Medical malpractice attorneys, all board certified podiatric surgeons, helping victims of podiatry, orthopedic, and related specialty medical negligence and injuries.

844-FOOTLAW
844-366-8529
CLUBFOOT SURGERY,AMPUTATION, LACK OF INFORMED CONSENT

Parents brought medical malpractice action against physician who performed clubfoot surgery on their child, alleging that physician failed to obtain parents' informed consent, and that physician's negligent postoperative care caused foot to swell within cast, cutting off blood flow to portion of foot and eventually requiring amputation of significant portion of foot. The Mobile Circuit Court, No. CV-89-4052, Michael E. Zoghby, J., directed verdict for physician on informed consent claim, and subsequently entered judgment on jury verdict for physician on postoperative care claim. Parents appealed. The Supreme Court, Butts, J., held that: (1) parents presented insufficient evidence on their informed consent claim, and (2) trial court erred reversibly by concluding that results of color Doppler tests on child's foot were required to be disclosed pursuant to pretrial discovery order.

Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.

BUTTS, Justice.

The plaintiffs in this medical malpractice action, James Phelps and his wife Cynthia Phelps, appeal from a judgment based in part on a directed verdict and in part on a jury verdict entered in favor of the defendant physician, Dr. Thomas Dempsey, an orthopedic surgeon. The Phelpses brought the action as next friends and parents of James Phelps, Jr., a minor who underwent amputation of a significant portion of his right foot because of complications following surgery to correct a clubfoot condition. James, Jr., was born with spina bifida.

The elements of a cause of action against a physician for failure to obtain informed consent are: (1) the physician's failure to inform the plaintiff of all material risks associated with the procedure, and (2) a showing that a reasonably prudent patient, with all the characteristics of the plaintiff and in the position of the plaintiff, would have declined the procedure had the patient been properly informed by the physician. The Phelpses did not testify that they would have declined corrective surgery on their child's clubfoot if they had been informed of the increased risk of post-operative wound infection in children with spina bifida. Moreover, both Dr. Dempsey and Dr. MacEwen testified that had corrective surgery not been performed on the child's clubfoot, the deformity would have worsened and would have led to the onset of further complications that might have resulted in amputation of the entire foot at a later date. Thus, we conclude that the Phelpses did not present substantial evidence that had they been informed of the increased risk of post-operative wound infection, they, acting as reasonably prudent parents, would have declined the surgery. The trial court properly directed the verdict in favor of Dr. Dempsey on this claim. That portion of the judgment based on the directed verdict is affirmed. END OF DOCUMENT Parents brought medical malpractice action against physician who performed clubfoot surgery on their child, alleging that physician failed to obtain parents' informed consent, and that physician's negligent postoperative care caused foot to swell within cast, cutting off blood flow to portion of foot and eventually requiring amputation of significant portion of foot. The Mobile Circuit Court, No. CV-89-4052, Michael E. Zoghby, J., directed verdict for physician on informed consent claim, and subsequently entered judgment on jury verdict for physician on postoperative care claim. Parents appealed. The Supreme Court, Butts, J., held that: (1) parents presented insufficient evidence on their informed consent claim, and (2) trial court erred reversibly by concluding that results of color Doppler tests on child's foot were required to be disclosed pursuant to pretrial discovery order.

Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.

BUTTS, Justice.

The plaintiffs in this medical malpractice action, James Phelps and his wife Cynthia Phelps, appeal from a judgment based in part on a directed verdict and in part on a jury verdict entered in favor of the defendant physician, Dr. Thomas Dempsey, an orthopedic surgeon. The Phelpses brought the action as next friends and parents of James Phelps, Jr., a minor who underwent amputation of a significant portion of his right foot because of complications following surgery to correct a clubfoot condition. James, Jr., was born with spina bifida.

The elements of a cause of action against a physician for failure to obtain informed consent are: (1) the physician's failure to inform the plaintiff of all material risks associated with the procedure, and (2) a showing that a reasonably prudent patient, with all the characteristics of the plaintiff and in the position of the plaintiff, would have declined the procedure had the patient been properly informed by the physician. The Phelpses did not testify that they would have declined corrective surgery on their child's clubfoot if they had been informed of the increased risk of post-operative wound infection in children with spina bifida. Moreover, both Dr. Dempsey and Dr. MacEwen testified that had corrective surgery not been performed on the child's clubfoot, the deformity would have worsened and would have led to the onset of further complications that might have resulted in amputation of the entire foot at a later date. Thus, we conclude that the Phelpses did not present substantial evidence that had they been informed of the increased risk of post-operative wound infection, they, acting as reasonably prudent parents, would have declined the surgery. The trial court properly directed the verdict in favor of Dr. Dempsey on this claim. That portion of the judgment based on the directed verdict is affirmed. END OF DOCUMENT

Previous Article | Next Article

| Home | Services | Attorneys | Litigation Support | Litigation News |
| Expert Witness | Wound Care | Definitions | FAQ | Links | Contact |

Copyright © 1998-2017 FootLaw.com, LLC. All Rights Reserved.