Wallingford Man Awarded $4.2 Million for Botched Surgery

A 58-year-old Wallingford resident who lost the use of his shoulder following a medical procedure has been awarded $4.2 million, according to a spokesperson for his attorney's office.

Gregory Leigh, an employee of the PermaTreat Corporation in Durham, sued his doctor and MidState Medical Center in Meriden after a botched surgery left him with lifelong problems, the lawsuit says.

Leigh visited Dr. Daniel Schwartz in December 2008 for treatment of a swollen lymph node on the side of his neck. Schwartz misdiagnosed what was really a mild bacterial infection and recommended surgery to remove the lymph node, according to the suit.

During the procedure, Schwartz “damaged Mr. Leigh’s spinal accessory nerve,” causing “permanent catastrophic injuries” to Leigh's shoulder, a spokesperson for the personal injury law firm Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder said in a news release Wednesday.

“Besides misdiagnosing Gregory’s case entirely, the surgeon in this case botched the surgery, leaving Gregory permanently damaged,” attorney Sean McElligott said in a statement. “He now has nerve palsy, disfigurement of his arm and shoulder, cannot extend his left arm or raise it over his head, has permanent numbness and pain, and can no longer work at his job without considerable difficulty.”

Co-counsel Emily Rock called Schwartz's injuries “entirely preventable.”

A six-member jury awarded Schwartz $4.2 million following a two-and-a-half week trial at New Haven Superior Court.

Hartford HealthCare, which operates both MidState Medical Center and Hartford Hospital, where Schwartz is now practicing, responded to the ruling in the following statement:

“At Hartford HealthCare, we are committed to patient safety. It is at the heart of everything we do. We are focused on the important work of improving patient safety and quality within our network and across the country.”

Contact Us