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Vietnam vet awarded $6.3 million in medical malpractice case

Nearly six years ago, a Vietnam veteran went to a hospital for a "fairly routine" surgery for prostate cancer. Though the operation went well, the patient – now 71 years old – complained of leg pain and numbness.

He and his attorneys argued recently in court that because of doctor negligence, the vet had to have his left leg amputated soon after the prostate surgery. He was recently awarded nearly $6.3 million in a medical malpractice lawsuit for pain and suffering, as well as disfigurement, emotional distress, loss of consortium and reasonable expenses for necessary medical care.

The Illinois man complained to nurses about his leg pain, was told that it was normal discomfort after a surgery. The next day, a doctor who had assisted with the operation ordered a test on the leg. Unfortunately, she ordered an incorrect test. She later ordered a new test on the leg, but because she did not place a high priority on the test for the rapidly deteriorating limb, the results were not available to her for six hours.

An attorney for the plaintiff in the medical malpractice trial argued that his client’s “leg is basically dying” while the doctor’s leisurely approach wasted precious time – time in which the leg could have been saved.

If the doctor had called in a vascular surgeon to examine the leg, the attorney said, the surgeon could have made sure tests were done promptly, and then followed up with emergency surgery.

“If she simply would have made one phone call to a vascular surgeon, his leg would have been saved," the lawyer said.

Those who suffer because of doctor negligence can speak with an attorney experienced in medical malpractice litigation to discuss their legal options.

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