Senior Trial Partner John J. Barbera recently obtained a malpractice defense verdict in Supreme Court, Dutchess County. The case involved an 81-year-old previously ambulatory woman who was permanently confined to a wheelchair following hip replacement surgery. The plaintiff claimed that the hip prothesis was improperly sized which caused a mechanical weakness. In addition, the plaintiff claimed that an iatrogenic injury to the sciatic nerve further compounded the mechanical problem.
The defense called experts in orthopedic surgery and neurology to demonstrate through MRI studies and EMG tests that the patient had a pre-existing bilateral neuropathy as opposed to a focal nerve injury that rendered her permanently weakened after the hip surgery. The jury determined that the hip prothesis was sized appropriately and implanted without causing any mechanical or neurological injury to the plaintiff.