In 1995, Ann was a 61-year old woman living in a modest neighborhood in West Philadelphia. She had raised five children by herself and earned a Temple degree in her spare time. But she had a history of smoking cigarettes and suffered from diabetes.
Her neighborhood doctor was a friendly man with a very busy practice. In the course of seeing him over five years, she had told him all the details of her medical history, and he even had to deal with her diabetes problems on more than one occasion.
Ann knew that diabetics have to be very careful about their feet. Even the slightest injury can have very serious consequences. If you cut your foot, you see the doctor. If you stub your toe, you see the doctor. When these minor injuries are ignored, a diabetic can get gangrene and end up losing toes, feet, and even legs.
Ann stubbed her toes while walking up the stairs in her home. She went to see her doctor because her toes had become oddly discolored and darkened and she was worried. He looked at her quickly, gave her bad advice and instructed her to return a week later.
Ann went home and followed the doctor's advice. Her foot, however, got darker and became very painful. When she returned to see him, he had no concerns and told her to come back in another two weeks. During that period, she again did what she was told, but her condition got worse and even more painful.
On the third visit, the doctor finally realized Ann had a serious case of gangrene. It had not even occurred to him she was at risk for this dreaded disease. He immediately called a local hospital and she was seen by specialists. The specialists ended up having to amputate her left leg below the knee.
Although the surgery was done properly, Ann experienced a number of complications. Her knee could not be fitted for an artificial leg, so she would be in a wheelchair the rest of her life. And after several trips to the hospital, she had infections that left her permanently incontinent.
Ann was left in terrible physical and emotional shape as a result of the doctor's negligence. Her need for permanent medical care was also a problem because she did not have much money to start with. She began to look for a law firm that could help her and a friend recommended that she retain the law firm of Pinnola & Bomstein. She was told that attorney Michael Bomstein was an aggressive litigator and a caring person as well.
Michael Bomstein filed suit right away. The doctor's lawyers took the position that Ann's condition was really her fault! They blamed her for smoking. They also blamed her for not recognizing how serious her symptoms were (even though the doctor did not recognize the problem).
Mr. Bomstein retained a number of experts to work with him and prove that Ann had serious and permanent medical problems that were caused by her family doctor. After two years of working on the case, they went to trial. On the second day of trial, the matter settled for one million dollars.
Ann now lives in a pleasant Philadelphia suburb. Her new home was modified to accommodate her wheelchair and her other needs. She has medical insurance and regular medical care. Her funds are under management and her income should be more than sufficient for her needs for the rest of her life. She even expects to leave something behind for her children. And she will always be grateful to the firm of Pinnola & Bomstein for being there in her time of need.