MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) – A Warner man who accused an emergency room surgeon of malpractice has been awarded $1.75 million.

Randolph Hinz, 42, sued Dr. Eric Leefmans and two other physicians in 2006, three years after crashing his car on I-89. Hinz was thrown about 150 feet from the vehicle and suffered multiple broken bones and a collapsed lung.

According to his lawsuit, Leefmans performed emergency surgery at Concord Hospital to repair Hinz’s broken leg but did not give him blood to stabilize his condition, causing him to go blind because of the blood loss.

A Merrimack County Superior Court jury last week awarded Hinz $1.75 million plus about $200,000 in interest. It found that Leefmans, who is affiliated with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic in Concord, was 100 percent responsible for Hinz’s condition and that two other doctors Hinz also had sued were not at fault.

Hinz’s lawyer, Suzanne McDonough, said the leg surgery could have waited. Because of the blood loss, nerves in Hinz’s brain that control sight were deprived of oxygen and he was blind when the surgery ended.

“I woke up in a dark room a month and a half after it happened, and I’m still in that dark room and I’m not coming out,” McDonough said her client told her.

She said the defense claimed during the trial that Hinz was lucky to be alive after the injuries he suffered. That may be, she said, but “he did not go to a local doctor or some health care shop on the side of the road. He went to an emergency room, a level-one trauma center. You’re not supposed to come away blind.”


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