A Jefferson County jury must decide if Beaumont Bone & Joint Institute was negligent in in its care of a patient who eventually lost his a finger after slicing his hand.

Four years ago, plaintiff Ted Slaughter maimed his left hand with a circular saw.

In July 2008, Slaughter filed suit against Beaumont Bone & Joint, claiming the institute failed to timely refer him to a specialist, court papers show.

On Monday, Nov. 29 jury selection began in the medical-malpractice trial of Slaughter vs. Beaumont Bone & Joint.

Court records show Slaughter sliced open the palm of his left hand while using a circular saw. He was rushed to Memorial Hermann Baptist Beaumont Hospital where his injury was treated and stitched.

The following day, a physician 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 in to see him.

One of Slaughter's fingers had to be amputated, court papers say.

Slaughter will try and convince jurors that the alleged "confusion" and delay in treatment was medical negligence.

He seeks to recover exemplary damages.

"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 will ask jurors to award him damages for his mental anguish, medical expenses, disfigurement, pecuniary loss, impairment and actual damages.

Slaughter is represented by attorney Micky Das of the Tyler & Das law firm.

Beaumont Bone & Joint is represented by Houston attorney Matthew Hughes.

Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th Judicial District, is presiding over the trial.

Case No. B182-079

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