Ohio Podiatrist Facing 8 Malpractice Lawsuits

(July 14, 2012)

After Darla broke her left ankle while working as a nursing assistant in 2005, she visited a podiatrist. Over the next five years, she underwent four surgeries to correct the problem.

All of the surgeries failed, leading to the eventual amputation of her leg below the knee in 2011.

Beth had surgery in 2007 for what she thought were “heel spurs.” Following 8 failed surgeries, she underwent a below-the-knee amputation of her left leg in 2010.

These two women are among eight patients with active medical malpractice lawsuits against a podiatrist in Ohio. Four of the patients suffered complications from ankle surgery that led to amputation. This doctor is also a defendant in a wrongful-death action.

Nine active lawsuits against one doctor are very unusual. Five of the lawsuits also name the medical center where the doctor performed surgery for almost 26 years until he resigned his privileges in February. He also resigned his privileges at an Ohio Health facility with which he had been affiliated since 1979.

This doctor, 65 years old, continues to operate his podiatry practice, and has performed about 600 surgeries per year. Many of them are high-risk cases that other physicians are not willing to take on. Some have been to orthopedic surgeons who had suggested amputation.

More than ten years ago, there was a story in the Dispatch questioning whether podiatrists should be permitted to operate on the ankle or be confined to the foot?

No amount of money will give these patients their feet or their freedom back, but this doctor allegedly gave hope to these patients. Many of them went in to the hospital to have routine ankle repairs performed, and awoke to below-the-knee amputations. Some of the patients came to see him after being told by orthopedic surgeons that they needed amputation. He gave them hope and ultimately performed amputation, anyway. Many of these patients had complications from ankle surgery, leading to amputation. Imagine recovering from multiple ankle operations, only to result in losing your foot in the end. One podiatrist facing eight malpractice lawsuits is unheard of today. Do you think he should be held accountable for his negligence?

For more information, contact one of our Gacovino Lake & Associates lawyers at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).

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