NEW HAVEN -- An 81-year-old New Canaan woman who weathered surgery, but then rolled off the operating room table and allegedly suffered major injuries, is suing Yale-New Haven Hospital.

The lawsuit, filed in state Superior Court, claims hospital officials and the woman's doctor, Joseph Akar, failed to ensure the woman remained under observation and safe following the 2010 operation.

"This is a case where Yale is absolutely 100 percent culpable," said James Horwitz, who represents the woman, Florence Fiedler. "For months we have tried to resolve this with Yale, and the hospital has ignored her. Their indifference is shocking."

Rob Hutchison, spokesman for Yale-New Haven Hospital, said the hospital promptly reported the incident to the state Department of Public Health and implemented a corrective action plan.

"Yale-New Hospital is committed to providing the safest and highest quality of care to its patients. The hospital deeply regrets this incident, and we have apologized to the patient," Hutchison said in a statement.

According to the lawsuit, on Feb. 17, 2010, Fiedler, a retired administrator with the FBI, went into the hospital for the implantation of a pacemaker.

The suit states that the surgery went fine, but afterward, while still sedated, Fiedler rolled off the operating room table and onto the floor with such force that she suffered traumatic brain injury, a broken collar bone, broken hip and a broken toe.

"Despite months of therapy, Mrs. Fiedler now must face daily pain for the rest of her life. She had to relearn how to walk and was transformed from an independent, spry, energetic woman enjoying her golden years to someone dependent on others who is now a shut-in," Horwitz said.

The lawsuit says that Akar "failed to recognize that Florence Fiedler was not completely recovered from the medications she received during the pacemaker implantation," which put her at risk of falling.

Horwitz, of the Bridgeport law firm Koskoff, Koskoff and Bieder, said his client now can't even climb stairs and is living with her children.

Yale-New Haven is the primary teaching hospital for Yale University's School of Medicine.

The lawsuit, which also names the university, seeks more than $15,000 in damages. A message was also left with Yale University.

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