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Lawsuit: Surgeons' negligence caused Clarence Clemons death

An audience may not associate a musician's performance with a worker doing a job. Fans concentrate on enjoying the music and not on whether the artist is suffering from repetitive stress injuries or some other malady.

Saxophonist Clarence Clemons was best known as a long-time member of the E Street Band, the backup musicians for singer Bruce Springsteen. Clemons was plagued by physical conditions that threatened to end his career. Reports say family members are convinced the sax player's 2011 death was caused by medical negligence.

A group of doctors who treated Clemons reportedly have been named in a lawsuit. The claim asserts the musician's life could have been saved with a medication that physicians failed to prescribe.

Clemons' ability to create a stage presence and manipulate the keys of a saxophone was vital to his work. The saxophonist experienced repeated pain. The 69-year-old had several eye, spine and joint replacement surgeries prior to a diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome, a neurological disorder that disables the wrists and hands.

Clemons wife revealed that before the sax player's death he had lost the feeling in his thumb and index finger. Surgery was performed that appeared successful. Clemons had a stroke during recovery and later died.

The sealed lawsuit alleges the three specialists who treated Clemons did not medicate the musician properly. Clemons regularly took a blood-thinning medication. Doctors stopped the drug before the operation to prevent excessive bleeding. The reported medical error was the surgeons' failure to prescribe a replacement drug to avoid a stroke.

The original lawsuit was filed last year, the spring after Clemons died. The lead litigator in the case, recently cleared to move to trial, will be Clemons' brother.

Years of repetitive movements in the workplace can disable an employee. Medical mistakes during treatment may cause permanent disability or death. Attorneys represent victims and families seeking rightful compensation for workers' compensation and medical malpractice.

Source: guardian.co.uk, "E Street Band saxophonist's death due to medical negligence, claims family," Sean Michaels, March 7, 2013

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