Sommers Schwartz attorney Parker Stinar filed a medical malpractice lawsuit on behalf of a woman whose family physician failed to order any testing, including x-rays, to timely diagnose a fractured right hip when the woman presented to the doctor complaining of pain and instability after a fall.
According to the complaint, when the plaintiff saw the defendant doctor the first time and asked whether she could have broken her right hip, the doctor told her “you wouldn’t be able to walk if you had a fractured hip.” He diagnosed a loss of balance and leg strain and gave her instructions to “gently stretch” the leg. When the plaintiff’s symptoms persisted, she again contacted the defendant and specifically asked for an x-ray; instead, the defendant referred her to physical therapy. Her symptoms continued despite physical therapy, and she had to be excused from work due to difficulty walking, sitting, and standing for lengthy periods.
The plaintiff then twice contacted the defendant asking for an x-ray, which he finally ordered and which revealed a fractured right hip. Physical therapy was discontinued, and the plaintiff underwent a total hip arthroplasty.
The lawsuit asserted various claims of professional negligence against the defendant doctor, including his failure to timely and properly evaluate the plaintiff, order any diagnostic tests, diagnose her hip fracture, and refer her to medical specialists including orthopedic physicians. Had the fracture been correctly diagnosed and treated, the plaintiff likely would have had relatively an uncomplicated recovery and not suffered from DVT, drop foot, disability, and disfigurement.