$2.75M Settlement: Illustrating Amputation After Fork Lift Crushes Foot

Tyler Tomlinson, Esq., Stark & Stark, Attorneys at Law, Yardley, PA

A dangerous method for transporting steel columns resulted in a construction worker’s leg amputation after he was pulled into the path of a high-capacity forklift.

The method involved the forklift suspending the steel columns in the air from its tall boom lift. As the forklift was driven forward, the worker walked alongside holding a tagline rope that was connected to the column to control its suspended movement. When the forklift suddenly stopped, the forward momentum from the suspended column pulled the Plaintiff in front of the forklift and when the forklift continued forward, his foot was crushed under its tire.

Tyler Tomlinson, Esq., Stark & Stark, Attorneys at Law, Yardley, PA
"There was a much safer way to transport columns through the park, one that would not have presented hazards. Unfortunately, there also was not a supervisor on-site, as required by the contract, and the crew was understaffed."

Broken bone was visible beneath a gaping wound in the Plaintiff’s severely swollen ankle, and an X-ray showed brutal fractures throughout his fibula, tarsals, and metatarsals. An external fixator was placed around the ankle, but after postoperative examinations showed progressive necrosis of the foot and toes, he would need to have his leg amputated below the knee.

Heading into mediation, Tyler Tomlinson, Esq., needed the Defense to understand his client’s catastrophic pain, suffering, and irreversible disfigurement, which could have been avoided had the construction company employed a safer method for transporting the columns, such as using flatbed trucks. We built an illustration series that would achieve the following visual objectives:

  • Illustrate the Plaintiff’s painful injury alongside colorized X-rays.
  • Show how the injury was initially treated and fixated.
  • Demonstrate the amputation procedures the Plaintiff would undergo to have his lower leg removed.
  • Conclude the Plaintiff’s story with the surgical revision he would need to prepare his limb for a prosthetic leg.

The following visual presentation helped Mr. Tomlinson secure a $2.75M settlement for his client’s lost wages, medical bills, pain, and suffering.

Exhibit A: Illustrated Injury Summary

The first exhibit summarizes the Plaintiff’s injury from the inside out. The illustration on the left shows the open wound with visible bone fractures and the colorized X-rays along the right highlight clear fractures throughout his ankle and foot.

Illustrated Foot Injury Alongside Colorized X-Rays

Exhibit B: Illustrated Debridement and Fixator Placement

The next exhibit breaks down the initial treatment the patient underwent, which involved debridement of the wound and placing an external fixator around the ankle with K-wires.

Debridement and External Fixator Placement

Exhibit C and D: Illustrated Lower Leg Amputation

After postoperative examinations showed progressive necrosis of the foot and toes, his lower leg would need to be amputated. The first procedure would involve the oversewing of vascular bundles, the sawing of bone, and the placement of a post-op wound vac.

Amputation Procedure 1

The next illustration shows the revisional amputation that was performed four days later. Devitalized necrotic tissue was removed from skin flaps, the fibula was cut, the tibia was prepped for a bone bridge with a burr, and the final image shows the post-op condition with the bone graft.

Amputation Procedure 1

Exhibit E: Illustrated Surgical Revision for Prosthetic

Almost two months later, the patient would need to have his limb prepared for a prosthetic leg. Skin was harvested from the right thigh and meshed into a skin-graft, which was placed at the limb stub and secured with staples. The final image shows the post-op anatomy with the wound vac.

Preparing the Limb for a Prosthetic Leg

Tyler Tomlinson, Esq., Stark & Stark, Attorneys at Law, Yardley, PA
“We are proud to help this hardworking individual receive just compensation for the considerable pain and loss he has suffered—and continues to endure.”

High Impact’s team of visual strategists, artists and developers can build and customize your digital presentation for any case involving personal injury, medical malpractice, birth trauma - or any subject involving complex information.

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