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September 2017: Defense Verdict

September 14, 2017

Senior Trial Partner, Bruce G. Habian, assisted by partner Charles S. Schechter, secured a unanimous defense verdict as to both surgical liability and informed consent in Supreme Court, Westchester County. The 24-year-old male plaintiff, who had been diagnosed with the rare condition of Hereditary Spastic Paraparesis (HSP), eventually developed bilateral fixed cavus deformities (extremely high arches) of both feet that compromised his gait. He was a toe-walker and could not achieve plantar grade ambulation, per his treating neurologist’s assessments. These deformities, together with the anticipated progression of his neurologic condition, would render him immobile in the future. The defendant orthopedist – with a specialty practice concerning neuromuscular diseases – performed extensive osteotomies on both feet. The cavus was corrected, but significant post-op pain because of complete non-union of the foot bones was the result. Removed hardware in one foot did not alleviate the pain and the remaining hardware in the other foot eventually fractured. Plaintiff’s liability position was that the significant operation should never have been undertaken given the underlying neuro condition. The plaintiff never underwent recommended secondary fusion procedures in an attempt to mitigate the pain.

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