Man Resolves Claim for Negligent Care following Knee Replacement Surgery

A man from Coldwater, Michigan, has resolved his claim for negligent care following knee replacement surgery at a hearing of the Branch County Circuit Court.

In September 2011, James Dorstal (72) underwent knee replacement surgery at the Community Health Center of Branch County. During his recovery from the operation, James was fitted with a continuous passive motion device to assist with his rehabilitation and to minimize any post-operative swelling.

However, the nurse caring for James mispositioned his knee at an angle of 75 degrees – rather than the recommended 40 degrees – resulting in James suffering unnecessary trauma to his knee. James can now only walk short distances with the help of a cane, and is unable to enjoy his previously normal activities.

James sought legal advice and made a claim for negligent care following knee replacement surgery against the Community Health Center of Branch County. James claimed in his action that, if the continuous passive motion device had been fitted properly, he would not have his current mobility problems or had to undergo a second operation to remove excess scar tissue that had developed post-operatively.

The Community Health Center of Branch County contested the claim for negligent care following knee replacement surgery. In the health center´s defense, it was argued that the motion device had been fitted properly and that the mobility issues James was experiencing were normal after undergoing knee replacement surgery. The health center maintained that it had not deviated from the acceptable standard of care.

The claim for negligent care following knee replacement surgery went to the Branch County Circuit Court, where experts from both sides presented evidence to the jury. After a three-day hearing and less than an hour of deliberations, the jury found unanimously in James´ favor – awarding him $225,000 in settlement of his claim for negligent care following knee replacement surgery.