2016 Popliteal Artery Nerve Damage Lawsuit in Maryland

Silver v. OrthoMaryland
(filed January 7, 2016)
  • Baltimore City (surgery was in Baltimore County)
Hospitals Where Patient Treated
  • Greater Baltimore Medical Center
  • An Orthopedic Surgeon
  • OrthoMaryland
Summary of Plaintiff's Allegations

Surgical Process for Knee Replacement Plaintiff undergoes a total-knee-replacement surgery performed by a doctor working for OrthoMaryland. OrthoMaryland is an independent practice specializing in orthopaedics, pain management, and physical therapy. It has offices in Baltimore, Lutherville, and Owings Mills.

The doctor cuts Plaintiff's popliteal artery during the knee replacement surgery at Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC). The popliteal artery supplies blood to the ligaments of the knee joint and works to maintain a blood supply to the rest of the leg.

After closing Plaintiff's surgical wound, the doctor releases tourniquet from Plaintiff's leg and notes that Plaintiff is bleeding significantly from the incision site in his knee. This is a sign that Plaintiff's popliteal artery has been injured. Ten minutes after surgery, Plaintiff notifies the nurse that he is losing sensation in his foot and is unable to wiggle his toes. This is yet another sign. Despite these warning signs, the doctor does not call a vascular surgeon to examine Plaintiff until more than seven hours after surgery.

The vascular surgeon examines Plaintiff and sees that blood flow has been completely cut off in Plaintiff's leg. The vascular surgeon performs emergency surgery, during which he notices that Plaintiff's popliteal artery is cut. The vascular surgeon is able to successfully restore blood flow to Plaintiff's leg.

Because of the approximately seven hour period during which Plaintiff suffered extensive bleeding from his popliteal artery being cut, Plaintiff now suffers permanent nerve damage. His leg is frequently in pain and his ability to walk is limited.

Plaintiff filed a medical negligence lawsuit in Baltimore City, claiming that the doctor and OrthoMaryland violated the standard of care by (1) failing to take proper precautions to avoid cutting the popliteal artery, (2) cutting the popliteal artery, and (3) failing to detect that the popliteal artery had been cut in time to prevent further harm.

Plaintiff claims damages including the impact his injuries will have on his physical and mental well-being, the physical and emotional pain he has suffered and will suffer, his medical expenses, and his loss of earnings and earning capacity.

    Knee Parts
  1. Failure to take precautions to avoid cutting of popliteal artery
  2. Cutting popliteal artery
  3. Failure to detect injury; delay in follow-up treatment
Specific Counts Pled
  1. Defendant negligently cut Plaintiff's popliteal artery
  2. Defendant negligently failed to detect the injury he caused in time to prevent permanent harm
Plaintiff's ExpertsMiscellaneous Thoughts
  • Our law firm got a $5.2 million verdict in a popliteal artery case in Baltimore City in 2014. The same lawyers who defended that case are defending this one. There are two differences between our case and this case, as our client lost his leg. First, the victim here suffered nerve damage. How extensive that nerve damages is will be a big factor in how this case is evaluated by the doctor's insurance company. Our case was also a pure misdiagnosis case. Our client hurt his popliteal artery on a closing loading dock gate.
  • The orthopedic surgeon who is the doctor defendant in this case is a frequent flyer medical expert who testifies for insurance companies in car accident injury cases. (Miller & Zois typically avoids naming individual doctors on our website when providing reports of lawsuits, settlements and verdicts. This is particularly true when reporting on a filed lawsuit like this one because we acknowledge that we are only getting one side of this story when providing information on a plaintiff's allegations in a lawsuit.)
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