In the second day of proceedings, prosecutors attempted to prove that the surgeon did not simply make medical errors, but knew that he was likely to actually harm people. To do this, prosecutors questioned two patients and three doctors. One medical professional stated that fusing the lower spine was one of the easiest operations for a spinal surgeon, yet a patient of Duntsch’s woke up in pain, accusing the surgeon of failing to identify its source.
Duntsch has been incarcerated since July 2015 on charged of aggravated assault causing serious injury and causing injury to an elderly person. In fact, he has been charged with five separate counts of aggravated assault. Doctors during the proceedings called Dunstch’s work catastrophic and abnormal.
Patients described extreme pain following surgeries performed by Dunstch, and fellow medical professionals casted shades of doubt on whether Dunstch acted within the standard of care. One doctor present for a surgery with Dunstch, said that the surgeon did not use a scalpel, but instead used grabbers to jab at a patient’s disc. That patient woke with searing pain and was eventually diagnosed with drop foot. He walked into the courtroom with a brace, a boot and a cane.
Whether Dunstch’s actions will amount to medical malpractice or a more severe criminal charge remains to be seen. No matter the outcome, it is certain that his reputation in the medical community has been severely tarnished. Testimony in the case against Dunstch will continue this week.
If you or a loved one has been harmed by a medical professional in New York, reach out to our team of experienced medical malpractice attorneys for a free case evaluation.