GRETNA – A local hospital and doctor are being sued by a patient who claims she received severe nerve damage in a carpal tunnel surgery that has limited her ability to use her hand.
Debra Stokes, and husband William, filed suit against Ochsner Clinic Foundation and Carl E. Lowder M.D. in the 24th Judicial District Court on Feb. 9.
Stokes contends she visited Lowder complaining of numbness and tingling in the fingers of her right hand. The plaintiff asserts that on June 8, 2011 Lowder performed a carpal tunnel surgery on her hand that included making an incision in her wrist and dividing the carpal tunnel ligament. Stokes claims that after the surgery she began to experience severe shock-like sensations in the affected arm that were not present before the surgery. On Nov. 9, 2011 Lowder allegedly undertook a second surgery on the same site in Stokes's arm and reported scarring on the median nerve in the area. Afterward Stokes reported the pain in her arm did not dissipate and remained the same.
The plaintiff contends that on March 16, 2012, after Stokes complained of continual pain and numberless in her fingers, she was referred by Lowder to a renowned hand surgeon who performed a procedure to examine the nerve whereupon he found it had been partially severed during the previous surgeries and proceeded to repair it. While Stokes claims that after the latest surgery the pain sensation disappeared, she still has not received sensation in her fingers due to permanent damage that makes it unable for her to perform basic tasks such as holding a knife, typing on a computer or writing with a pen.
The defendant is accused of medical malpractice.
An unspecified amount in damages is sought for physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity and loss of enjoyment of life.
Stokes is represented by Jeffrey A. Mitchell of Metairie-based The Cochran Law Firm.
The case has been assigned to Division I Judge Nancy A. Miller.
Case no. 746-589.