Medical Malpractice Story: Heather Lewinsky

18-year-old Heather Lewinsky’s face remains scarred for life after a Pittsburgh plastic surgeon performed radical surgery to correct a skin disorder near the left corner of her mouth when she was 8. The doctor claimed to have done the tissue expansion procedure on children many times before when in fact neither he nor any doctor in the United States had ever done the surgery to treat a condition such as Heather’s. Following the operation, Heather was left with horrific facial scarring and a grotesque, stroke-like “tugging” at the corner of her mouth. The doctor attempted to fix the problem with two additional surgeries, which made the situation worse, forcing Heather to undergo ten more operations with other doctors between the third and tenth grades. The pain, swelling and recuperation with each procedure were excruciating. Heather and her family filed a lawsuit against the doctor, who only paid a small fraction of the jury verdict because he had insufficient insurance coverage. The amount Heather received was greater than $250,000; all of her damages were non-economic.

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