Dallas Man Awarded Millions in Malpractice Case

Doctor who treated patient plans appeal

David Fritzgerald was a maintenance man at a North Dallas apartment complex.

In 2003, he went into the hospital for surgery on a stomach ulcer and one month later, he was a quadruple amputee.

"This has been a life changing event. There is nothing about his life that will ever be the same." said Linda Turley, Fritzgerald's' attorney.

Turley says just three days after a stomach ulcer procedure, Fritzgerald wasn't feeling well.

"He was coughing up green stuff, and had a high fever, and his chest x-ray was not normal." Turley said. "During the day, he developed sepsis, and then that evening, went into septic shock."

Turley says Fritzgerald's physician, Doctor Meenakshi Prabhakar, didn't treat her client with the proper medicine.

Soon, she says her client was sick with the disease spreading to his limbs, just a month after his minor surgery, Fritzgerald went in for a major procedure.

"In the end, the only thing that could be done was amputate his legs and following his legs, he had a second surgery where his arms were amputated." Turley said.

Fritzgerald settled out of court with RHD Memorial Hospital for $900,000.

Last week, a Dallas County jury awarded Fritzgerald $17.5 million in damages. 

Turley says the jury awarded Fritzgerald $9 million in non-economic damages, but Texas state law caps the damages at $250,000.

"That is unfair. The jury awarded Mr. Fritzgerald the $9 million, and he's entitled to his award," said Turley.

William Chamblee, the attorney for Doctor Prabhakar, said he's appealing the decision.

"I think it's erroneous and it's a travesty." Chamblee said. "In my opinion, the jury based their verdict on sympathy, and the judge told them not to."


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