Trial Begins Against GA Doctors Accused of Med Mal That Forced Patient's Leg Amputation

Posted by Arlin Crisco on Jan 16, 2019 2:26:51 PM


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Atlanta—Trial opened Wednesday over claims medical negligence cost a Georgia woman her leg. Lockhart v. Bloom, et al., 16EV003451. 

According to court documents filed in the case, Connie Lockhart was forced to undergo a below-the-knee amputation on her leg in March 2012, less than two weeks after being admitted to Northside Hospital-Cherokee's emergency room for an overdose of blood pressure medication.

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Lockhart contends the ER physician, Dr. Glenn Bloom, negligently placed a central line femoral catheter into the femoral artery of her right leg, rather than her vein, and never subsequently checked the line’s placement.

Lockhart claims the error was compounded by Dr. Sachin Lavania, who oversaw Lockhart's care at the hospital. According to the case’s pre-trial order, Lockhart contends Lavania ordered medication be given through the line before the improper placement was discovered. When a nurse noted Lockhart’s leg was cold the morning after her admission and discovered the line had been improperly placed, Lockhart claims Lavania discontinued medication through the line but failed to report to the hospital to examine her patient for about 7 hours, and failed to order a vascular surgical consultation for days.

Lockhart ultimately underwent a below-the-knee amputation following a transfer to Northside Hospital-Atlanta.

According to court documents, Bloom counters that his treatment of Lockhart fell within the standard of care given the circumstances surrounding her emergency admission. Bloom contends Lockhart was combative during his attempt to place the line, and there was nothing to indicate at the time that the line had been placed in Lockhart’s artery.

Both Bloom and Lavania contend hospital nursing staff failed to follow Lavania's order to monitor Lockhart’s central venous blood pressure overnight. If this order had been followed, they contend, healthcare staff would have discovered the line’s improper placement earlier.

Moreover, Lavania claims he immediately ordered medication through the line be stopped when he learned of its improper placement. Lavania, who maintains his treatment was appropriate, contends nothing else he could have done at that point would have saved Lockhart’s leg.

Northside Hospital-Cherokee is not a defendant at trial.

Trial, in Fulton County State Court before Judge Jane Morrison, is expected to take about two weeks. 

Lockhart is represented by the Bell Law Firm’s Lloyd Bell and David Schlachter and the Summerville Firm’s Darren Summerville.

Bloom and Cherokee Emergency Physicians LLC are represented by Weathington McGrew’s Paul Weathington and Gabriel Banks.

Lavania and Cherokee Lung and Sleep Specialists P.C. are represented by Weinberg Wheeler’s Robert Tanner, Nick Panyotopoulos, and Julie Hall.

Courtroom View Network is covering the trial and will publish gavel-to-gavel video as soon as possible after the verdict.

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Topics: Medical Malpractice, Georgia, Lockhart v. Bloom, et al.