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Mass. Jury Awards Man Who Lost Leg $1.1 Million

A man who suffered the loss of part of his leg because of a wrongly treated infection was awarded $1.1 million by a federal court jury who determined that his doctor was negligent.

According to the medical malpractice lawsuit, 56-year-old Charles Olanyk—who suffered from obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes—stubbed his toe in 2001 and treated it with a heating pad that resulted in a burn.

When the pain worsened, Olanyk visited an orthopedist who referred him to Dr. John Bookwalter.

The suit claims that Bookwalter negligently treated Olanyk’s toe with antibiotics and a topical cream. “Our allegation was that he should have been sent to a burn doctor,” said Tom Lesser, the plaintiff’s attorney.

Allegedly, Olanyk went to Bookwalter a few times before he collapsed in his home. When he was taken to the hospital a short while later, his left leg had to be amputated below the knee.

The Mass. jury found Bookwalter liable for failing to adequately treat his patient’s injury, which caused him to lose part of his leg and endure pain and suffering.

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