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California Patient wins $580,000 in malpractice case

Posted on Mar 19, 2006

Patient wins malpractice case Rod Leveque, Staff Writer A Pomona Superior Court jury awarded more than $580,000 this week to a woman who said she received botched shoulder surgery from a prominent Upland doctor. The jury voted 9 to 3 that Dr. Scott Goldman did not meet basic medical standards when he mistakenly sucked out part of Marisa Pollak's shoulder muscle during a procedure to repair her rotator cuff, according to the Upland woman's attorneys. "He put a huge hole in my shoulder and then sewed me up and tried to pretend it never happened," Pollak said. Goldman runs the Medical Center for Bone and Joint Disorders in the 400 block of North Mountain Avenue in Upland. He has been licensed to practice in California for 20 years, according to the state Medical Board. His records show no signs of prior discipline or malpractice judgments. Both Goldman and his attorney did not return calls seeking comment on Friday. Pollak, 40, sued Goldman for malpractice after he performed arthroscopic surgery on her for a shoulder impingement four years ago. The procedure requires several small incisions in the shoulder area. A fiber optic camera and small instruments are then used to remove bone and soft tissue through the holes. Pollak, who worked as a hairdresser before the surgery, says parts of her shoulder muscles were also mistakenly removed. She says she was unable to use her arm afterward and had to undergo at least four additional surgeries to repair the damage. She says she drained her savings to pay for it. Her attorney, Cynthia Hafif, said she rarely takes medical malpractice cases, which are difficult to prove. She believed this case was egregious, however, because of the harm to Pollak and Goldman's refusal to pay the woman anything without taking the case to trial. The jury awarded Pollak the damages at the end of a nearly two-week trial.

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