Jon Campisi Jul. 23, 2012, 7:42am

A recently filed lawsuit claims a Philadelphia man who had already lost his right leg had to have his left leg amputated after he developed an infection in that limb that was allegedly caused by a fall he suffered at an area hospital following a knee replacement surgery.

Paul F. Katona, who resides in Northwest Philadelphia, claims in a civil filing initiated July 18 by Princeton, N.J. attorney Bruce G. Cassidy, that his left leg had to be amputated following a “life threatening” infection that he developed after his left knee split open during a fall at Roxborough Memorial Hospital.

Katona, whose suit was filed at Philadelphia’s Common Pleas Court, states that he checked himself into the medical facility back on Oct. 15, 2010, for elective total knee replacement surgery upon his left leg.

Katona’s right leg had previously been amputated, although the lawsuit doesn’t specify the reason for the amputation.

The complaint states that five days after the knee replacement surgery, Katona, while rehabilitating from his operation, fell while transferring from his hospital bed to a wheelchair; he had been attempting to get to the bathroom at the time.

As a result of the fall, Katona tore open the recently operated knee, and went on to suffer what the complaint alleges was a life threatening infection that eventually required the amputation of his entire left leg.

The lawsuit claims that the defendants, which in addition to the hospital include Solis Healthcare LP, Tenet Health Systems and Roxborough Memorial Hospital Skilled Nursing Facility, were negligent when they failed to assist Katona from his bed to the wheelchair, placed an unsecure wheelchair adjacent to the hospital bed, failed to properly position Katona’s bed to prevent or minimize the fall risk, failed to have appropriate bed rails and failed to provide adequate staff to care for Katona and other patients.

In addition to the amputation, Katona has suffered severe disfigurement, disability, physical pain and mental anguish as a result of the incident, the lawsuit claims.

Katona and his wife, Kathy Killian Katona, who is listed as a co-plaintiff in the lawsuit, seek damages in excess of $50,000.

A jury trial has been demanded.


The case ID number is 120702453. 

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