In St. John’s, Newfoundland, 30-year-old mother of three Samantha Rideout experienced first-hand the consequences of an inappropriately delayed diagnosis. Doctors failed to identify a broken bone in her foot, which eventually led to an infection and, ultimately, amputation. This is exactly the sort of case that a medical malpractice lawyer would consider accepting, especially given the lengths Rideout went to have her injury accurately diagnosed.

The case started when Rideout fell down a flight of stairs in her home, breaking bones in her right foot.

“I took the first stair and just missed it completely,” she told the CBC. “So when I did, my right leg was up behind my head.”

Rideout was born with spina bifida causing numbness in her feet, but after the fall she could sense something was wrong. When she visited St. John’s Health Sciences Centre, she alerted doctors to the abnormal feeling in her right foot, but the doctors focused on her knee. The break went undiagnosed.

“I told them… ‘I don’t feel anything on my feet ever. And now I do feel something – which is very, very strange for me,” she explained. “They kind of just focused on my knee and nothing else. I kept mentioning my foot and [the doctor] kept saying, ‘We’ll get to that.’”

Rideout returned to the hospital several times after her initial visit. On each occasion, she underwent x-rays on her knee and was prescribed antibiotics, but doctors repeatedly failed to identify the broken bones in her foot.

After two months of walking abnormally, Rideout developed a blister and returned to the hospital, worried about an infection. Doctors finally ordered x-rays and discovered the multiple breaks. She was prescribed antibiotics, but her condition worsened; her broken foot became badly infected.

Eventually, Rideout was referred to a wound-care specialist who provided better treatment. But by then it was too late – after an unsuccessful surgery to clear the infection, it was determined that amputation was necessary. Her right leg was removed below the knee.

“It’s not like I went in and I just lost a toe or a finger,” Rideout said. “It’s a whole leg, and it took a big part of my life away.”

As a single mother, the amputation will have a profound effect on Rideout’s quality of life. She may struggle to provide the care and attention that her family needs. It may also affect her ability to find work and support her children. These are the type of challenges that an experienced medical malpractice lawyer can help resolve. While Rideout has not yet decided to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, doing so could provide access to significant financial compensation to help her through the coming years.

If you or a member of your family has been injured as a result of the error or negligence of a medical professional, contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer. Our team can assess the viability of your claim and provide guidance and support on your road to recovery.


Image credit: Mills Baker/Flickr

Greg Neinstein