A Broward County, FL, jury awarded $15.9 million in damages to Miami resident Stephanie Hollingsworth in a medical malpractice case against rheumatologist Dr. Yvonne Sherrer.
Hollingsworth was age 26 when she was forced to undergo amputations of parts of her hands and feet following one week under Dr. Sherrer's care at Holy Cross Hospital. The Schlesinger legal team successfully argued that Dr. Sherrer's negligence caused Ms. Hollingsworth's injuries.
Hollingsworth, who had auto-immune disease, was admitted to the hospital in November 2008 because of a flare-up that was causing pain in her hands and ulcerations on her feet. Her condition was caused by a specific complication that causes blood vessel inflammation and can lead to irreversible damage if not diagnosed and treated in a timely manner with a specific medication called Cytoxan.
Dr. Sherrer did neither. Her inaction led to a progressive deterioration in Hollingsworth's condition over the course of a week.
"This doctor's failure to follow the standard of care for her profession caused this young woman to suffer nightmarish injuries. She will never be able to lead a normal life," said Hollingsworth's attorney, Scott Schlesinger of Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
By the time she was transferred to another hospital, she was near death and her extremities were black with gangrene. Doctors at the second hospital administered Cytoxan and saved Hollingsworth's life. However, they could not save the gangrenous tissue. Hollingsworth lost nine of her toes, part of her left foot, her right thumb and the tips of two fingers. She relies on prosthetic devices and cannot walk or stand for more than 30 minutes. She also suffers from phantom pain and the psychological consequences of the disfiguring amputations.
"Our legal team worked diligently to help the jurors understand the medical records in the case and to ensure that they were not led astray by the revisionist history and after-the-fact justifications presented by the defense," Schlesinger said.
Schlesinger Law Offices, P.A. tried the case with Peter Somera and Paul Silva of Somera & Silva, L.L.P. and Crane Johnstone of Johnstone Law P.A.