dr patrick swier

Dr. Swier loses malpractice case and is asked to pay $3.4 million

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Published: 31 July 2017

Posted by: Diane A. Rogers

A patient of a Lewes-area successfully argued in court and won a $3.4 million judgment against the plastic surgery and nerve surgery doctor who operated on her leg in the year 2010. The doctor had caused her searing, prolonged nerve pain she hadn’t had before.
The plaintiff, Patricia McLeod, had pain in her left knee and some tingling sensation in her left foot’s toes at night in 2009. So, she went to Dr. Patrick Swier of the Swier Clinic, which is located on Savannah Road. Swier, was a licensed physician practicing in Delaware since 2001, and claimed to be one of the few plastic surgeons on the East Coast to specialize in surgeries on feet and legs to relieve nerve compressions.
The court testimony showed that Swier had performed a total of nine procedures on the nerves present in McLeod’s left leg on April 5, 2010. Philip Edwards, an attorney for McCleod said that the patient still experienced even more pain.
Edwards said that, contrary to what was promised, she suffered from debilitating pain and cramping after the surgery. The experts consulted now, said that the symptoms did not warrant surgery. Surgery shouldn’t have been performed in the first place.
Experts at Johns Hopkins later diagnosed that she is suffering from complex regional pain syndrome and ordered her to undergo new treatment, in order to manage her severe pain, as per court records. She underwent the suggested treatment but nothing truly ended her painful sensations. Her 2012 civil complaint said that the treating physicians had been considering lower left leg amputation.
After a seven-day trial, McLeod, 52, of Salisbury, Maryland, won the malpractice suit on Dec. 11. The jury took three hours to come on the conclusion that Swier had committed medical negligence in treating her with surgical procedures. The diagnostic tests on her leg didn’t demonstrate that her nerve problems were surgically correctable.
McLeod had been teaching in Wicomico County, Maryland, schools as an English teacher, before the surgery. Edwards said that after she started seeing Swier, she lost her ability to stand and teach or to continue her job. She had to take retirement from the school system in 2012.
After an August 2010 appointment, which was four months after the surgery, Swier had written in his notes that she cannot walk to a far distance or stand for a long time, as per McLeod’s court complaint. It wasn’t really sure whether it was truly nerve pain. So, Swier should have considered and discussed nonsurgical options, like physical therapy, with the patient before deciding to operate, McLeod’s attorneys argued.
The jury awarded her $3,425,515 in damages after calculating the estimates of McCleod’s medical costs, lost income, and as per the seriousness of her post-treatment pain.
Staff members at Swier’s Lewes practice received messages on Tuesday, but Swier did not return to comment on anything. His lawyer, Richard Galperin, also did not make any official comments. The defense had tried their best to persuade the jury that Swier’s treatment of McLeod was well up to the standards of skill and care. They added that in any event, he did not proximately cause the injuries that were alleged by plaintiff.
Swier’s licensure record in Delaware is clean and problem-free, according to the online records in the Division of Professional Regulation. Also, there are no records of discipline or limitations.

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