Case details

Patient claimed doctor injured nerve performing arm surgery





Result type

Not present

nerve damage, neurological, neuropathy, wrist, wrist drop
On Nov. 16, 2009, the plaintiff, a 71-year-old charity volunteer, tripped and fell at her home, sustaining a fracture of her right humerus. She was then taken to an emergency room, where a physician decided to take a conservative approach, opining that the fracture would heal by itself, and put the plaintiff’s arm in a sling. When the measures failed to work, the physician performed an open reduction and internal fixation with bone grafting of the right distal humeral nonunion on Aug. 5, 2010. Afterward, the plaintiff experienced complete radial palsy. The plaintiff sued the physician, alleging that the defendant failed to properly perform the surgery on the fracture and that this failure constituted medical malpractice. Plaintiff’s counsel contended that when the physician ultimately performed the open reduction and internal fixation surgery, he performed it in a negligent manner by placing the plate on top of the nerve. Defense counsel contended that this was an inherent risk of the surgery., The plaintiff claimed that she experienced complete radial palsy after the open reduction and internal fixation surgery. When the paralysis failed to resolve, another orthopedist performed hardware removal and nerve repair on Jan. 25, 2011. A third operation was then performed on June 23, 2011, that consisted of new open reduction and internal fixation procedure. The plaintiff claimed that she suffers an almost total loss of her right, major, upper extremity with drop wrist of her dominant hand. She alleged that as a result, it hampers her everyday activities, including brushing her hair, brushing her teeth and writing. The plaintiff also claimed that she had to learn to do everything all over with her left hand, but that she has since returned to her volunteering activities. Plaintiff’s counsel contended that the plaintiff had $250,000 in general damages and $14,535.06 in past medical expenses.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Central, CA

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