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$8,500 for Surgical Mishap

$8,500 for surgical mishap

In March of 1995, Jerry Thomas, a prisoner at the Clallam Bay Corrections Center (CBCC), near Port Angeles, Washington, injured his right hand. CBCC medical staff determined that surgery was warranted, and Mr. Thomas was subsequently transported to the Olympic Memorial Hospital to undergo the "open reduction and internal fixation" procedure. The surgery was performed by Dr. Richard Thorson, M.D.

Several weeks after the surgery, Dr. Thorson traveled to the CBCC to re-examine Mr. Thomas' hand. After the cast and bandages were removed, Mr. Thomas noticed that his hand was swollen, red and raw. Although Dr. Thorson was initially evasive concerning this irritation, he finally admitted that he had burned Mr. Thomas with a medical instrument during the surgery.

After his release from prison, Mr. Thomas filed a complaint with the Division of Risk Management. Several months later, Risk Management agreed to settle the tort claim for $8,500. Mr. Thomas was represented by attorney James Lanza of Bellevue. See: Matter of Thomas, Tort Claim No. 31032074-01 (April 29, 1998).

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Related legal case

Matter of Thomas