Defense Verdict in Queens County

Austa S. Devlin won a defense verdict in New York Supreme Court, Queens County, on behalf of an orthopedist who treated a patient with a fracture of the lateral posterior tibial plateau.

The defendant treated her conservatively, with immobilization and physical therapy. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant failed to properly immobilize the leg, and should have used a cylinder cast rather than a standard knee immobilizer with Velcro straps, which allegedly allowed the comminuted fracture fragments to become displaced and further depressed, resulting in a valgus deformity of the knee. Plaintiff claimed that as a result, she underwent an osteotomy and bone graft to correct the deformity, by a subsequent orthopedist.

The defense proved that the immobilization was appropriate, the fracture healed in good alignment given the severe nature of the fracture, and the osteotomy was needed due to the character of the original injury, not because of any malunion caused by the medical treatment.