Double amputee sues Winthrop for malpractice

Double amputee Stacey Galette, flanked by attorney Sanford

Double amputee Stacey Galette, flanked by attorney Sanford Rubenstein, left, and Ira Newman, demonstrates how she removes her prosthetics. (Nov. 19, 2010) Photo Credit: Jason Andrew

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A 30-year-old medical assistant who said a routine gynecological procedure led to her losing both feet has filed a lawsuit against Winthrop-University Hospital, accusing the Mineola medical facility and seven doctors of medical malpractice.

Stacey Galette, a single mother from Brooklyn with a 10-year-old daughter, had her feet amputated after suffering a punctured bowel that resulted in a gangrene infection to her feet, her attorney Sanford Rubenstein said Friday in announcing the filing in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn.

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"It is horrifying that she will spend the rest of her life with below-the-knee amputations because of medical malpractice," Rubenstein said at a news conference, as Galette sat beside him.

A spokesman for the state Department of Health, which investigates reported cases, said the incident was evaluated but "no deficiencies were found."

"We look forward to a jury hearing the facts as to what happened," Rubenstein said when told of the state finding.

John Broder, a spokesman for Winthrop, confirmed the hospital had been served with the malpractice complaint but declined further comment. He also declined to identify the lawyers representing the medical facility. The complaint doesn't specify a damage amount.

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According to the complaint, Galette, who walks with the assistance of a walker and has two prosthetic feet, went to Winthrop in early October 2009 for a gynecological laparoscopic procedure that was improperly performed, leaving her with a punctured bowel. Despite complaints by Galette about abdominal pain, she was discharged and had to be readmitted to Winthrop a day later and eventually underwent a double amputation in December 2009, the complaint stated. Court papers didn't specify which doctors performed the operations. With Ridgely Ochs

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