In December 2023, a difficult medical malpractice case finally found resolution. After eighteen grueling months, the opposition confidentially resolved the case of John and Jane Doe after John Doe suffered a high-grade tear of his median nerve during carpal tunnel surgery. Personal injury attorney Larry Huttman led the Farah & Farah team on this case in Florida with unwavering dedication.
Thanks to Larry and the team, the client was able to receive compensation for economic and non-economic damages. We sat down with Larry to uncover where the surgery went wrong and why this case was so unique.
Florida Man Given High-Grade Tear By Surgeon
In 2022, John Doe who retired to a lakeside community in Florida was seeking surgical treatment for his degenerative carpal tunnel syndrome. During the surgery, the medical team was supposed to use a specific device to protect the nerve.
Unfortunately, the provider failed to reposition the device to protect our client’s nerve, and some of the nerves squished out into the surgical field. The doctor even wrote this in his notes, but he failed to follow through with more specific post-surgical care and never recommended a specialist, even after the known mistake.
The oversight by the medical team resulted in a high-grade tear which led to our client needing extra assistance well into his golden years. This caused much emotional and financial strife for the client and his wife.
Taking The Case Head-On
Larry immediately went to work locating a board-certified hand surgeon who has completed over one thousand surgical hand procedures per year. The specialist had also trained residents and was regularly attending conferences. To say his credibility was indisputable would be an understatement.
This hand surgeon reviewed our client’s medical records and felt the situation was a deviation from the standard of care. This doctor went above and beyond for us. He met the client and even examined him in person to confirm that the tear was there. Additionally, our team hired an animation company to show what happened during the procedure, and the board-certified hand surgeon consulted on this as well.
Loss of Quality of Life
Prior to the lawsuit, John Doe was not offered anywhere close to sufficient amounts for his economic and non-economic damages or his wife’s loss of consortium. From this point forward, we prosecuted and requested a quick trial since the client was over 65.
Larry and the team worked to unearth all possible avenues of recovery, including from the medical group where the surgeon shared his office space.
Over time, what money the client would have been able to accept a year and a half prior, increased drastically. He only had less than seven thousand dollars in medical bills, but the injury affected his quality of life in drastic ways. He had to stop doing all of the things he enjoyed: He missed out on special moments with his grandchildren, had to get rid of his boat, and couldn’t do a lot of his normal projects that he enjoyed around the house.
A Breach In the Standard of Care
The opposition later hired an expert to say there wasn’t a breach in the standard of care. “They were trying to bully our client,” Larry explained. “They subpoenaed a lot of his records and offered very low amounts. They thought if they could get our client to agree to a result early-on, before litigation, their costs and attorney fees would be dramatically lower.”
Larry detailed one of the primary challenges of this case, saying, “The issue in any medical malpractice case is that it’s always the ‘chicken or the egg’ so to speak. One of the other defenses they attempted was that it just wasn’t an optimal result, which would be considered normal. This kind of procedure can be done right and still not be effective. We had to prove that he had a different medical issue after the procedure than going in, which was the high-grade median nerve tear.”
We Understand Your Case’s Value
We want to make sure everyone is prioritizing seeking care for situations like carpal tunnel with specialists. Larry lamented, “If the client had gone to a board-certified hand surgeon in the first place, they may have been able to prevent the problem entirely. It’s very sad that even after the nerve tear, a specialist still wasn’t called in immediately.”
Not every firm would have taken this case. The economic damage might not have been large enough and many attorneys may not have felt confident about the recovery. “The fact that my client only had 6.5k in medical bills didn’t scare our team away, however. I felt compelled because every case has value and could benefit someone’s life.”