Defense Verdict in Queens County

Michael Sullivan obtained a defense verdict in a Supreme Court, Queens County podiatric malpractice case on June 16, 2015. 

Plaintiff was 55-years-old when she underwent bunion and hammertoe surgery on her right foot by the defendant in February 2011.  Approximately three weeks after surgery, plaintiff developed signs of an infection at the site of her bunion surgery and was treated successfully with antibiotics by the defendant.  Approximately seven weeks after surgery, plaintiff still had pain and stiffness in her right hallux and she transferred her care from the defendant to an orthopedic surgeon.  Several months after the defendant’s surgery, plaintiff developed hallux varus and hallux rigidus on the right side.  The orthopedic surgeon ultimately fused plaintiff’s right first metatarsal-phalangeal joint thirteen months after the initial surgery.  Four years after the initial surgery, plaintiff underwent a third procedure to remove the hardware placed during the fusion.  Plaintiff claimed that the defendant’s surgical technique was negligent.  Specifically she claimed that an osteotomy created in the proximal phalanx of her first toe was too long and delayed her healing which resulted in her pain and stiffness.  Plaintiff further claimed that the defendant mis-managed her post-operative infection and that mis-management caused excessive scarring which contributed to her pain and stiffness.  In addition to her pain and suffering, plaintiff claimed that the defendant’s surgery prevented her from returning to work as a nurse’s aide at a NYC hospital and forced her to retire in 2013.

Through his client’s testimony and his expert’s testimony, Mr. Sullivan established that the defendant’s surgery was properly performed in all respects and the defendant successfully treated plaintiff’s post-operative infection with the proper antibiotic.  Mr. Sullivan further established that plaintiff’s hallux varus and hallux rigidus were caused by excessive scarring unrelated to the defendant’s surgical technique and post-operative management of plaintiff’s condition.

After five days of testimony before the Honorable Darrell L. Gavrin, the jury rendered its unanimous defense verdict in 20 minutes.