A Philadelphia medical malpractice jury found in favor of a woman whose leg had to be amputated following double knee replacement surgery after she developed a serious infection that was allegedly improperly diagnosed and treated. The $4.3 million medical malpractice verdict includes $2.13 million for the plaintiff’s anticipated future medical expenses related to her injury, $82,000 for past medical expenses, $127,000 for her lost income, $500,000 for her past pain and suffering, and $1.36 million for her future pain and suffering.
The Philadelphia medical malpractice jury apportioned 40% responsibility to the defendant surgeon who had performed the knee surgery, 30% to the defendant hospital where the surgery was performed, and 30% to the defendant physician who was responsible for the plaintiff’s rehabilitative care following the surgery.
The plaintiff, who was a diabetic, had been under the care of the defendant surgeon for knee pain since 2009. The defendant surgeon diagnosed the plaintiff with degenerative arthritis in both of her knees and recommended that both knees be replaced at the same time, which surgery was then scheduled for December 1, 2010.
Following the surgery, the plaintiff was sent to a rehabilitation facility where she developed a large blister in her right leg in the area of her incision that was accompanied with drainage. Nonetheless, the plaintiff was discharged from the rehabilitation facility on December 22, 2010. The plaintiff alleged in her Philadelphia medical malpractice lawsuit that the defendant rehabilitation physician negligently failed to diagnose her MRSA infection and failed to obtain vascular studies to ascertain the adequacy of the blood flow in her legs.
The plaintiff was observed on January 31, 2011 to have open wounds on her right leg and on her left heel. She required additional surgeries to drain the wounds as well as to place a flap on her left leg and a skin graft on her right knee. She subsequently required a skin graft on her left leg as well. The infection required surgery to remove her right knee hardware as well as additional surgeries to address her poor wound healing. The plaintiff subsequently had her left leg amputated above the knee due to poor blood circulation that would not allow her leg to heal.
The plaintiff’s Philadelphia medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that the defendant surgeon was negligent by failing to properly inform her regarding the risks associated with bilateral knee replacement surgery in light of her history of diabetes, which would affect her ability to heal after surgery. The plaintiff further alleged that the defendant surgeon was medically negligent by failing to order a vascular consult to evaluate her arterial and venous sufficiency in her legs before scheduling the surgery.
Adding to the plaintiff’s misery was her patella fracture that she sustained as a result of a fall while she was trying to go to the bathroom during rehabilitation (the defendants contended that the plaintiff developed a left knee infection with drainage from her exposed patella, and they also contended that the plaintiff was noncompliant during her rehabilitation by failing to use the apparatus designed to keep pressure off of her heals that was intended to prevent the breakdown of her skin).
The Philadelphia medical malpractice trial lasted seven days after which the jury deliberated for several hours before rendering its verdict in favor of the plaintiff.
If you or a family member may have suffered serious harm as a result of medical negligence in Philadelphia, you should promptly consult with a Philadelphia medical malpractice attorney who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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