Morrison Mahoney Partner Michael Racette and Associate Ti Ton recently received a “no negligence” jury verdict after a two-week trial in the Lawrence Superior Court.
Our client was an orthopedic surgeon who performed an elective total knee replacement. The plaintiffs claimed that our client negligently failed to timely diagnose and treat a post-operative polymicrobial infection following surgery. After the infection was diagnosed, the implanted prosthesis was removed and the plaintiff underwent twenty-three additional surgical procedures including debridements, skin grafts and placements of antibiotic spacers in place of the knee joint.
The plaintiff spent over 100 days as an inpatient at various hospitals and rehabilitation centers. Ultimately, the plaintiff underwent an above-the-knee amputation of his leg. The Plaintiffs’ experts testified that the patient’s knee joint was infected for over one month before the eventual diagnosis, which led to a more complicated infection that caused permanent tissue damage and caused him to suffer additional subsequent infections, diminishing the likelihood of ever successfully re-implanting him with a new prosthesis. The defense experts testified that the infection occurred only shortly before its diagnosis and was completely eradicated by timely and appropriate antibiotic coverage, and that the plaintiff’s subsequent poor recovery was due to his poor wound healing potential (not his infection), which could not have reasonably been foreseen before the initial surgery.
Mike and Ti split the defense duties in arguing motions in limine before the trial, as well as charge conference arguments after the close of the evidence. Ti cross-examined the two plaintiffs (patient and his wife.) In his closing argument, the plaintiffs’ attorney suggested an award of $3 – $4 million. Special thanks to paralegal Katina Brown, administrative assistant Julie Healey, and administrative assistant and Robyn Walsh, who were instrumental in the Home Front assistance.