Woman sues foot doctor over allegedly contaminated sutures

By Catherine Melancon | Oct 2, 2012

BATON ROUGE – A Baton Rouge woman is suing a surgeon after he allegedly used contaminated sutures during her foot surgery.

BATON ROUGE – A Baton Rouge woman is suing a surgeon after he allegedly used contaminated sutures during her foot surgery.

Tammy Authement filed suit against Dr. Patrick Hall, The Bone and Joint Clinic of East Baton Rouge, Lammico, the Surgery Center of Baton Rouge, its insurance company and Johnson & Johnson in the 19th Judicial Court on Aug. 12.

The plaintiff claims that on April 12, 2011, she sought treatment for her right foot from Dr. Christian Hall at The Baton Rouge Bone and Joint Clinic after she tripped and fell on April 11, 2010.

Dr. Christian Hall allegedly diagnosed Authement with having a torn Achilles tendon, and referred her to his son, Dr. Patrick Hall, who also practices at The Bone and Joint Clinic of Baton Rouge.

Dr. Patrick Hall allegedly stated that surgery was necessary, and on April 19, 2010, Authement had foot surgery at the Orthopedic Surgery Center.

On April 20, 2010, Authement returned to Dr. Patrick Hall, stating her cast was too tight, the lawsuit states. He allegedly changed her cast and informed her that her foot would need to be recast every two weeks.

On May 14, 2010, at Authement's second re-casting, it was determined that her cast had gotten wet and her skin was sloughing, the suit states.

On June 24, 2010, after lab work was conducted, the plaintiff was referred to Dr. Azmech, an infectious disease doctor in Baton Rouge, who diagnosed staph infection

On June 25, 2010, a midline was inserted and antibiotics were administered, the suit states. On Aug. 6, 2010, subsequent surgery was performed to drain the plaintiff's foot, and at that point, Dr. Hall allegedly stated that the stitches used in the original surgery had caused the staph infection, and claimed they were not sterile and/or contaminated.

The stitches were manufactured by Johnson & Johnson and had been recalled approximately one year before the surgery.

The plaintiff previously filed a medical malpractice complaint, but the medical review panel found no breach on the part of Dr. Patrick Hall or The Baton Rouge Bone and Joint Clinic, the suit states.

The defendant, Dr. Patrick Hall, is accused of being negligent in failing to provide proper care, failing to provide a safe and germ-free environment for its patient and knowingly using infected sutures that were recalled.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for permanent disfigurement of her foot, medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of wages, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life and failure to live her life to the ability she did prior to the alleged negligent treatment.

The plaintiff's husband and minor children are suing for loss of consortium.

Authement is represented by J. Michael Daly, Jr. and Bradford H. Walker of Walker Daly LLP in Metairie.

The case has been assigned to Division F Judge Timothy Kelley.

Case no. 614388.

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