Physical therapist stopped treatment while I had unfilled prescriptions?

by Susan

I have multiple orthopedic conditions and surgeries. After several years of being treated by a physical therapist, he began double booking my appointments and ignoring me. I had outstanding prescriptions from different doctors for treatment.

He abruptly discontinued service, left a voicemail on my phone while I was at work, did not provide a referral, nor continuation of service until I found someone else. I have asked why through emails and subsequent follow up questions in conversations that I initiated, and he said because I rolled my eyes.

I wasn't even aware that I had rolled my eyes. I was trying to talk to him about my progress and he was talking to one of his workers about fantasy football. To complicate matters further, I have very weird hours and he is the only physical therapist in town that comes in at 5am. This is the time that works for me between my 2 jobs.

My orthopedic conditions worsened after being discontinued and I am struggling to regain the ground. He also talked to other patients about me. He told them he was no longer treating me and before I left he told one patient he was frustrated with me.

I asked him if he was frustrated with me (3 months before I was discontinued) and he said that was not true and promised he would tell me before it was too late.

This has had extreme negative effects on my overall health. I am working to overcome years of domestic abuse which he knew about partially because it was part of my injuries. Again, I had no verbal outbursts, no time were I was aware of anything except that I asked him how I could schedule my time so that I would not be double booked and could get his time.

I have had one face to face meeting with he and his partner, and a couple of phone conversations. He really can't state anything substantive, only that I rolled my eyes. At one point he eluded to me being directive with care.

I had 2 doctors that asked that I ask for certain modalities when he claimed not to know what to do, and he would just send me to a table to do situps or some other exercise unsupervised.

Is it permitted for him to stop treatment like that with no real reason? Is he responsible for the negative effects on my health, since he stopped treatment short and didn't refer me to another PT? Is there anything I can do about this? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Physical therapist stopped treatment while I had unfilled prescriptions?":

Susan (Kansas):

From the facts you present your physical therapist appears to have acted inappropriately. However, there is a great divide between acting inappropriately and committing some form of malpractice.

To have a claim against the therapist for damages, whether they be medical or physical therapy bills, pain and suffering, or more, you would have to prove the therapist’ failure to treat was the direct and proximate cause of your injuries.

While you claim the therapist's actions resulted in a form of injury to you, you base that proposition on the following:

"This has had extreme negative effects on my overall health. I am working to overcome years of domestic abuse which he knew about partially because it was part of my injuries."

Unfortunately, it would be very, very difficult to prove the therapist's actions or omissions resulted in extreme negative effects on your health. As a result you appear to have no viable claim against your therapist. Nevertheless, you should speak with a local attorney about the specifics of you case.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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