Man claims leg amputation preventable in med mal suit

David Yates Aug. 31, 2010, 8:37am

Alleging his leg amputation was totally preventable, Justin Brewer recently filed a medical-malpractice lawsuit against numerous medical professionals and providers.

Brewer's suit was filed Aug. 27 in Jefferson County District Court and names Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital, Beaumont Bone & Joint and Drs. Curtis Thorpe, Michael Stafford and Charles Wilson as defendants.

While working as a Salvation Army employee, Brewer fell and injured his left leg on Aug. 8, 2008, court papers show. He was taken to Christus St. Elizabeth and examined by Dr. Wilson.

Five days later, Dr. Thorpe ordered an MRI performed and told him it would be five days before he obtained the results.

"On the same day (Aug. 13, 2008) plaintiff began to notice that the bottom of his left foot was black in addition to him experiencing immense pain," the suit states, adding that Brewer's mother called Dr. Thorpe numerous times out of concern but the doctor told her it "was normal and consistent with a sprained knee."

The next day, paramedics returned him to the hospital. Brewer was discharged and "told to rest and ice his knee and keep it elevated," court papers say.

On Aug. 18, five days later, he visited Dr. Thorpe's office and diagnosed with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

"Ironically, Defendant Thorpe criticized plaintiff's mother for not bringing him to see him earlier, despite the numerous calls ... and emergency room visits," the suit states, adding that Dr. Thorpe informed him two days later that gangrene had set and surgery was required on the foot.

On Sept. 8, 2008, Brewer's left leg was amputated above the knee, court papers say.

He accuses the all the defendants of failing to properly diagnosis and treat his knee. He alleges the amputation was preventable and due to delayed treatment.

Brewer is suing for past and future medical expenses, disfigurement, impairment, lost wages and mental anguish.

His is represented by Houston attorney Sylvester Turner of the Barnes & Turner law firm.

Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th District Court, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. B187-788

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