Minnesota Orthopedic Center No Longer Has to Pay $110 Million After Mishandling a Patient’s Leg Surgery

Minnesota Orthopedic Center No Longer Has to Pay $110 Million After Mishandling a Patient’s Leg SurgeryIn 2019, man named Anuj Thapa filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against a Minnesota orthopedic center, and in 2022 was awarded $110 million for pain and suffering damages by a jury. A federal magistrate judge, however, has deemed that award excessive.

According to an article published by Law360, Thapa is expected to have ongoing pain in his left leg almost every day and walk around with a limp going forward because of St. Cloud Orthopedic Associates’ negligent acts. However, regardless of this, the federal judge decided that the $110 million compensation amount was “shockingly excessive” and does not add up to the noneconomic damages that the jury decided on. Instead, the judge told Thapa to either settle for $10 million or go to trial again.

Some of the reasons given for why the $110 million compensation should not be given to the patient are because he is not completely disabled, not required to use a wheelchair to get around, and does not need continuous caregiving services. The judge recognized that Thapa may need to quit his college engineering program because of the chronic pain that he suffers but pointed out that he did get a degree from college. Although the judge says he sympathizes with the patient, he does not believe that the pain and other losses that he has suffered equals an award of $110 million.

Thapa has until the end of November to decide to take the case to trial again or to take the $10 million. No matter what he decides, he will be able to keep the economic damages that he received, which were $1.25 million.

What caused the patient’s leg problems?

At the beginning of 2017, the patient suffered a fracture to his fibula and tibia in his left leg when playing a game of soccer. He was transported to St. Cloud Hospital, where he was told by physicians that he needed surgery to repair his fracture. Thapa continued to be in pain for several days after the hospital sent him home. Eventually, he claimed that he was no longer able to stand on his leg due to the excruciating pain, causing him to return to the hospital.

The doctors and nurses assessed his symptoms and discovered that he likely had acute compartment syndrome, which is described by the National Center for Biotechnology Information as “increased pressure within a closed osteofascial compartment, resulting in impaired local circulation.” If this condition is not treated promptly, it typically leads to serious damage within the tissues, nerves, and muscles. Due to this condition, Anuj Thapa underwent over 20 different surgeries that caused severe scarring.

It was decided by a jury that Thapa’s condition would not have reached this point or caused so much pain and suffering if it weren’t for the orthopedic center’s negligent behavior toward the patient. Therefore, St. Cloud Orthopedic Associates was demanded to pay $110 million to Thapa, which was thrown out by the federal judge.

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When doctors fail to provide ill or injured patients with the standard level of care that they need and deserve, Hickey Law Firm will step in and fight for the patients’ rights. A few of the most common types of medical malpractice cases that our Miami medical malpractice lawyers handle includes:

  • Misdiagnosis: A patient is misdiagnosed when their doctor diagnoses them with a condition, injury, or sickness that they actually do not have. This can lead to the patient undergoing unnecessary and expensive treatments that they do not need. In addition, it could also cause their condition to become worse as their doctor missed their diagnosis.
  • Delayed diagnosis: A delayed diagnosis is when a doctor takes too long to properly diagnose a patient. When a patient seeks medical assistance and does not get the diagnosis or treatment that they need and deserve in a prompt manner, this can lead to other complications or even fatalities.
  • Mistakes and errors made during an operation: When a patient is on the operating table, they put their complete trust and confidence in the surgeon doing their surgery. Therefore, when a surgeon makes any mistakes or errors, they must be held responsible. Some of the serious medical problems that patients face from errors and mistakes made during surgery are infections, wrong incisions, permanent injuries, death, and more.
  • Failure to communicate and explain important information to the patient: Healthcare professionals are expected to communicate and explain important information to the patient. If a patient did not receive proper communication about their injuries or illness as well as the form of treatment or surgery that they are undergoing, the healthcare professional did not do their job. This is especially important when it comes to any warnings that the patient needs to know about, such as prescription warnings or surgery warnings.
  • Lack of professionalism and improper treatment of the patient: If a patient visits a physician and does not believe that they were provided with the correct treatment, they may be able to file a lawsuit. This is common when patients explain their symptoms to a doctor, and the doctor does not take the time to listen to the patient, go over their family history, run tests, or provide the best available treatment to the patient, which results in them becoming sicker or even dying.

One of our team’s successful cases was very similar to Anuj Thapa’s case. It involved a woman who was misdiagnosed at a local Miami hospital. Unfortunately, she underwent surgery that she did not need due to the negligence of the hospital. As a result, the medical malpractice attorneys at Hickey Law Firm were able to secure $500,000 in compensation for her.

When you suffer any type of serious injury, it is essential that you have a legal specialist by your side. At Hickey Law Firm, we take pride in being specialists who assist clients when they are most in need. John H. (Jack) Hickey is double certified by both the National Board of Trial Advocacy in Civil Trial and The Florida Bar in Civil Trial and Admiralty & Maritime Law. He is also known to educate and provide helpful advice to other trial attorneys on the intricacies of the law. Mr. Hickey is acknowledged by Best Lawyers in America for his talents and efforts in Medical Malpractice, Admiralty and Maritime Law, and Personal Injury Litigation.

Therefore, if you need a specialist, you can count on us. We will stand up and protect your rights, and you will not owe us a dime until we successfully win your case. Your case evaluation is cost-free. Give us a call or fill out our online contact form to schedule your appointment today. Our team serves all of Florida for your convenience.