Sommers Schwartz attorney Ken Watkins obtained a $2,570,795 verdict in Ingham County, Mason, Michigan Circuit Court on behalf of a woman who suffered permanent impairment and scarring of her right arm resulting from necrotizing fasciitis, a serious bacterial skin infection that spreads quickly and kills the body’s soft tissue. The plaintiff was admitted to Sparrow Hospital after presenting to the emergency room with complaints of pain and swelling in her upper extremity. Over the next two days, she was seen by a general surgeon and an infectious disease specialist, both of whom diagnosed cellulitis and prescribed antibiotics. An orthopedic specialist was called, but because he was unable to see the patient, he recommended another general surgeon who later examined the patient and rendered a clinical impression of necrotizing fasciitis that warranted surgery immediately. The plaintiff claimed that because of the defendants’ misdiagnosis and failure to quickly treat the flesh-eating disease, her condition worsened, necessitating a more extensive debridement of damaged and infected tissue and causing disfigurement and lack of mobility that will last the rest of her life. Before trial, a case evaluation panel recommended a total award of $900,000, which the defendants rejected in part, triggering case evaluation sanctions that the defendants would have to pay the plaintiff.
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