A 6-year-old Toronto girl fell from the verandah of her house and suffered a compound fracture of her right arm. She was treated at a Toronto area hospital and discharged the following day with her arm in a cast. She began to run a fever and her mother returned her to the hospital where the defendant examined her and determined that her cast was too tight. The defendant split the cast and prescribed medication for her fever. The following day the girl was taken back to the hospital where the defendant removed the cast and discovered that she had developed gas gangrene. The girl was then immediately transferred to a tertiary care centre where her dominant right arm was amputated at the elbow. The defendant admitted liability for the plaintiffs’ damages and the Trial proceeded to assess damages.
The young patient has pain in the stump of her arm as well as “phantom pain” where the nerve endings near the site of amputation continue to send pain signals to the brain. Both types of pain occurred daily and were likely to become worse with time. The patient was in serious danger of developing skin problems, neck pain and psychological problems associated with depression. She was likely to suffer mentally and emotionally and her injury was extremely likely to interfere with her education and her future.
In 1986, Sommers & Roth were successful at trial in obtaining the largest ever malpractice award in Canadian history, which at the time was over $3.2 million dollars.
Please see the News & Events section of our website for the Toronto Star article relating to this case.
Sommers Roth & Elmaleh Professional Corporation has over 40 years of experience in medical malpractice litigation in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Ontario, and across Canada.
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