$920,000 partial settlement in medical malpractice resulting in below knee amputation

By Greg Kohn

A $920,000 partial settlement was reached in case involving a 40 year old professional body builder, a resident of Old Bridge, who sought treatment for right ankle pain in January 2018 at the JFK/Hackensack Meridian Health emergency department. He was seen by nurse Mary Whitecavage and others, including an emergency department doctor and physician assistant. Despite denying trauma and a presentation consistent with a potential vascular abnormality, including blue toenail beds and a cold foot, the patient was discharged with a diagnosis of ankle sprain. He returned to the ED five days later with a densely ischemic foot with progression to an irreversible vascular occlusion/blockage in the lower extremity. By the time he presented to the ED at JFK Medical Center the second time, the pain had been present for at least ten days and the symptoms had worsened. He was hospitalized and underwent below the knee amputation as the occlusion, when finally diagnosed, was past the point of therapeutic repair. Claims against the nurse involved her failure to alert the attending doctor and physician assistant of her abnormal findings on physical exam during the first visit and permitting the patient to be released without further workup, including a Doppler study, to investigate a vascular issue.

Bruce H. Nagel , Esq. and Susan F. Connors, Esq. handled the case.

About the Author
Greg Kohn is a partner at Nagel Rice and specializes in complex civil litigation cases, including professional malpractice, personal injury, class actions, wrongful death, products liability, and commercial litigation.  He has extensive experience representing clients in both state and federal court. Greg has tried many jury trials to verdict and has recovered over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in all types of personal injury matters including automobile accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and falls, and other catastrophic injury cases. Greg also handles medical malpractice cases, involving misdiagnoses, wrongful birth, and delayed cancer diagnosis. If you have questions regarding this article, you can contact Greg here.