Friday, October 19, 2018

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Second suit this year filed against physician

Patient alleges she will suffer pain, discomfort, facial disfigurement

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An Altoona physician is being sued for medical malpractice for the second time this year.

Dr. Robert DeFatta, an otolaryngologist — or ear, nose and throat specialist — and a facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon — and his business, DeFatta ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery, are named as defendants in both suits.

In a suit filed this week, Kimberly J. Riedel of Elk Mound accuses DeFatta of negligence.

According to the complaint:

Riedel was one of DeFatta’s patients from May 6, 2014, to Nov. 9, 2016. During that time, he performed numerous surgical procedures on her nose and face and surgically implanted and removed numerous surgical sutures and anchors.

DeFatta “was negligent in performing such procedures on Feb. 12, 2015, Jan. 14, 2016, and Sept. 27, 2016, and for his care and treatment” of Riedel, and that negligence included failing to warn her of the nature and extent of his treatment.

As a result of DeFatta’s negligence, Riedel has suffered and will suffer in the future pain, discomfort and facial disfigurement. She also has incurred and will incur future medical and related expenses

Riedel is asking for unspecified monetary damages.

The Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund and DeFatta’s liability insurance carrier also are named as defendants in the suit.

In January, Patricia A. and Donald R. Marjala of Eau Claire also filed suit against DeFatta and his wife, Dr. Rima DeFatta, DeFatta ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery and Midwest Medical Insurance Co.

According to the complaint:

On Jan. 29, 2015, Drs. Robert and Rima DeFatta provided medical services to Patricia Marjala, including brow and upper blepharoplasty, cosmetic rhinoplasty and a face and neck lift.

During the surgery, both physicians “acted in a negligent and careless manner in failing to use due, reasonable and proper skill and care; failing to follow standard and accepted medical and surgical practices and procedures; and failing to properly treat.”

In addition, the medical and surgical care and treatment failed to correct and/​or improve any of the areas the surgery was intended to address and resulted in Patricia Marjala experiencing blurred vision due to sagging eyelids and excess skin over the upper eyelids, among other complaints.

In an answer to this complaint, the DeFattas deny the Marjalas’ allegations and ask that the suit be dismissed.

Both suits come less than a year after Robert DeFatta was reprimanded by the state Medical Examining Board.

Members of the board found DeFatta engaged in unprofessional conduct by engaging in conduct that tends to constitute a danger to the health, welfare or safety of a patient or the public; obtaining consent for treatment without adequately charting his discussion with the patient informing him or her of the availability of all alternate, viable medical modes of treatment and about the benefits and risks of these treatments; and failing to maintain patient health care records consistent with requirements of state administrative code.

The board ordered that DeFatta retain a professional mentor to review some of his work for the next year.

Contact: 715-830-5838, christena.obrien@ecpc.com, @CTOBrien on Twitter


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