$6.3 Million Jury Verdict in Failure to Diagnose, Treat Compartment Syndrome

Jody Blatchley, a 32-year-old snowboarding coach, fractured his left tibia and right calcaneus in a snowboarding mishap. He underwent two surgeries over the next few days including a left tibial plateau repair surgery performed by Dr. Richard Cunningham.

After a second surgery, it was noted that Blatchley had pain, decreased sensation in his left leg, and an inability to move his left toes. Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Peter James evaluated Blatchley and prescribed pain medication.

Over the next few days, Blatchley’s pain increased, he developed swelling and remained unable to wiggle his toes. He underwent an ultrasound and was later found to have increased pressure in the compartments of his lower left extremity. This led to an emergency fasciotomy, debridement and skin graft procedures, and placement of a wound VAC six days after the injury. Blatchley now suffers from left foot drop and lower leg pain. His medical expenses totaled $418,000, and he lost income of $190,000.

Blatchley and his wife filed this lawsuit against Dr. Cunningham, Dr. James, the hospital for its nurses’ conduct and an orthopedic group for the conduct of its physician assistant, claiming that they all chose not to timely diagnose compartment syndrome.

The Blatchleys maintained that the pressures that Blatchley experienced should have been more closely monitored after the two surgeries in light of his developing symptoms. The defendants argued that they had met the standard of care.

The two physicians and the family orthopedic group settled with the Blatchleys for an undisclosed amount. The jury signed a verdict for $6,300,000 against the hospital.

The attorneys successfully handling this case were Colorado attorneys James E. Puga and Molly L. Greenblatt.

The Blatchley attorneys engaged the services of an expert in critical care while the defendants engaged an expert in neurology.

Blatchley v. Cunningham, No. 15-CV-00460-WYD-NYW (D. Colo.).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling physician negligence lawsuits, hospital negligence lawsuits, nursing negligence cases and wrongful death cases for individuals, families and loved ones who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of a medical provider for more than 40 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Oak Lawn, Blue Island, Calumet Park, Crestwood, Forest Park, Downers Grove, Hillside, Kenilworth, Round Lake, Schiller Park, Lincolnshire, Vernon Hills, Wilmette, Chicago (Archer Heights, Brighton Park, Stockyards, Englewood, Washington Heights, Pullman, Lake Calumet, Pill Hill, Calumet Heights, East Side, Woodlawn, Kenwood, South Loop, Goose Island, Clybourn Corridor, Lakeview, Irving Park, Edgewater, Andersonville), Norridge, Itasca, Aurora, Wood Dale and Villa Park, Ill.

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