A Lewes-area plastic surgeon Dr. Patrick Swier has lost a $3.4 million medical malpractice case against a former patient who alleged that the doctor’s treatment on her leg left her with a searing pain that she had never experienced before. That is some serious money that will change her life forever.
Dr. Swier had operated on Patricia McLeod in 2010. The patient had come into his clinic complaining of an ache in her left knee and a tingling sensation in the toes on her left foot when she slept at night. Dr. Swier whose clinic is located on Savannah Road first saw the patient in 2009. The doctor who has been a licensed physician practicing in Delaware since early 2001, suggested to McLeod that she should undergo a surgery on her foot to relive any nerve compressions which may be causing the pain and the tingling sensation.
Surgery caused more pain than before
After the patient’s approval, Dr. Swier performed nine separate procedures on the nerves in McLeod’s legs. The surgery was done on April 5th, 2010. But McLeod’s medical malpractice attorney Philip Edwards showed in the court that the result of the surgeries was even worse pain for the patient despite the promise that the ache and the tingling sensation she was worried about would vanish.
Dr. Swier had assured her that he was one of the few surgeons on the East Coast who was capable of performing the surgery on her leg. But in spite of his assurances, Dr. Swier’s treatment did not help ease McLeod’s leg pain and instead caused her much more agony than before.
Experts deny surgery was required
Philip Edwards, McLeod’s medical malpractice lawyer brought expert testimonials which clearly showed that the problem that the patient was suffering from did not require surgery. Doctors at John Hopkins center later looked at McLeod’s diagnosis and said that it was not a nerve compression she was suffering from but something else known as a complex regional pain syndrome.
She was given new treatment that would have helped her with the ‘new pain’ that she was now experiencing but nothing has truly removed the painful sensations that the patient has had to endure because of Dr. Swier’s suggestions. The lawsuit that the plaintiff filed in 2012 also noted that her physicians were contemplating amputating her lower left leg to ease her distress.
Victim is not super rich and never has to work again
A jury took three hours to reach the conclusion that Dr. Swier had been negligent in treating the 52 year old patient and failed to give her proper medical advice as her diagnostic tests had revealed that her leg pain was not the type that could be corrected by surgery. McLeod’s attorneys also argued that the plastic surgeon should have given his patient a run through of the various non surgical treatments at her disposal, which he never did. That is fine, but is making someone a millionaire a proper response? Everyone who pays health insurance and even if they do not has to deal with rising health care costs.
McLeod who had been a school teacher at Wicomico had to leave her job in 2012 when she could no longer afford to teach with the debilitating pain in her leg. Now she has the money to buy a yacht and a gorgeous home.