Man With Flesh-Eating Bacteria Files Suit

Seconds Make a DifferenceYou deserve to have your rights protected.

A 66-year-old man of Springfield, Missouri, has accused two doctors at Mercy Clinic of medical malpractice. He says that the hospital and two surgeons did not provide adequate emergency care preventing the flesh-eating bacteria he had of spreading and becoming a bigger problem.

The man was seen at the Mercy Hospital Springfield emergency room, and the doctor who treated him listed his problem as “severe,” but discharged him anyway and told to go home after a brief period of time. The physician who saw him told him to make an appointment with a colleague for the following day. However, the collegue’s office would only give the man an appointment four days later.
The doctor stated in his deposition that the man should have been seen sooner, but said that he should have been more proactive in seeking treatment.

According to the medical malpractice lawsuit, four days later the two Mercy surgeons performed several surgeries. However, by this time the infectious bacteria known as necrotizing fasciitis had spread from his left buttock, down his leg, and to his knee.
The man required four operations in 2010, which included removing damaged tissue and dead skin, a skin graft, and attaching a colostomy bag. All surgeries were necessary in preventing the infection from spreading further and dealing with the consequences of the damage that the infection had already caused. The cost of the surgeries and aftercare came to almost $400,000.

The man claims that he was denied emergency treatment by Mercy Clinic because he did not have health insurance. He was able to obtain federal insurance several weeks later for individuals who have per-existing conditions.

He has several experts who are willing to testify on his behalf that the hospital made several errors, yet the man allegedly has no evidence that proves the surgery he had scheduled was delayed due to financial reasons. The experts say that the hospital and doctors made egregious errors by instructing him to leave and not ordering tests or immediately admitting him.

The hospital claims they have documentation from his emergency visit showing that he had no insurance, was unemployed, and listed his status as being in “bad debt.”

Doctors and other health providers have a legal duty to provide care in emergency situations for those in need regardless of financial status and the nonprofit health system states that a patient’s health insurance status does not affect the treatment that is provided. A Mercy spokeswoman reiterated this, but could not comment on this particular lawsuit, as it is pending.

The medical malpractice suit is currently pending in the Greene County Circuit Court and the trial is set for September.

The man’s wife is a co-plaintiff in the case and the couple is asking for a jury trial so that they can seek damages for pain and suffering. His wife is also asking for loss of companionship and consortium.

The couple says that the procedures and the disability that has resulted have left him a changed man and has affected his quality of life.

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photo credit: isafmedia

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