Amputee sues orthopedist for loss of finger

David Yates Jul. 21, 2008, 10:49am

Mickey Das

Nearly two years ago, Ted Slaughter maimed his left hand with a circular saw. A week following his injury Slaughter had surgery to repair his badly wounded hand, and to this day claims he has trouble performing daily functions.

Slaughter blames Beaumont Bone & Joint Institute for his debilitated condition and has filed suit against the care provider and one of its physicians, claiming the defendants failed to timely refer him to a specialist, court papers show.

Slaughter's suit was filed July 18 in Jefferson County District Court. Dr. John Taylor is also a defendant in the suit.

According to the suit, Slaughter sliced open the palm of his left hand while using a circular saw and was rushed to Memorial Hermann Baptist Hospital where his injury was treated and stitched.

The following day, Dr. Taylor evaluated Slaughter at the Beaumont Bone & Joint Institute "and recognized that his injury was 'substantial'" and included an injury to his palm's flexor tendon, the suit says.

On July 26, 2006, Slaughter was seen by a Beaumont Bone & Joint Institute specialist for additional treatment. While in the physician's care, the doctor allegedly told Slaughter there had been "some confusion" in getting Slaughter to see him.

One of Slaughter's fingers had to be amputated.

Slaughter believes the alleged "confusion" and delay in treatment is medical negligence and is suing the defendants for exemplary damages for their alleged "heedless and reckless disregard of (his) rights," the suit says.

"To date, plaintiff continues to have stiffness of the remaining middle finger … and lack of sensation in his palm," the suit says. "Because of the loss of his left index finger, Slaughter is no longer able to perform many of his daily functions."

In addition to exemplary damages, Slaughter is suing for mental anguish, medical expenses, disfigurement, pecuniary loss, impairment and actual damages.

In the suit, Slaughter's attorney, Micky Das of the Tyler & Das law firm, argues Texas' medical-malpractice damage caps are unconstitutional.

The case has been assigned to Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th Judicial District.

Case No. B182-079

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