Putnam couple sues St. Mary's, doctor for negligence

By Kyla Asbury | Apr 2, 2012

WINFIELD -- A Putnam County couple is suing St. Mary's Medical Center for injuries sustained due to a surgery performed at the hospital.

Dr. Panos Ignatiadis was also named as a defendant in the suit.

On Jan. 28, 2010, Ignatiadis performed a total laminectomy at L4-L5 and L5-S1 with foraminotomy surgery on James Franklin Sergent at the hospital and pedicle screws were inserted at L4, L5 and S1, according to a complaint filed March 12 in Putnam Circuit Court.

Sergent claims prior to the surgery he was able to walk and had normal strength in his lower extremities, including his feet, but immediately after awaking from the surgery, was began to experience severe and significant pain, especially in his lower extremities and feet.

Despite multiple complaints about the pain, the complaints were ignored by the defendants and Sergent was told he was experiencing normal post-surgical pain, according to the suit.

Sergent claims nothing was done to explore the cause of his pain until approximately one week later.

On Feb. 4, 2010, Ignatiadis finally performed surgery on Sergent and discovered that the pedicle screws implanted during the surgery had cracked the bone and penetrated into the nerve, according to the suit.

Sergent claims after the surgery he was unable to walk without the assistance of a walker or a cane and because of his condition, he was unable to return to work and was determined to be totally disabled in March 2010.

The defendants failed to examine Sergent within 12 to 24 hours after his surgery and breached their standard of care, according to the suit.

Sergent claims the defendants were also negligent in failing to address his foot weakness in a timely manner and failing to surgically address the problem for one week.

The defendants' negligence caused Sergent to sustain impairment to his ability to walk; lost wages; emotional distress; medical bills and expenses; pain, suffering, mental anguish and grief; and other damages, according to the suit.

Sergent and his wife, Donna K. Sergent, are seeking compensatory damages. They are being represented by Richard E. Holtzapfel.

Putnam Circuit Court case number: 12-C-78

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