rebuild his life with his family.
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