Many of the medical errors we write about occur in hospital settings. This is not the only place where medical negligence that leads to an injury could occur however. This is illustrated in the recent jury verdict in favor of a 29-year-old Pennsylvania man. The man filed a medical malpractice claim after he said he suffered a permanent injury as the result of a procedure his family physician performed in his office.
The man visited his family physician to have a cyst removed from his neck. In the course of that procedure he said he suffered permanent nerve damage. At some point after the procedure, the man experienced weakness in his arm and shoulder and lost range of motion. Those issues were later diagnosed as being due to a severed spinal accessory nerve, by both a neurosurgeon as well as an orthopedic surgeon.
The injury makes it difficult for the man to perform tasks related to his occupation as an HVAC mechanic. In addition to being a licensed plumber, he is also a certified steamfitter and master electrician. Though he is able to do some things with the assistance of another individual, the man can no longer do anything that requires the use of two arms.
The jury awarded the man $4 million. With the impact the injury had on the man’s ability to work, this award will likely make it easier for the man to get by financially both now, as well as when he is older. This undoubtedly provides the man a sense of relief.
Source: Phillyburbs.com, Montco jury awards Hatboro man $4M for nerve damage,” Margaret Gibbons, Aug. 27, 2013