In December of 2014, the famous NASCAR Champion Pete Hamilton sustained a three-part fracture to his left humerus just below his shoulder joint. Hamilton sustained the injury while on a holiday visit to Georgia, where he slipped and fell.
Hamilton rushed to the Gwinnett Medical Center, where the on-call emergency room trauma surgeon booked him in for an internal shoulder procedure. Unfortunately, Hamilton was in extreme pain when he woke up after the surgery, but the Georgian trauma surgeon assured him that everything was fine.
Once discharged, Hamilton returned to his home in Maine, but he still suffered from intense pain that lasted for two months before he decided to go to another surgeon for a consultation. After performing an X-ray, the surgeon revealed that the Georgian trauma surgeon had left a plastic drill guide in Hamilton’s shoulder, two of the screws had partially backed out of the bone, and the plate used in the procedure was not properly aligned.
To his dismay, Hamilton had to undergo a reverse partial shoulder replacement surgery. Even worse, he had to wait another three months in pain before he could have the surgery because he was taking heart medication following mid-2014 heart surgery.
Hamilton eventually had the shoulder replacement operation but suffered a heart attack in the recovery room, which he recovered from.
With the support of his wife, Hamilton filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the trauma surgeon in Georgia. He claimed that on top of all the unnecessary pain and medical procedures the doctor’s error had put him through, his reverse shoulder replacement left his arm so weakened and with such a limited range of motion that even performing simple daily tasks like driving a car became impossible – a debilitating disability for a previous NASCAR champion.
Sadly, Hamilton passed away in 2017 before a verdict had been reached, but his wife continued to pursue the medical malpractice lawsuit after his death and received $1.9 million in damages when the jury for his trial reached their verdict in 2018.
Surgical errors are preventable mistakes that doctors make during surgery which can lead to injury, disability, or even death.
There are three main types of surgical errors, which include:
- Wrong-site surgery: Involves surgeons operating on the wrong area of your body - such as operating on your left leg instead of your right leg, or even operating at the wrong level of your spine.
- Wrong-procedure surgery: Involves surgeons performing the incorrect procedure on you - such as a full hysterectomy when only a tubal ligation was indicated.
- Wrong-patient surgery: Involves surgeons operating on a completely different person to you - such as performing an appendectomy on someone else when it was intended for you.
However, there are also other less common types of surgical errors, such as in the case of Pete Hamilton, when a foreign object (the plastic drill guide) was left inside of him after his surgery was complete.
While many errors in healthcare are inevitable, surgical errors are often the most debilitating. They are termed “never events” because they should never have occurred in the first place.
If you live in NYC and want to legally address a surgical error and pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit, you will need to hire an NYC medical malpractice lawyer who can guide you through the process while adhering to the state laws of NYC.
Medical malpractice law is complicated, so you need to contact an NYC medical malpractice attorney to have the best possible chance of winning your lawsuit and receiving compensation. These NYC attorneys are specialists when it comes to medical malpractice law and the statute of limitations that pertain to NYC.
If it is your belief that you may have been a victim of a surgical error, please feel free to contact the medical malpractice lawyers of Rosenburg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff LLP in NYC for a free and confidential consultation.
We are always ready to listen, and you can talk to us by calling 1-866-516-5887 today.