$535,000 Settlement for Failure to Diagnose Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip in an Infant

A newborn girl was born with a congenital dysplasia of the left hip, which progressed into a complete dislocation by 15 months of age, after her pediatrician failed to perform proper testing to evaluate her hips for possible dysplasia. The tests, known as the Ortolani and Barlow maneuvers, would have revealed the dysplasia (DDH) at an earlier time, which would have led to either use of a harness or hip casting without surgery to treat the condition. In most cases, with this type of treatment, the child is left with a favorable prognosis. However, in cases of delayed diagnosis and treatment open reduction surgery may be required. While the hip may function normally at an earlier age, the patient becomes at an increased risk for the early development of arthritis in the hip joint and may need hip replacement surgery at an early age. The six year-old girl in this case required an open reduction surgery, but while she enjoys normal function now, she is at a higher risk for premature arthritis in the future. Blume Donnelly, partner, Michael Zerres, obtained the settlement on behalf of the girl and her family.