Pretzel & Stouffer

Orthopedic Surgery Defense Verdict

Pretzel & Stouffer Partner Brian T. Henry, assisted by Michael A. Barry, successfully defended an orthopedic surgeon at trial against a claim by a 30 year old Chicago police officer who was hurt on the job. Plaintiff jumped over a 6 foot fence and suffered a comminuted fracture of the fibula and an open dislocation of the ankle. He underwent surgery with another physician and then one month later came under the care of the defendant who followed him for 6 months and provided him with physical therapy. The officer then came under the care of an ankle specialist, Dr. Armen Kelikian, 7 months after his injury who re-operated on him because of claimed instability and malalignment of the ankle which caused arthritis. Dr. Kelikian testified that the defendant was negligent for not either re-operating on plaintiff or referring him to another orthopedic surgeon for surgery. The jury rejected this testimony and Plaintiff’s claim, concluding that the ankle was not unstable, that the arthritis was the result of the original trauma which caused a crushing injury to the ankle joint, and that the surgery performed by Dr. Kelikian was not warranted. Plaintiff asked for $990,000, and the jury awarded nothing, finding in favor of the arguments of Mr. Henry and Mr. Barry.

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