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February 2017

Pittsburgh Team Secures Defense Verdict for Regional Hospital After Claims of Patient Negligence

Gordon & Rees Pittsburgh partner Jennifer M. Kirschler and associate Fallon Stephenson obtained a defense verdict for their client, a regional hospital, on January 30, 2017 after a four-day jury trial.

In this case, the plaintiff alleged that he developed a drop foot after hip replacement surgery which took place in September of 2011. The plaintiff alleged that the straps of the hip abductor pillow which was placed between the patient’s legs after surgery were too tight and caused a left peroneal nerve injury.  Following the surgery, the patient developed a permanent foot drop which requires him to wear a brace and limits his activities. 

The defense denied that the hip abductor pillow was improperly placed following the surgery and argued that it did not cause the left foot drop in the plaintiff.  The defense argued that a foot drop is a known complication of the surgery and can occur in the absence of negligence.

The defense also argued that the plaintiff's claims of negligence must fail because the electromyograms (EMGs) taken after the surgery showed nerve involvement which would not have been caused by pressure from the abductor strap. The EMG showed a stretching injury which would have been caused by the actual surgery performed.

The case was heard by a jury of 12 individuals and they returned a verdict in favor of the defense.

Jennifer M. Kirschler
Fallon Carroll Stephenson



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