Keith Puya and Steven Lury represented an orthopedic surgeon in Palm Beach County in connection with a medical malpractice claim. It was alleged that the client was negligent in performing a diagnostic knee arthroscopy in the presence of a potential infectious process, i.e., a scab on the surgical knee. Post surgery, the Plaintiff developed a severe MRSA infection in the knee requiring several months of IV antibiotic therapy, followed by oral antibiotics. Plaintiff is now in need of a total knee replacement at the age of 30. Mr. Bamburg also had approximately 14 surgeries, including a major fasciotomy, a number of arthrotomies and manipulations under anesthesia as well as over $1.3 million in medical expenses. Both the plaintiff’s treating orthopedic and retained expert did not believe it was safe for him to have a total knee replacement, given his extremely high risk for developing a peri-prosthetic joint infection and the possible need for an amputation. The plaintiff is left with a significant flexion contracture, loss of extension and major scarring and deformity of his right leg.
The plaintiff requested the jury award damages in the range of approximately $19 million to around $28 million dollars give the fact that the plaintiff’s projected life expectancy was over 45 years. The defense centered around the fact that although there were numerous post operative pictures, there was no picture of any scab on the surgical knee, even though the Surgery Center nurses, pre-operatively noted in the records that the patient had ‘scabs on bilateral knees.’ The defense was successful in showing the jury that the client did not and never would perform an elective surgical procedure at or through a scab as suggested by the Plaintiff. The jury deliberated the case for 90 minutes and returned a Defense Verdict.