Pretzel & Stouffer

Not Guilty Jury Verdict in 34 minutes for Orthopaedic Surgeon re ACL surgery

Edward B. Ruff and Michael P. Turiello successfully defended an orthopaedic surgeon against a claim of unnecessary ACL surgery. A pre-operative MRI was read by the radiologist as showing an ACL which was taut and intact. The client orthopaedic surgeon sent the plaintiff for a course of physical therapy, however she failed to improve. Based upon his physical examination and his own interpretation of the MRI, the doctor then recommended surgery to address a suspected ACL tear and/or deficiency. Plaintiff underwent a right knee arthroscopy and ACL reconstruction; however, she later claimed that this was an unnecessary surgery causing permanent injury and medical expenses.

Plaintiff claimed that she was later correctly diagnosed with a right knee PCL tear, and that her ACL had been intact prior to surgery. The defendant’s expert, and a Chicago Bears team physician, testified that her history, physical exam, his interpretation of the MRI, and the client’s intra-operative findings proved that the plaintiff did have an ACL tear and deficiency. Based upon this, the treatment and surgery were appropriate. Plaintiff’s post-operative knee pain was consistent with comorbidities found at surgery, principally chondromalacia, and not caused by the ACL surgery at issue. The jury agreed, finding for the defendant in only 34 minutes.

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