Steven R. Schwegman Obtains Defense Verdict in Medical Malpractice Action

May 12, 2015 06:25 PM

IADC member Steve Schwegman, a shareholder at Quinlivan & Hughes, P.A., obtained a defense verdict in a medical malpractice action on behalf of an orthopedic surgeon. The patient alleged deviations from the standard of care arising out of the treatment for a periprosthetic femur fracture.   

The patient suffered a fall in her home due to side effects of chemotherapy – she was undergoing treatment for breast cancer at the time. She sustained a fractured distal femur, near her knee prosthesis. The orthopedic surgeon repaired the fracture with an intramedullary rod. At the conclusion of the surgery, the patient had a slight amount of hyperextension of the femur but the surgeon was concerned about removing the rod and inserting a plate given the trauma the patient had sustained and the potential impact of the chemotherapy on the healing process. He therefore did not take any corrective measures at that time. Another orthopedic surgeon took over the care and during his care, the hardware failed. The patient underwent a second procedure to remove the intramedullary rod and insert a plate. Plaintiff alleged significant ongoing limitations due to ongoing pain and disability that kept her from taking part in activities of daily living. Her husband claimed a loss of consortium. Medical expenses exceeded $65,000.

Plaintiff retained an orthopedic surgeon from the east coast who testified the care and treatment by our client did not meet the standard of care when he grossly malreduced the patient’s periprosthetic distal femur fracture and failed to timely recognize the malreduction in order to take corrective action.

The jury returned a verdict concluding the orthopedic surgeon was not negligent in his care and treatment of the patient. They were not required to answer the damages questions.

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