New Orleans hospital sued by patient who claims he lost parts of fingers, toes and leg

Michelle Keahey Nov. 21, 2011, 6:25am

A medical malpractice lawsuit has been filed against Ochsner Clinic Foundation by a patient who claims he suffered from septic shock.

With the loss of fingers, toes and part of his leg as a result of his medical treatment, Steven Lachute filed suit on Nov. 9 in federal court in New Orleans.

Lachute underwent a left hemicolectomy and colorectal anastomosis on Jan. 29, 2007, the complaint states. He claims that on the day after surgery, due to elevated blood counts, the examining physician ordered an x-ray of Lachute's abdomen. The radiologist recognized that this was an inappropriate test and recommended a CT scan, the suit claims.

However, Ochsner employees failed to order the CT test that was recommended, the lawsuit states.

Despite increasing blood counts and abnormal physical exams, Lachute states that nothing was done until Feb. 2, when he went into septic shock and required intubation and was taken to an intensive care unit.

"Ochsner had a legal duty to ensure that care rendered to Lachute was performed correctly and diligently including, but not limited to, avoiding unnecessary surgical procedures; performing tests ordered by its own physicians; diagnosing and addressing serious medical conditions; providing necessary and adequate follow-up care; avoiding gangrene and loss of limbs," the lawsuit states.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish, anxiety, medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, loss of enjoyment of life and court costs.

Lachute is represented by New Orleans attorney Timothy R. Richardson and Benjamin Wise in Jackson, Miss. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Sarah S. Vance is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:11-cv-02781

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