Ex-Drum soldier awarded $13.5 million in malpractice case
WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - A soldier who was stationed at Fort Drum has been awarded $13.5 million in what may be the largest medical malpractice judgement in Jefferson County history.
Jeffrey Lewis and his wife sued after Lewis was seen in Samaritan Medical Center’s emergency room in 2014. Lewis went to the emergency room with a “pain in his lower right extremity,” according to legal papers his lawyer filed.
He was diagnosed with tendonitis when in fact he had blockages and clots, and ultimately had his right leg amputated above the knee.
Lewis now uses a wheelchair, and had to retire from the Army.
After a six day trial in Watertown, a state supreme court jury deliberated for less than three hours before awarding Lewis $3.5 million for lost wages and future medical expenses, and another $10 million for pain and suffering.
“The medical providers failed to obtain a complete history and order appropriate tests that would have led to a timely diagnosis, when Jeff’s leg could have been saved,” said Michael Porter, Lewis’s lawyer, from the law form of Porter Nordby Howe LLP.
“Jeff and his family have suffered terribly because of the substandard medical care that cost him his leg and the quality of life he once enjoyed. The jury’s verdict will help the Lewises start the healing process – both physically and emotionally – from all they’ve endured,” Porter said in a statement.
Lewis sued Samaritan and the company it contracted with for emergency room staff, North Country Emergency Medical Consultants, and two people, Dr. Sarah Delaney-Rowland and Adam Callahan, a physician’s assistant. The jury found Callahan to be 80 percent at fault, and Delaney-Rowland the remaining 20 percent at fault.
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