The case involved a claim of a failure to properly perform foot surgery involving my client's bunion on her right foot. It was our claim that the podiatrist removed too much bone during the procedure, and improperly positioned the first metatarsal. As result, this changed the dynamic forces of her foot and forced her to bear most of her weight underneath the second and third metatarsals in her foot. We also claimed that the patient should have had her second and third metatarsals surgically shortened during her first bunion surgery. This would have prevented the problem from arising.
Instead, the patient developed pain, pressure and discomfort on the bottom of her foot following surgery. The podiatrist recommended corrective surgery to shorten the second and third metatarsals eight months after her first surgery. The patient became quite frustrated and no longer had confidence in the ability of the podiatrist. She then went to an orthopedic surgeon with a specialty in foot and ankle surgery in Manhattan. He performed surgery to shorten the second and third metatarsals, but because of the damage already taken place, his surgery was unable to fix the primary problem.
Since conservative treatment failed she's been offered additional surgery to correct the problem to shorten bones in her foot, or as an alternative, to undergo destructive surgery that will fuse bones in her foot. There are no guarantees that these surgeries will help improve her condition. At the present time, she has elected to deal with the pain and discomfort on a daily basis and may need to have one or both of these surgeries in the future.
After two weeks of a hard-fought trial in Westchester, and after listening to testimony from the podiatrist, the podiatrist's expert, our expert, the treating physician and the plaintiffs, the jury determined that this podiatrist departed from good and accepted podiatric and surgical care; that this departure was a substantial factor in causing my client injury, and that she was entitled to be compensated.
The jury awarded her $375,000 for past pain and suffering, for the last five years.
The jury awarded her $1,125,000 for future pain and suffering, representing future injury over the next 30 years.
The jury awarded her husband $50,000 for his loss of services claim.
This verdict represents a remarkable statement by a unanimous jury.