Shelley Durrant: Arm Accident Leads to Foot Amputation

It was bad enough that Shelley Durrant lost both of her arms in a farm-machinery accident. But to have her lower right leg amputated because of hospital negligence was beyond comprehension.

Improper Hospital Monitoring Results in Additional Severe Injuries

Shelley was rushed to the hospital following her accident where a catheter was placed in a blood vessel in her right leg to administer medication and fluids. Unfortunately, it was improperly installed and severely damaged a nearby artery. Afterward, the hospital staff responsible for monitoring Shelley did not pay attention to signs of artery damage and loss of blood supply, and so did not timely treat the artery injury. As a result, Shelley had an extended time with restricted blood circulation in her leg. That damaged her right lower leg severely enough to later require amputation.

In addition to these severe injuries, Shelley also discovered pressure sores on the back of her head once she arrived home from the hospital. The hospital staff was not monitoring her head during her stay and failed to notice the skin breakdown that was occurring while she lay in the hospital bed.

In the lawsuit, the evidence showed that the hospital was negligent in its treatment of Shelley, including:

  • Failing to diagnose, recognize, monitor and treat the injury to Shelley’s artery;
  • Failing to properly monitor Shelley’s leg pulses in light of the increased risk of blood clot;
  • Failing to promptly report to a responsible physician the change in condition to Shelley’s right leg and foot;
  • Failing to timely and adequately treat or provide treatment to Shelley after indications of blood clot and lack of circulation were discovered; and
  • Failing to adequately monitor, assess and treat Shelley’s head to prevent the development of pressure sores.

Finding Justice

After reaching out to several law firms who rejected her, Shelley finally got in touch with Don Corson, who felt like she had a legitimate case. Don recalls meeting Shelley for the first time, noting, “I loved her candor and straight forwardness… She said, ‘I went in with two good legs and I came out with one!’”

Don worked extensively with emergency medicine experts, vascular surgeons, amputation surgeons, nurses, and life care planners.  With the help of experts, Corson & Johnson was able to show how the hospital’s substandard care broke basic patient safety rules, and was also able to determine the level and cost of care Shelley would need as a result of her new injuries. After negotiating with the hospital, a settlement was reached that would take care of Shelley for life.