Doctors, hospital named in lawsuit

A Howard County resident has filed a malpractice lawsuit against Odessa Regional Hospital and three doctors alleging they are the reason she now has to use a wheelchair or walker for the rest of her life.

According to the lawsuit filed in Ector County District Court, Mattie Norwood fell and fractured one of her hips while recovering from COVID-19 at a rehab center in Big Spring in April 2022. After being transferred to ORMC it was determined she should have a total hip replacement.

Norwood’s attorneys allege that during the surgery, Dr. Saravanaraja Muthusamy decided to “clean and close” a small, scabbed over sore on Norwood’s shin even though she had not consented to such a procedure.

The lawsuit further alleges Dr. Debasis Dasgupta did nothing to stop the other doctor.

According to Norwood’s attorneys, when the doctors manipulated Norwood’s leg to ensure the hip replacement was a success they caused a 15-centimeter laceration to her “fragile and thin” skin near the wound that had been cleaned and closed.

The doctors placed a vacuum pump to the gash and Dr. Varsha Gillala continued the use of the pump after Norwood was transferred to Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital in Midland, the lawsuit stated.

The lawsuit alleges the pump wasn’t removed or checked for several days and as a result Norwood suffered permanent nerve damage and now suffers from “drop foot.” She doesn’t have the ability to lift her foot and walk normally and must now use a wheelchair or walker, the lawsuit states.

The law firm of Moravcik, Threadgill and Starry is seeking unspecified damages.