Supreme Court, Orange County

The plaintiff’s fractured distal tibia and fibula were reduced by the defendant orthopedic surgeon, who according to the plaintiff’s expert, failed to achieve proper alignment, resulting in an osteotomy, realignment of the ankle joint, the onset of osteoarthritis, and need for future ankle fusion. The subsequent treating surgeon, however, testified that although he performed an osteotomy, he did not realign the bones. The defense argued that the degenerative arthritis resulted from the initial crush injuries to the cartilage, as confirmed by CT scan. Demand: $750,000. Amount asked of jury: $350,000.

Result : Defense verdict.
Defense Attorney : For the orthopedic surgeon: Sarah E. Sholes.
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