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Woman awarded $2M after EMT drops oxygen tank on her leg

Sharon Honerkamp almost lost her leg after a 20-pound oxygen tank was dropped on her leg just days after a knee replacement surgery

By Robert Patrick
St. Louis Dispatch

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Sharon Honerkamp was returning to her Affton-area home just days after knee replacement surgery when that new knee took a hit.

Employees of the medical transportation company that was bringing her home dropped a 20-pound oxygen bottle on the knee, fracturing the new prosthetic and bone, her lawyer, Mark Cantor, said Wednesday.

Honerkamp required another surgery, suffered recurring infections and almost lost her leg, Cantor said.

“This was a terrible, terrible thing, and it was needless,” he said.

Honerkamp didn’t need oxygen.

It was simply sent along on the ride as a precaution, he said, and employees weren’t supposed to touch the tank.

Cantor also said the company denied that it had transported Honerkamp, until she produced a canceled check. He said the employees involved no longer work for the company.

The company recently paid $1.95 million to settle a suit filed by Honerkamp, Cantor said. Citing a settlement agreement, he refused to name the company.

Court records, however, show that Honerkamp sued Express Medical Transporters Inc. in St. Louis County Circuit Court last year. The case was set for trial Oct. 30.

A lawyer for the company, Gregg Kinney, did not respond to requests for comment. The company did not return an email seeking comment Wednesday.

The original lawsuit said Honerkamp was being taken home four days after her Feb. 6, 2015, surgery when the accident happened.

The EMT employee was passing the oxygen bottle over her because her wheelchair had gotten stuck going through the front door.

The company admitted in court filings that an employee dropped the bottle,but denied many of the rest of the claims. It also said the accident occurred five days after the surgery.

Copyright 2017 St. Louis Dispatch

McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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