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Jury Awards Amputee $1.1M

A jury has awarded $1.16 million to a man who was forced to have his leg amputated as a result of medical negligence on the part of the doctor who treated him.

Dr. John R. Bookwalter, a surgeon from Brattleboro, Vermont was found negligent in the treatment of 56-year-old Charles Olanyk, of Whatley, Mass.

The Events

According to Olanyk’s attorney, Tom Lesser, Olanyk sought treatment for what he believed was a broken toe from an orthopedist, Dr. John T. Chard in 2001.

Lesser said that Dr. Chard discovered that the toe was burned, and not broken. He referred Olanyk to Dr. Bookwalter.

According to court documents, Olanyk saw Bookwalter, who noted in his chart that “this is a very threatening thing for Charlie. This foot is at risk if it gets infected.”

The foot did get infected, but Bookwalter continued to follow a conservative treatment plan instead of referring Olanyk to a burn specialist.

Olanyk saw Bookwalter several times before he collapsed with an infection in his home in 2001. He was transported to Cooley Dickinson Hospital, then to Baystate Medical Center.

The infection became so severe that Olanyk’s leg could not be saved. It had to be amputated below the knee.

The Lawsuit

According to the lawsuit, Bookwalter is responsible for the eventual amputation and after-effects.

“Out allegation was that he should have been sent to a burn doctor,” said Lesser. “Instead, a conservative treatment was followed.”

“We were very pleased with the verdict,” Lesser said. “The jury recognized that a doctor didn’t live up to the standard of care and did what was right for the case.”

Victim of medical negligence? You may be eligible to recover compensation for the injuries you have suffered as a result. Please contact us today for a free case evaluation by an experienced medical malpractice attorney who can answer your questions and help you plan the best course of action.


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