A woman injured during a college basketball practice in Williston in 2009 has filed a federal lawsuit alleging improper care at Trinity Hospital caused the amputation of much of her lower leg.
According to federal court documents, Lenishka A. McDonald alleges that Trinity and Dr. Frederick Ness showed "negligence and carelessness" when "the necessary testing and care was not performed in a timely manner" while McDonald was a patient in emergency care at Trinity.
McDonald, a scholarship member of the Williston State College women's basketball team, was injured during a practice on Oct. 18, 2009, when she collided with another player. McDonald suffered a traumatic dislocation of the right knee and was transported to the emergency room at Mercy Medical Center in Williston.
According to her lawsuit, an emergency room physician there recognized a "high risk of vascular injury," and realizing that Mercy did not have the appropriate equipment or on-duty personnel to diagnose the potential trauma to the knee, promptly telephoned doctors at Trinity to discuss "the urgent need for specialized care" for the injury.
McDonald was transported to Trinity by ambulance immediately, where she was transferred to the emergency room, where Ness was the physician on call.
The lawsuit alleges that although a triage nurse on duty at Trinity did not locate any peripheral pulses in McDonald's lower leg, the necessary testing and care was not performed immediately.
On Oct. 25, McDonald was airlifted to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where physicians ultimately amputated part of her right leg. The suit states that McDonald alleges "(a)ll of this is a direct consequence of the negligence of defendants and each of them."
McDonald is asking for a jury to award her damages in excess of $75,000 for past and future economic and non-economic damages.
In a response filed with the court Thursday, Ness asserts that he provided treatment that was "appropriate and met the applicable standard of care." He states that McDonald "knowingly encountered and assumed the risk of injuries," and that "any loss, injury or damage was caused by her own fault, the fault of others, or was due to other facts and circumstances over which 'Ness' has no control."
He asks that the suit be dismissed.