Man Sues Doctor Who Left Surgery to Cash Check
Thu December 05, 2002
BOSTON (Reuters) - A Massachusetts man filed a malpractice lawsuit on Wednesday against the doctor who left him on the operating table midway through
spinal surgery to cash a check at a nearby bank.
Charles Algeri said he suffers severe pain in his right leg after orthopedic surgeon David Arndt left him for 35 minutes with an open incision in his
back during a spinal fusion procedure at a Boston-area hospital. Algeri's lawyer filed the lawsuit in Suffolk County Superior Court in Boston.
Arndt, whose license to practice medicine was suspended by the state medical board, has acknowledged that he temporarily abandoned Algeri in the
operating room during the July 10 operation at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The doctor admitted to a medical board investigator that he had "exercised remarkably horrible judgment" during the surgery, according to a board
report released in August.
Arndt explained to the investigator he had been waiting for his paycheck because he had to pay some overdue bills, and had been hoping to finish the
surgery before his bank closed for the day.
The procedure took longer than he expected, however, and Arndt decided to make a break for the bank midway through surgery.
Algeri, a Waltham, Massachusetts, resident, opted for the surgery to relieve pain he had been feeling in his left leg and left lower back.
"All of his problems were on his left side. Now he has problems on both sides but much worse on the right side," said Algeri's lawyer, Marc
Algeri is seeking unspecified damages from Arndt, claiming the pain is a result of the doctor's negligence. Breakstone noted that the doctor has $5
million in insurance coverage that could apply to the case.
"He's got $5 million in coverage and the case is worth at least that much," the lawyer told Reuters.
Arndt's lawyer was not immediately available for comment.
© Copyright Reuters 2002.