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Twelve Surgeries Later, Patient’s Leg Amputated Because of Ankle Broken 10 Years Ago

April 30, 2014

A broken ankle that occurred 10 years ago led to the amputation of a man’s leg.

In what may be one of the largest jury awards of its kind, a New York man was handed $9.1 million for his medical malpractice lawsuit against his former doctor. The story in this case is that Donald Schultz once held a job as a public safety dispatcher. He broke his ankle 10 years ago while at work, which led to bizarre complications and the loss of a leg.
Schultz’s award included $350,000 to his ex-wife for loss of services, $4 million for future pain and suffering, $2.8 million for past, current and future medical expenses and loss of wages, and $2 million for past pain and suffering.

In 2004, Schultz was on his way to his job and fell on some steps, breaking his ankle. He was initially treated at an orthopedic surgeon’s office. This individual and his surgical group were found not liable in this case. The plaintiff did not remain with the first doctor and began seeing another physician in 2005 about concerns with pain he experienced near the little toe of his injured foot/ankle. It turned out he had a rare nerve disorder arising from the fractured ankle.

The second doctor began a series of what would be 21 different surgeries. The first operation was on his little toe. It was subsequently amputated. Schultz’s amputation site developed an infection. This led to the amputation of his fourth toe, but the pain remained, unabated. His leg was then amputated below the knee in 2009. Another surgeon eventually amputated the rest of his appendage. Twelve surgeries later, Mr. Schultz had one leg left and he was not able to work after 2009.

Mr. Schultz may have been able to keep up with his spiraling medical bills by applying for pre-settlement funding from a litigation funding company. He would only have needed to fill out an application online or call the lawsuit loan company and provide them with the name of his lawyer and the details of his case.

Once he’d received approval, the funds would have been deposited into his account, allowing him to meet his ongoing expenses while waiting for a trial verdict. By applying for an emergency lawsuit loan, he would also be able to turn down any offers made by an insurance company to settle for less than what he would likely be entitled to in court trial. Plaintiffs applying for pre-settlement funding do not need to have a job; they are not put through credit checks and do not pay any funds up front, or monthly, for applying for litigation funding.

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