Calgary wrestling icon Bret “The Hitman” Hart has been left without the use of his right index and thumb due to botched wrist surgery, a $1-million lawsuit claims.
In a statement of claim filed on behalf of the former professional wrestler, Hart says he underwent surgery two years ago to deal with a decades old injury.
“In 1981, while performing as a professional wrestler, Mr. Hart injured his right wrist by chipping his scaphoid,” the document says.
In 2015, Hart went to see plastic surgeon Dr. Justin Yeung to determine if anything could be done.
“Dr. Yeung advised Mr. Hart that he could perform surgery to repair his right wrist by a partial fusion of the wrist bones,” the lawsuit says.
On Nov. 23, 2015, Hart underwent surgery at the Peter Lougheed Centre.
About six weeks later Hart visited Yeung to have three pins removed and complained about ongoing swelling and pain as well as the fact his index finger and thumb “did not function.”
“Dr. Yeung responded to Mr. Hart that he should wait and see how he healed.”
But during visits in March, April and August of 2016, Hart continued to severe pain and lack of mobility, the claim says.
It says Yeung and other unnamed members of the surgery team failed to provide proper medical care to Hart.
“The defendants were negligent, breached the duties of care they owed to Mr. Hart and breached their agreement with (him).”
Among the specific allegations of negligence were that the defendants left “a tourniquet on Mr. Hart’s right arm on too long, such that the circulation of the nerves and tendons to his right thumb and index finger were damaged by a prolonged insufficient supply of oxygen.”
As a result, Hart has suffered several disabilities and limitations.
“He is unable to participate in his previous recreational and social activities,” it states, in listing some of the problems the plaintiff has suffered.
“He is unable to use his right hand to pick up and functionally use objects, including pens, pencils, eating utensils and tools,” the claim says.
“He is unable to properly dress himself without assistance.”
In October, Hart underwent a second surgery in Vancouver, but the ultimate outcome of that procedure is not yet known.
The lawsuit seeks $1 million in general damages, plus unspecified amounts for lost income and other losses.
A statement of defence disputing the unproven allegations has not been filed.
On Twitter: @KMartinCourts
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