Most Recent Cases Reports
FLORIDA: Post-operative Hallux Varus of Both Feet
In this case, the patient saw an orthopedic surgeon for simple bunions. After performing a bunionectomy on one foot, hallux varus resulted. When the patient asked about her monkey foot, the doctor said it would be fine in the future. The patient relied upon that representation and agreed to have the other foot operated on. No surprise that she then had 2 matching monkey feet “which would eventually become straight.” This case was resolved prior to even 1 deposition because the attorneys for both parties realized that the doctor and the patient would be best served. This case exemplifies how malpractice cases can be economically and equitably resolved through cooperation.
GEORGIA: High Pressure Sales of Surgery
This is a scenario we often see with young and aggressive doctors. These doctors persuade and "sell" surgeries to their patients who do not really require that treatment. Very often this is seen with surgery for heel spurs and plantar fasciitis, where doctors essentially tell the patients it won't hurt and you will be back walking and to work very soon. These doctors will then do an EPF or Endoscopic Plantar Fasciotomy and once the surgery is done, it can't be undone. This surgery, while a good procedure if judicially performed, has been abused to the extent that websites have been developed to expose the enormity of the complications. In this case, an orthopedic surgeon in Atlanta was compelled to open up the entire bottom of this patient's foot to attempt to locate the damaged nerves and tissues. The settlement achieved was a minimal victory to this patient who hoped to join the State Patrol.
FLORIDA: Failure To Diagnose Complex Fracture and Infection
This case presented a unique twist in its development. The client went to see a podiatrist for ankle pain and soreness. The doctor did x-rays and other preliminary tests. He never discussed the results of the tests with the patient who eventually had his leg amputated. The deposition of the doctor by a Footlaw.com attorney revealed that the x-rays which the doctor relied upon were of such poor quality that any diagnosis was impossible. The fact that Footlaw.com attorneys are also Board-certified podiatrists allowed the attorney to know what an x-ray should reveal and how the x-ray was improperly exposed. That line of questioning resulted in an immediate request for mediation from the doctors' attorneys and the matter settled thereafter.
FLORIDA: Failure To Diagnose Malignant Melanoma -- Doctor Diagnoses it as a Wart
The podiatrist examined the patient and diagnosed a wart on several different office visits. The doctor continued to treat the malignant melanoma as if he was treating a wart. When the melanoma was eventually diagnosed immediately by a dermatologist, the client was forced to undergo numerous surgeries, skin grafts, and chemotherapy. She was at risk of never being able to give birth to a child because of the suppression medications necessary. After a prolonged mediation, the case was settled by all parties.
FLORIDA: Failure To Diagnose And Treat Ankle Fracture
The podiatrist examined the patient following an emergency room referral. The podiatrist failed to diagnose an ankle fracture (broken ankle) despite the radiology report stating such was present. The podiatrist operated on the ankle 3 different times, each time failing to diagnose and repair the ankle fracture. This case was settled without filing a lawsuit due to the circumstances.
FLORIDA: Podiatrist Fractures Metatarsal Bone While Performing Bunion Surgery
The podiatrist, while performing a bunionectomy surgery, fractured (broke) an adjacent bone. The podiatrist did not disclose this to the patient despite having x-rays which displayed the problem. Later medical records put the blame on the patient when the podiatrist said the patient fell and he then broke that bone. This was very transparent and self-serving and resulted in a Presuit settlement.
NEVADA: Negligence Of Podiatrist And Support Staff Result In Partial Foot Amputation
The podiatrist, after performing foot surgery, allowed her support staff to see the patient for post-operative office visits as well as her own examinations. The office personnel applied a much too constrictive post-operative bandage which compromised the circulation of the foot. Despite seeing the podiatrist several times thereafter, the circulation problem was never diagnosed until gangrene developed. The patient underwent further surgery by subsequent doctors including partial foot amputation.
NEW JERSEY: Failure to Diagnose
The podiatrist of a 58 year old diabetic woman failed to properly diagnose and timely treat an infected foot ulcer, which resulted in the amputation of her big toe and metatarsal bone. It was also proven that the podiatrist had changed his records to hide the mistake.
FLORIDA: Heel Spur Surgery Without Conservative Care
The podiatrist performed heel spur surgery without attempting conservative care resulting in nerve damage. This case was settled without filing a lawsuit due to the circumstances.
FLORIDA: Below Knee Amputation
The podiatrist failed to appropriately treat this young woman with a draining foot ulcer for 9 months. This resulted in a bone infection and the leg being amputated. This young victim, with 2 small children at home to care for, was blamed by the doctor for not obeying his orders but at the doctor's deposition, he was shown to be completely uneducated as to the underlying Spina Bifida.
CALIFORNIA: Osteomyelitis -- Case dismissed
No recovery and expenses of the case lost and paid by attorneys:
In this case, a diabetic woman was treated by a podiatrist for 9 consecutive months and never performed an x-ray, culture, or another diagnostic tests. An MRI and bone scan were both reported as consistent with osteomyelitis. The client required a partial amputation and the surgeon stated in his deposition that the bone was infected and needed to be amputated. The case was to be tried in February 2005 but at the last minute, a lost pathologist's report was found which was reported as no osteomyelitis. The pathologist was asked about this and advised that no one told him to look for a bone infection. At that late date, and with the bone specimen discarded, the case had to be dismissed to protect the client from being sanctioned.
FLORIDA: Amputation With Client the Victim Twice
$100,000.00 policy limit recovery:
In this case, a podiatrist performed surgery upon the elderly client who had severe peripheral vascular disease. Gangrene developed within 7 days and the client's leg was amputated. This podiatrist only maintained insurance coverage in the amount of $100,000.00, and this amount was tendered by the doctor's insurer. Estimates for rebuilding the client's home to be handicapped accessible were $50,000.00, and Medicare claimed a subrogation lien of approximately $30,000.00, leaving the client a victim twice over.
ARIZONA: Podiatrist Without Surgical Privileges
$115,000.00 settlement without a lawsuit being filed:
In this case, a young woman tore her Achilles tendon which the podiatrist allegedly repaired. When the tendon ruptured a second time, the patient was brought into the operating room at which time the hospital refused to allow the podiatrist to perform the surgery in that he did not have privileges to perform that surgery. Eventually an orthopedic surgeon repaired the tendon and the client is doing well.
FLORIDA: Necrotizing Fasciitis (flesh eating bacteria)
In this case, an emergency room physician failed to diagnose necrotizing fasciitis of the client's leg and discharged her with a "groin strain." Several days later, she was in the hospital for the start of 60 days of near death treatment in intensive care, about 12 surgeries, hyperbaric oxygen, and physical therapy. She is now disabled and has lost partial vision in 1 eye due to the infection and coma. With only $1 million dollars of insurance coverage, the client decided not to gamble with a trial and take the settlement offer rather than attempt to seek an excess verdict which was likely.
Failure to Diagnose
The podiatrist of a 58 year old woman with longstanding diabetes failed
to properly diagnose and timely treat an infected foot ulcer, which
resulted in the amputation of her big toe and metatarsal bone. It was
also proven that the podiatrist had changed his records to hide the
Improper Evaluation and Treatment
The podiatrist of a 54 year old women with brittle diabetes and
extensive peripheral vascular disease failed to adequately address the
blood flow through the leg before applying a restrictive cast. It was
demonstrated that the podiatrist failed to properly examine and obtain
the vascular disease in the patients leg before the application of a
cast that chocked off blood flow to the foot leading to gangrene.
Despite heroic measures by her subsequent vascular surgeon and
podiatrist, a below knee amputation was performed. The matter settled
after a jury was selected and sworn in.
Improper Surgery and Management
The podiatrists of a 43 year old female failed to appropriately perform
and manage bunion surgery resulting in fusion of the first
metatarsal-phalangeal joint. She will ultimately require a salvage
procedure to restore the joint to a functional level. Additionally,
plaintiff was prepared to prove that the informed consent forms for the
procedure were forged. The suit was resolved the day of jury
We have elected to add this section to our website so that persons can appreciate one of the many aspects in the process that attorneys engage in while deciding whether or not to accept a specific case and patient/client for representation.
Most Recent Cases We Have Declined and Why
FLORIDA: Failure To Monitor Premises Where a Fall Resulted in a Complex Ankle Fracture
In this case, Footlaw.com attorneys investigated the matter as to the doctor's failure to provide this patient with pre-operative anti-coagulant therapy. The patient developed phlebitis and required extensive treatment and therapy. Despite this, several orthopedic surgeons opined that anti-coagulant treatment was not required in this case so there was not a claim for malpractice.
Despite this, the Footlaw.com attorneys were able to recover a significant settlement from the insurance company for the premises where the incident happened.
FLORIDA: Reoccurrence of a Bunion After Surgery for its Removal
This is not a truly rare incident and we see clients with these complaints routinely. What made this case one that we did not accept was that the doctor's medical records were pristine as was his informed consent for the surgery. Prior to the surgery itself, the doctor explained potential complications and included the fact that the bunion might actually return. With such informed consent signed by the client, we opted not to proceed against the doctor.
FLORIDA: Client has Unreasonable Expectations Therefore Case Declined
During the 20 plus years lawyers have been involved with Footlaw.com, we have investigated hundreds of potential cases yet accepted only a minority. The reasons are simple: most cases involve poor results and that alone is insufficient to maintain a medical malpractice case. In addition, medical malpractice is a difficult field of law to practice and clients often have the expectation that their case will provide a lottery type windfall. When a client sees only dollar signs, is unable to appreciate the years it will generally take a case to conclude, and ultimately says that there is no way their case can lose, those are the warning signs an experienced attorney sees.
NORTH CAROLINA: Poor Surgical Result But No Causation
This potential client had an extremely poor surgical result following bunionectomy surgeries and was seen by several subsequent doctors. These doctors told him that her foot required total joint replacements due to complications from the initial surgery. When our retained experts reviewed the medical records and x-rays, it was obvious that the patient did have severe complications but none of the experts could tie in the complications suffered by the client to the surgeries performed by the initial doctor. Therefore causation, or the required need to associate the alleged negligence to the resulting damages could not be proven.
FLORIDA: "Sausage Toes" In And Of Itself Not Negligence
This potential client complained of weak toes and limited motion following hammertoe repair surgery. The subsequent treating doctors advised that the surgeries should never have been performed. When our retained experts reviewed the medical records and x-rays, the operative report displayed a medical basis for the surgeries and the x-rays revealed the procedures were properly performed. Swollen or sausage toes are an extremely common and known complication of hammertoe surgery and this was disclosed in the surgical consent form. Under these circumstances, the experts could not find liability as to the surgeon, that is, they could not conclude that there was a breach in the standard of care. Complications from surgery do not mean the doctor wass negligent under specific case related circumstances.
FLORIDA: Statute Of Limitations Prevents Case Filing
This potential client complained of several skin lesions to the podiatrist for many years. The doctor treated this as a fungal infection and as dry skin. On several occasions antibiotics were prescribed. The patient's complaints would come and go over time so she stopped seeing this podiatrist. Approximately five years later, the patient was seen by a new podiatrist who examined a recurrent lesion (a highly disputed issue) and immediately biopsied the lesion with a finding of sarcoma. Despite this, and due to the allegations that the biopsied lesion was a different lesion than originally seen by the first podiatrist, the matter was time barred and no case was pursued.
OHIO: Could Not Conclude That The Surgery Caused The Complaints
This potential client complained of prolonged symptoms in her feet following bunion surgeries with a total joint implant. There was no doubt that the patient had post-operative complaints but the matter was whether those complaints were the result of physician negligence. Doctors seen following the surgeries "suggested" that the symptoms were caused by the implants themselves and not the surgeries performed. Despite the above, and the key to a successful litigation, is that we could not conclude that there was a negligent nexus between the client's complaints and the care, treatment, and surgery rendered by the doctor. In other words, despite seeing the outcome, we could not legally and medically trace it back to his negligence.