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An Occupational Medical Center Fails to Diagnose and Treat a Severed Tendon in a Man's Right Hand Resulting in Multiple Surgeries and Lengthened Treatment

While on the job, our client was folding a tripod and pinched his right thumb which caused a laceration to the underside of his thumb. His employer insisted he go to their choice of doctor and sent him to an occupational medical center. Our client was examined and received treatment from a nurse. She told him that his tendon was intact, applied a bandage, gave him a follow-up appointment, and sent him home. Our client followed-up a month later and explained to the doctor at the occupational medical center that he still was unable to flex his thumb completely. The physician subsequently took an x-ray of the hand, and after examining the x-ray, determined that our client could return to work. The doctor also instructed him to start range of motion exercises to help with the flexibility of his thumb.

Months later, our client presented to his own family physician for his annual wellness appointment. On this visit, his family physician looked at his thumb and instructed him to immediately get his thumb examined by an orthopedic surgeon specializing in hand surgery. Five months after the initial incident, the orthopedic surgeon determined that our client had suffered a lacerated tendon in his right thumb. The orthopedic surgeon had to perform two painful surgeries to be able to repair our client's tendon. The surgery to repair the tendon would have been simple if it had been timely diagnosed. The delay in diagnosis caused the tendon to retract making the repair much more difficult and causing a permanent loss of motion.

Our client continues to have problems associated with his right hand and does not have the same function in his hand as he did before the incident. The occupational medical center's failure to diagnose and treat our client's severed tendon in a timely manner caused permanent harm. The defendants requested a settlement offer before the case ever went before the medical review panel. Todd Townsley was able to settle this client's case for satisfactory amount before the case went before the medical review panel. 

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