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Toe infection leads to $2.5M settlement

Texas readers may be interested to learn about a $2.5 million dollar settlement awarded to the family of a Hawaii man who died as the result of negligent medical care for an infected toe. Because the health center is federally funded, the medical malpractice suit was filed in federal court in August 2012.

According to the suit, the man allegedly visited a medical clinic on Jan. 4, 2011 for treatment of a swollen, red lump in between two toes on his left foot. He was given a prescription for an antibiotic. The next day, the man returned with a severe headache and pain in his left thigh and hip. In the medical center's emergency room, the patient was given pain medication and instructed to continue taking the antibiotic.

The lawsuit claims that the patient returned to the clinic five more times with multiple symptoms including a rash, vomiting, nausea, leg pain, eye pain and severe headaches. On Jan. 12, he was admitted to the ER, where he was diagnosed with liver and kidney failure. The patient was transferred to another medical center, where he died on Feb. 20, 2011. The lawsuit alleges that the man died from multi-organ failure as the result of an allergic reaction to the antibiotic he was given. According to a lawyer for the family, if the hospital had performed the proper blood-work, the results would have shown the patient to be allergic to the antibiotic.

A medical malpractice case can be complicated to prove and may require the expertise of medical professionals. A personal injury attorney might have the resources and connections needed to investigate a case thoroughly. In the event that the case does not settle out of court, the attorney can provide an authoritative witness who may explain complex medical facts to the jury.

Source: Insurance Journal, "$2.5M Settlement In Hawaii Malpractice Began With a Toe", November 15, 2013

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