A medical malpractice trial expected to run for two weeks instead lasted two days, as Beaumont Bone & Joint opted to settle rather than defend accusations it was responsible for an amputee's finger loss.

In July 2008, plaintiff Ted Slaughter, who maimed his left hand with a circular saw, filed suit against Beaumont Bone & Joint, claiming the institute failed to timely refer him to a specialist.

The case went to trial on Nov. 29 but lasted only two days, as the parties reached an undisclosed settlement. Jurors heard less than one day of testimony before returning home.

Four years ago, 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, court records show.

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.

Because of the confusion, one of Slaughter's fingers had to be amputated, court papers say.

In addition to exemplary damages, Slaughter was seeking damages for his mental anguish, medical expenses, disfigurement, pecuniary loss, impairment and actual damages.

He was represented by attorney Micky Das of the Tyler & Das law firm.

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

Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th Judicial District, presided over the proceedings.

Case No. B182-079

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