Kaiser Blamed for Botched Carpal Tunnel Surgery
8-4-2014 22:19:00

     WASHINGTON (CN) - A Kaiser orthopedic surgeon botched a man’s carpal tunnel surgery, causing permanent nerve damage, the man claims in District of Columbia Superior Court.

     Timothy Jawarish sued William L. Burner, M.D. for medical malpractice and lack of informed consent, and Kaiser Permanente Capitol Hill Medical Center, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Mid-Atlantic States, Inc., and Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, P.C. for vicarious liability under the doctrine of respondeat superior.
     According to Jawarish’s eight-page lawsuit, Dr. Burner performed carpal tunnel release surgery on Jawarish’s right hand at Kaiser Permanente Capitol Hill Medical Center on May 31 2012. Dr. Burner’s notes said Jawarish tolerated the procedure well, according to the complaint.
     On June 5, Jawarish saw Dr. Burner for a follow-up appointment, according to the complaint.
     “The dressing from the surgery was removed, the wound cleaned, and no sign of draining or infection was seen. The surgical site was also cleaned and a light dressing applied. The instructions given to the plaintiff as per defendant William L. Burner, M.D. were to apply light dressing when outside of the home, remove the dressing indoors, and return to the clinic in one week for suture removal,” the complaint states.
     Jawarish accuses Dr. Burner of “negligently and improperly taking down the epineurium, the outermost layer of dense irregular connective tissue surrounding the peripheral nerve, causing serious and significant injury to the nerve in the right hand; negligently and carelessly puncturing a hole in the transverse carpal ligament and negligently using scissors to open the hole wider and sliding it blindly, causing more damage to the nerve itself; failure to consistently follow-up and examine the plaintiff on a consistent basis from May 31, 2012 to May 24, 2013; failure to timely order an EMG [and] failure to timely perform a second surgery to repair the nerve damage to the right hand.” An EMG (electromyogram) tests the health of the muscles and nerves.
     Jawarish says Dr. Burner “had a duty to inform and warn the plaintiff, Timothy Jawarish, of the risks associated with carpal tunnel syndrome release surgery.”
     Dr. Burner’s failure to warn Jawarish “deprived the plaintiff of the opportunity to exercise his medical option of canceling a completely elective procedure,” the complaint states.
     Timothy Jawarish seeks a jury trial and $5 million plus interest and costs. He is represented by Andrew E. Greenwald and Christopher M. FitzPatrick of Joseph, Greenwald & Laake in Greenbelt, Md.
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