August 3, 2023

CRNA Files Lawsuit After Being Injured By Explosion in Operating Room

CRNA Files Lawsuit After Being Injured By Explosion in Operating Room

David White, a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), filed a lawsuit against former employers Hartford Healthcare claiming a surgical machine exploded during an operation causing physical and emotional harm. 

On August 4th, 2021 White was working at MidState Medical Center in Meriden when the spider limb positioner device “exploded or separated under pressure with one or more parts of the device striking Mr. White’s left shin causing a deep laceration” according to the lawsuit.

The spider device is a hydraulic arm that is used to manipulate and stabilize an extremity during a surgical operation and is controlled by a pedal that is pressed by a surgeon.  

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The lawsuit further states that “negligence of Hartford Hospital, its actual agents, apparent agents, servants and/or employees, as described above, was a substantial factor in causing David White to suffer serious and painful injuries, some or all of which may be permanent, including, but not limited to, the following:  

  • Traumatic compartment syndrome of the left lower extremity 

  • Necrotizing fasciitis (a/k/a “flesh-eating disease”) 

  • Injury to the left elbow and upper extremity 

  • Multiple surgical procedures including, but not limited to fasciotomies, incisions and drainages, skin grafting; compartment decompressions; tissue expander placement; debridements 

  • Lymphedema and swelling 

  • Scarring and disfigurement 

  • Infections 

  • Cellulitis 

  • Bacteremia 

  • Sepsis and septic shock 

  • Osteomyelitis 

  • Nephritis 

  • Tendon allograft 

  • Multiorgan dysfunction 

  • Liver shock 

  • Acute renal failure 

  • Posterior tibial neuropathy 

  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome 

  • Deep Peroneal nerve injury 

  • Septic arthritis of the elbow 

  • Osteomyelitis of olecranon and ulna 

  • Limitations on use of left arm 

  • Cubital tunnel syndrome  

  • Ulnar nerve neuropathy 

  • Falls 

  • Impaired gait and balance 

  • Need to use assistive devices 

  • Post-traumatic stress syndrome 

  • Depression 

  • Anxiety 

  • Panic attacks 

  • Fear of loud noises 

  • Inability to drive 

  • Nightmares and impaired sleep 

  • Side-effects of medication 

  • Extensive physical therapy and rehabilitation 

  • Pain 

  • Psychological, physiological and/or neurological sequelae   

"The injuries described in the complaint are straight out of the medical records," said White's attorney, William Bloss of Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder. "They followed sequentially after the original, the original trauma. In some ways shocking how this developed, but that's how it developed." 

As a direct result of the incident, White is no longer able to work and financially support his family.  

“As a further result of said injuries, David White has suffered a loss of earnings and/or earning capacity, and further has incurred medical and hospital bills, all to his financial loss,” the lawsuit claims

White wife, Sarah, and three children, Silo, Emory, and Dallas, are also plaintiffs in the case. The lawsuit claims their relationships have all suffered as a result of his medical issues. The family is seeking $15,000 in addition to medical bills and lost wages.  

Hartford Healthcare is represented by Mark K. Ostrowski of Shipman & Goodwin.  Ostrowski claims that the lawsuit  “lacks knowledge or information sufficient to admit or deny such allegations… putting the burden of proof on the plaintiffs, and that White’s alleged injuries were caused by the acts or omissions of third parties for which HHC has no legal responsibility.” 

The case is scheduled for a “Trial Management Conference” in October.

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