On February 23, 2016, a Baltimore medical malpractice jury returned its verdict in favor of the 59-year-old plaintiff who suffered permanent nerve damage during knee surgery that resulted in foot drop and chronic pain. The Baltimore medical malpractice jury trial began on February 16, 2016 and concluded seven days later, when the jury of four women and two men awarded the plaintiff $2.38 million in compensatory damages.
The Baltimore City medical malpractice jury awarded $1.38 million in economic damages to the plaintiff ($470K for future medical expenses and $907K for lost wages) and $1 million in noneconomic damages. The noneconomic damages award will be reduced to $785,000, pursuant to the cap on noneconomic damages in Maryland medical malpractice cases that was in effect on the date of the plaintiff’s surgery. The parties have agreed not to appeal.
The woman was experiencing chronic knee pain and difficulty walking when she went to the defendant orthopedic surgeon and his orthopedic practice for evaluation and treatment. She agreed to undergo total knee replacement surgery that was intended to substantially reduce her pain and allow her to walk further without pain, and to do the things that she had become unable to do. The total knee replacement surgery took place on February 18, 2014.
The plaintiff, who is a registered nurse, was working as a case manager for a nursing home at the time of her total knee replacement surgery. The surgery required that a tourniquet be placed above her right knee, on her thigh. Unfortunately for the plaintiff, the tourniquet caused unintended injury to her peroneal, femoral, and posterior tibial nerves, according to the woman’s Maryland medical malpractice lawsuit.
The injury to her femoral nerve and her posterior tibial nerve recovered over time but the injury to her peroneal nerve never recovered, causing her to have permanent foot drop that makes it impossible for the woman to lift and flex her right foot. The injury also complicated her rehabilitation from her total knee replacement surgery.
The plaintiff’s permanent injuries have not allowed her to return to work as a nurse, which was her occupation for nearly thirty years. She now walks with a cane.
Boyd v. Sidney, M.D., et al., Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Case No. 24C14006444. Filed November 14, 2014.
Medical malpractice claims against orthopedic surgeons for an unexpected injury or an adverse event are often complicated because the injury that occurred may be a known and disclosed risk of the procedure. That is why it is important to consult with a medical malpractice lawyer shortly after the injury occurs so that a proper investigation into the potential medical malpractice claim may begin and the matter thoroughly investigated.
Just because a risk of surgery is known and disclosed to the patient does not mean that the unexpected happening of the injury is not due to medical negligence. Many times it is only after all of the relevant medical records are obtained and reviewed by a qualified medical expert that the true cause of the injury is discovered and the medical negligence of the surgeon is exposed. Promptly retaining a medical malpractice lawyer to review your medical malpractice claim may be the most important step you can take to protect your rights and to receive the compensation that you deserve for the harms that you suffered.
If you or a loved one suffered serious injury (or worse) as a result of medical malpractice in Baltimore, in Maryland, or elsewhere in the United States, you should promptly find a Baltimore medical malpractice lawyer (Maryland medical malpractice lawyer) or a medical malpractice lawyer in your state who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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