A Washington, D.C. medical malpractice jury returned its verdict on June 15, 2017 in the total amount of $8.35 million in favor of an 82-year-old man who lost his leg following knee replacement surgery that the defendant orthopedic surgeon performed on July 16, 2013. The D.C. medical malpractice jury decided that the man was entitled to $6,750,000 in compensatory damages and his wife was entitled to $1,600,000 in damages for her loss of consortium claim. The maximum settlement offer made by the defendant before trial was $750,000.
The Alleged Underlying Facts
The plaintiff required an above-the-knee amputation after the slow death of his leg due to loss of arterial flow to the leg that the defendant orthopedic surgeon failed to diagnose or treat following knee replacement surgery, and failed to diagnose and treat during the five office visits the man made to the defendant orthopedic surgeon over a one-month period following his surgery.
The D.C. medical malpractice plaintiffs alleged that the defendant orthopedic surgeon breached the standard of care in failing to have a vascular surgeon participate in the surgery, during which a tourniquet was used to stop blood flow to the leg during the surgery. A vascular surgeon’s participation during the surgery was necessary because the man had a pre-existing stent in his superficial femoral artery that was placed in 2011 to treat a wound in his toe that was not healing properly, and therefore the use of a tourniquet was contraindicated. The plaintiffs further alleged that the defendant orthopedic surgeon breached the standard of care by failing during each of the follow-up visits to diagnose that the blood flow to the man’s leg was diminished.
The plaintiffs were well-represented in their orthopedic surgery malpractice claim by Patrick Malone, Esquire, who is considered by many to be the premier medical malpractice attorney in Washington, D.C.
The following is an excerpt from Mr. Malone’s closing argument to the D.C. medical malpractice jury in this case, explaining that jurors provide justice to those who appear before them:
“One last thing that I want to say: Some people think things happen at random. Some people think there’s a reason for everything that happens. Maybe you got here just by random. Maybe there was some higher purpose. If you decide that you’re here for a reason, you will find the strength to render justice in this case and to do the right thing under the law and to render a verdict — a speaking of the truth — that will answer the question: Are you here to enforce justice? Are you here to enforce accountability for gross violations of the rules of patient safety and a standard of care? And are you here to render justice that will value a human life and that will say that, no matter if a person is of modest means and no matter if he is in the twilight decade of his life — and by the way, why do they call it the “golden years” — you will say in your verdict and in your speaking of truth that his life is precious and his independence and his productivity and his mobility and his dignity cannot be taken away from him without a heavy value being placed on what he has lost.”
If you or a family member suffered a serious injury that may be due to medical malpractice in the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.) or elsewhere in the United States, you should promptly find a medical malpractice lawyer in D.C. or in your state who may investigate your possible medical malpractice claim for you, and represent you or your family member in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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