Doctors Failure Over Amputation Case. A NASSAU County jury awarded $ 3.95 million last week to a 59-year-old woman whose leg was amputated because of the failure of doctors at North Shore University Hospital to diagnose a blood clot for two days.
The plaintiff, Arlene Bernstein a former supervisor at Nassau Off-Tract Betting Corp., had entered the hospital in November 1991 for cervical surgery. Because of a cardiac condition, she first was required to undergo bypass surgery, which resulted in cardiac arrest.
The complaint alleged that while in the intensive care unit over the Thanksgiving weekend, the hospital left her monitoring to an intern who had had only 26 days of experience in post-operative procedures. It said doctors also ignored nurses’ notes of symptoms associated with a thrombosis that should have required remedial action.
According to her trial attorney, Bruce D. Katz, the verdict — which included $ 2.8 million for past and future pain and suffering is believed to be the largest ever returned in the county in a malpractice action not involving a brain-damaged baby. Parker & Waichman of Great Neck were the attorneys of record.
The defendants were represented by Charles Bach of Heidell, Pittoni, Murphy & Bach. Supreme Court Justice Harry Kutner presided over the trial.