Galia Binder Apr. 15, 2014, 5:41pm

NEW ORLEANS— A woman who allegedly tripped and fell on shrimp while working as a waitress three years ago is suing a local doctor alleging she has no motor ability below her left knee due to a misdiagnosis in the emergency room.

Sandra Simmons, and husband Roger Washington, filed suit against Miguel Aguilera M.D. in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court on Feb. 7.

On Sept. 16, 2011, Simmons claims she slipped on a piece of shrimp while at work and landed on her left knee.  Affterward she alleges she was taken to Touro Hospital and examined by Aguilera who noted left knee pain and swelling. The plaintiff asserts Aguilera suspected a ligament injury but failed to procure the necessary knee immobilizer used in ligamentous exams and that he also allegedly failed to rule out the possibility of a serious knee injury including arterial injury.

Aguilera allegedly diagnosed Simmons with a knee contusion and released her with an ace wrap, crutches and pain pills.  The next day, Simmons went to the Tulane Medical Center emergency room with complaints of swelling, numbness, coldness and the inability to move her left leg from the knee down. She was immediately diagnosed with an arterial injury and given vascular surgery requiring multiple screws and parts to be put in her knee. Simmons’ operating physician advised further reconstruction and she stayed in the ICU for 10 days before transferring to St. Theresa Specialty Hospital for long-term care.

A medical review panel convened on Nov. 21, 2013 to investigate the plaintiff’s case.  Simmons claims she currently has a left foot drop, no motor and sensory function below her left knee, permanent swelling and is experiencing constant pain.

Simmons is accusing Aguilera of failing to  properly diagnose and treat her injury in a timely manner, rule out arterial injury, order appropriate labs and diagnostics, admit her for further evaluation, provide the necessary devices to protect her given the suspected ligamentous injury and perform neurovascular checks.

The plaintiffs are seeking at least $50,000 dollars in damages for Simmons’ physical injury, mental anguish, medical expenses, income loss and earning capacity, permanent disability, severe disfigurement and lost chance for a better recovery.

Simmons and Washington are represented by attorney James A. Marchand of Covington.

The case has been assigned to Division I Chief Judge Piper D. Griffin.

Case no. 2014-1351.

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