In a judgment decision from U.S. Appellate Court Judge Michael Scudder, the court ruled in favor of attorney Mary Woehrer’s (Woehrer Law Office) client, awarding her $200,000 in damages for her medical malpractice claim. The United States is ordered to pay the damages for medical negligence in failing to coordinate mental health treatment in connection with a wound management procedure in January 2012.
The original claim was filed under the Federal Tort Claims Act for negligence and professional malpractice in connection with medical care provided to the plaintiff by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs at the Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the Zablocki Veterans Affairs Medical Center and outpatient programs.
Woehrer’s client served in Iraq from 2006 to 2008. After her discharge, she was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome that by December 2011 caused her to actively take 16 medications for diminished mental health issues. She received mental health treatment and the prescribed medications at the direction of the Tomah VAMC.
According to the complaint, the plaintiff had bilateral breast reduction surgery on Jan. 6, 2012, at the Zablocki VAMC. It was alleged that no informed consent was obtained by the surgeons prior to the procedure. She was discharged the next day to her Green Bay apartment where she lived alone and was instructed to continue taking her medication despite increasing pain.
Surgical complications caused the Zablocki VAMC to remove both breast nipples on Jan. 25, 2012, causing persistent, painful open wounds that eventually led to a staph infection on May 9, 2012.
From May 2012 to April 2014, the plaintiff suffered a nervous breakdown along with four additional corrective breast surgeries at the Zablocki VAMC. The complete court complaint exhibits name Drs. Patrick Hettinger, a resident, and Dr. Matloub, the attending physician.
The challenging of the mental health care claim with regards to treatment at the Tomah VAMC was dismissed earlier in the case by Magistrate Judge William Duffin.
According to Woehrer, “The claims against the Tomah VAMC were dismissed on the basis of Wisconsin’s Statute of limitations. The [final] judgment was on the Zablocki VAMC outpatient plastic surgery clinic treatment.”
The final court judgment indicates that for plaintiff’s informed consent claim the United States is not liable and entered judgment in favor of the United States and against the plaintiff.
During the case, Woehrer utilized Dr. Lawrence Amsel, a psychiatrist, and Dr. Thomas Pousti, a plastic surgeon, as the expert witnesses.
Case 16-CV-1652 Scholz vs. United States was resolved on Dec. 14, 2021.