Defense Verdict In New York County

HPM&B obtained a defense verdict on October 7, 2013 on behalf of an orthopedic spine surgeon in Supreme Court, New York County. 

Plaintiff was 53 years old when he underwent four level fusion with instrumentation surgery on his lumbar spine in November 2000.  There was radiographic evidence of a non-union at the bottom of the fusion several months after surgery and the patient claimed that he was rendered unable to walk by the surgery.  He sued the surgeon based upon claims that the surgery was not indicated and was not properly performed.  The defense argued that the patient had clear instability and spondylolisthesis in the lumbar spine pre-operatively and four level fusion surgery was properly recommended as a measure to reduce the patient’s longstanding pain and disability.  The defense further argued that the surgery was performed in a proper manner and completed without any complication, and the apparent non-union of the fusion was a failure of healing, not a failure of the surgeon.  The defense also argued that the patient’s post-operative condition was not significantly worse than his pre-operative condition which was poor.  The jury deliberated for 2 ½ hours before returning its unanimous verdict in favor of the defendant surgeon.   

Michael Sullivan, a partner in the firm’s New York City office, represented the surgeon at trial.