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Defense Verdict in Crush Injury Victim Claims Rehabilitation Doctor Caused Injury

March 30, 2020

MCB Partner Jayne L. Brayer, Esq. assisted by Partner Aryeh S. Klonsky, Esq. obtained a unanimous defense verdict on all questions of liability in a case involving a crush injury victim in Richmond Supreme Court.

 

The 46 year old female plaintiff was struck by a motor vehicle while walking in a parking lot, pinning her between two cars.  She was diagnosed with a large closed hematoma, status post crush injury, and was admitted to the hospital for inpatient care. The plaintiff developed blisters over the area of the closed hematoma which were left open to the air.  A week later the plaintiff was medically cleared and transferred to inpatient rehabilitation under the care of our client, an attending rehabilitation medicine physician.  During her rehabilitation stay, the plaintiff’s blisters ruptured and were treated with daily dressing changes, sterile saline and bacitracin. The plaintiff was discharged with a referral for visiting nurses for daily wound care.  

 

Plaintiff claimed that our client failed to recognize signs and symptoms of infection prior to discharging the plaintiff, resulting in sepsis four days after discharge.  Damages claimed included subsequent debridement and skin graft surgeries as well as nerve and tissue damage. The Defense successfully argued that the plaintiff did not have an infection at the time of discharge and the infection resulted from her dressing change at home, two days after discharge. Further, a blood culture taken at the time of the subsequent debridement surgery revealed that the plaintiff had a Group B Streptococcus infection, the symptoms of which would manifest within 36 hours of exposure.  Using the culture’s result, the defense successfully argued that the plaintiff’s infection began two days after discharge and not while under the care of our rehabilitation physician.  

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