Surgeon Defeats Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Based on Misplaced Screw
A jury returned a verdict of not guilty in a medical malpractice lawsuit filed by his former patient. The patient had argued that a misplaced screw resulted in debilitating pain after a spine surgery. The plaintiff had argued that the screw was misaligned by 1 millimeter resulting in excruciating pain and a lack of mobility.
The doctor was able to establish that the screw was positioned correctly and was not touching any nerves. The case hinged on whether or not the screw was in the correct position and responsible for the plaintiff’s leg pain. The plaintiff believed that the misplaced screw was the cause of debilitating pain in his leg. However, the doctor had a different theory on the matter and prevailed at trial.
Medical malpractice lawsuits are difficult to win. The arguments are often complex and juries are required to make decisions based on both legal and medical arguments. In this case, the plaintiff failed to prove that the screw was the cause of his pain.
The defense argument
The defense was able to successfully argue that the plaintiff suffered from ongoing back pain. The pain he experienced in his leg was not the result of a misplaced screw. The defense presented evidence that the pain continued even after the screw was removed. This led the jury to believe that the screw was not at fault and that the doctor did not commit any form of medical malpractice.
When filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, plaintiffs should be aware that they can be difficult to win, especially in Georgia where the law wants to protect doctors from so-called “junk” lawsuits. Plaintiffs cannot simply establish that they were injured due to a surgery. They must be able to establish that a similar doctor in a similar position would not have made the same mistake the defendant did. The plaintiff must be able to establish that the doctor deviated from the prevailing standard of care for the profession.
In the case mentioned above, the plaintiff could not establish that the doctor deviated from the prevailing standard of care for the profession or even that the screw was improperly placed. The surgeon was able to defeat the claim on the basis that the injury was not caused by any medical care he rendered. Instead, it was an outgrowth of the patient’s previously established injuries.
Surgical malpractice is among the most common forms of medical malpractice lawsuit. In a surgical malpractice case, the plaintiff must establish that the doctor made some type of mistake that led to injury. They must further establish that a similar doctor would not have made that mistake. In this case, the plaintiff failed to establish that a mistake had been made.
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