December 23, 2019

Air Force Pilot Awarded $10 Million After Wrist Procedure in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A United States Air Force pilot was awarded about $10 million dollars after a Las Vegas jury found his surgeon removed a bone in his wrist, which caused a number of complications.

“He was in tiptop physical shape and he was into strength training, heavy weightlifting,” said Attorney Dan Carvalho, who represented Maj. Stephen Rohrbacher in the case.

Air Force Pilot Maj. Stephen Rohrbacher

Rohrbacher sought out medical treatment from Dr. Jonthan Sorelle, from the Minimally Invasive Hand Institute in Las Vegas, after experiencing some pain in his wrist during exercise.

According to a lawsuit, Sorelle found a bone spur was causing the discomfort and recommended surgery.

Carvalho says a follow up examination by a military occupational therapist revealed the scaphoid bone inside Rohrbacher’s wrist was completely removed.

Hand Skeleton System Closeup

“It was bad. It was the most pain I’ve ever been in my entire life,” Rohrbacher testified in court.

Additional surgeries were required to stabilize the wrist and correct the issue.

Carvahlo says Sorelle did not act in the best interest of his client and was motivated by money.

“This is a physician that sees children, elderly everything in between and we make assumptions when we go to the doctors office for the advice we’re getting will always be in our best interest,” said Carvalho.

A jury awarded Rorhbacher millions for the case and Carvalho says it should serve as punishment and a deterrent for other physicians.

Dan Carvalho at Carvalho & Associates in Las Vegas

13 Investigates has learned Sorelle was the subject of another surgery which was investigated in 2010.

13 Investigates attempted to reach Sorelle for comment but a request was not immediately returned.

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