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Surgeon Neglectfully Destroys Blood Vessels During Routine Surgery Causing Arm Amputation

In a routine shoulder replacement surgery gone awry, a neglectful orthopedic surgeon in Arizona made a critical error that forever changed Sharon King's life. He incorrectly placed a suture around her neurovascular bundle, impeding vital blood flow to her arm. This mistake deprived the limb of necessary oxygen and led to the necrosis. Consequently, she needed an amputation above the elbow. Marco Mercaldo of Mercaldo Law Firm represented Sharon and brought the case all the way to trial.

Ms. King, an active retiree, was passionate about golfing, hiking, and gardening. She sought the shoulder surgery to maintain her vibrant lifestyle. However, after the amputation, Sharon faced a world not designed for her changed capabilities. The loss of her arm deeply compromised her independence, transforming activities that once brought joy into poignant reminders of what she had lost.

Devastated by the medical negligence that led to the loss of her arm, Ms. King enlisted Attorneys Marco Mercaldo and Ron Mercaldo of the Mercaldo Law Firm. Known for their expertise in medical malpractice across Arizona, Marco and Ron were well-prepared to tackle the challenging case. Marco and Ron were resolute in holding the orthopedic surgeon and discharging nurse accountable. They embarked on thorough research and enlisted the collaboration of experts in orthopedic surgery and nursing. The goal was to unequivocally demonstrate the negligence involved in the surgical procedure and the subsequent patient discharge process.

From the outset, the Defense rejected the accusations of negligence, claiming that the unfortunate outcome was merely a surgical complication and not a result of malpractice. To counter their claims, Marco and Ron brought on an anesthesiologist and vascular surgeon to testify to additional factors that resulted in Ms. King's mishandling during the surgery. In addition, the duo sought opinions from a prosthetist, a life-care planner, and an economist to assess and articulate the extent of the damages incurred.

The multitude of medical experts introduced a flood of medical terminology and intricate details, making the case challenging to present to a lay jury. Marco, Ron and their team sought a clear and impactful method to demonstrate that what the Defense labeled as surgical complications were, in fact, instances of surgical error and negligence. To achieve this, Marco and Ron enlisted DK Global to create a step-by-step surgical animation, directly providing the jury with a vivid, understandable illustration of the procedural mistakes.

The animation began with a detailed 3D representation of the operating room, featuring a model based on Ms. King. First, it depicted the shoulder surgery procedure the orthopedic surgeon should have followed, including the correct suturing of the subscapularis tendon and the closure of both the rotator and deltopectoral intervals. Next, the animation transitioned to reveal what actually happened: the misstep where the surgeon inadvertently sutured the neurovascular bundle to the tendon. A subsequent overview within the animation focused on the repercussions of this error, showing significant tearing of the subscapularis tendon with suture material embedded and the compression of the neurovascular bundle, corroborated by side-by-side radiology reports detailing the extent of the damage.

Marco and Ron showed the animation to the Defense. With their mistakes laid bare, they finally admitted liability. The battle then shifted to proving that the extent of the damages sustained warranted proper compensation. When an agreement could not be reached, the case went to trial. After a week in the Pima County Superior Court, the jury returned with a verdict of $5,290,000 in favor of Ms. King.

Marco Mercaldo and Ron Mercaldo of Mercaldo Law Firm are both Fellows in the American College of Trial Lawyers and are both past presidents of the Tucson Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates.  Both have Martindale AV Ratings and have consistently been listed in Best Lawyers in America, Law Dragon Top 500 Lawyers and Super Lawyers.  The Mercaldo Law Firm handles catastrophic personal injury and medical malpractice cases throughout Arizona and Southern California.


"This was the third or fourth time I've worked with DK Global and I've always found your organization to be professional and responsive."
Marco Mercaldo - Mercaldo Law Firm
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