Legal Question in Medical Malpractice in New York

Do I have sufficient data here for starting a malpractice lawsuit?:

On 12/09/2011, I had a below knee amputation of my right leg due to gangrene setting into foot. A few years earlier I had been diagnosed by my Primary Physician that I had Type II diabetes and was told to monitor my blood sugar levels via a glucometer and advised to follow dietary measures. Blood sugar levels continued being elevated. I was prescribed medication (metformin). A1C test results taken periodically were reportedly in a good range. During the beginning of 2011 I told my physician that I was having swollen ankles and feet to include bleeding, mainly from the right toenails, toenails falling off, numbness predominantly of the right foot including slight skin discoloration and my r/leg giving out from underneath me causing falls. The doctor used what looked like sharpened plastic toothpicks and poked the soles of my right foot and I told him that I could hardly feel it. He diagnosed this as diabetic neuropathy. The course of treatment did not change after that, no further tests were conducted and and he continued reporting to me that my A1C results were good. The rest of my doctor visits were for Rx refills. The doctor scheduled my appointments between 3 and 6 months apart. My last appointment with him before the amputation was on 7/25/2011. On 11/25/2011, I collapsed in my house, could not get up and was brought to the hospital by ambulance. The physicians there said gangrene had set in to such a degree and was present for quite some time. They could not save my leg and it would have to be amputated or death would result. After amputation I was in an extended care center for rehab until discharged on 8/9/2012. Shortly afterwards, about 2 weeks, I went back to my primary physician to get Rx refills for the 8 new prescriptions I was now on. The doctor had a completely negative attitude towards me and stated, "You failed as a patient and I failed as your doctor". (How did I fail as a Patient?) I definitely believe this gangrene infection should have been detected, treated and stopped before it grossly spread and amputation would have been prevented.

•Failure to anticipate, detect or diagnose gangrene

•Failure to culture extremities and, consequently, failure to detect infection


Asked on 9/30/13, 7:19 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Michael E. Zuller Zuller Law Offices

It would first be necessary to have all your medical records evaluated by a doctor (internist, presumably) and that doctor say your PCP departed from the standard of care in failing to diagnose the gangrene. Then you'd have the expert opinion behind your theory of liability. VTY, M. E. Zuller

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Answered on 9/30/13, 9:57 am

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