Malpractice suit claims tendon injury not properly treated

Kelly Holleran Apr. 5, 2010, 9:00am

An Indiana man and his wife have filed suit against a Nederland physician, alleging the doctor failed to adequately treat the man for his tendon injury.

John Shellabarger claims defendant Dr. Jimmy D. Bell performed surgery on him at Renaissance Hospital-Groves on Jan. 17, 2008, and subsequently treated Shellabarger for post-operative care at his office in Nederland.

However, during the surgery, Bell failed to utilize the most effective techniques, procedures and treatments to treat a zone 2 flexor tendon injury and failed to refer Shellabarger immediately for post-operative physical therapy with a competent physical therapist, according to the complaint filed March 29 in Jefferson County District Court.

Because of the surgery and Shellabarger's post-operative treatment, Shellabarger has been permanently impaired and disfigured and incurred extensive medical expenses, the suit states. In addition, his ability to be gainfully employed has been diminished, he has endured great physical and mental pain and he has suffered a loss of his enjoyment of life, the complaint says.

Crystal Shellabarger claims she lost her husband's consortium, enjoyment, society and companionship; suffered mental anguish; and incurred medical costs.

The Shellabargers are seeking special, general and exemplary damages, plus pre- and post-judgment interest, costs and other relief the court deems just.

They will be represented by Robert J. Talaska and Theodore G. Skarbowski of The Talaska Law Firm in Houston.

The case has been assigned to Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: A186-419.

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