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Man Files $10 Million Lawsuit after Weight Loss Surgery Leads to Leg Amputation

January 05, 2015

Gastric bypass surgery has become a popular procedure as a growing number of Americans cope with health problems related to obesity.  Many people have used weight loss surgery to reclaim their health and prevent type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other life-threatening diseases.  While there are risks associated with weight loss surgery, patients typically do not expect to wake up from surgery without their legs.  However, a man who has sued his physicians for $10 million alleges a series of mistakes by the doctor resulted in amputation of his legs at the knee.

The plaintiff Carlos Saucedo filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against physicians that performed the victim’s gastric sleeve procedure.  Although the procedure generally is not considered high risk, the complaint alleges that the physicians’ negligence resulted in the patient’s aorta mistakenly being cut.  The aorta is the main artery through which oxygen enriched blood travels.   When the patient’s aorta was punctured, the injury caused significant blood loss and lack of circulation to the victim’s legs.   According to the complaint, the physicians were slow to diagnose the problem, which lead to organ failure.  The hospital where the delayed diagnosis allegedly occurred performed the amputation.

While it is too early to determine if the patient’s medical malpractice lawsuit will be successful, the general standard for medical malpractice is whether the doctors executed the same level of care as a reasonably prudent physician under similar circumstances.  The lawsuit filed in this case essentially alleges two separate mistakes by the doctors: (1) the act of puncturing the patient’s aorta during the procedure; and (2) failure to diagnose the error and take action to alleviate the lack of circulation to the plaintiff’s legs.

Medical malpractice claims can be challenging because poor medical outcomes are not necessarily indicative of substandard care.  When pursuing a case for medical negligence in Georgia, the plaintiff will need one or more medical experts to establish the requisite standard of care and effectively communicate how that standard was breached. 

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Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.