$500,000 Verdict for Podiatry Malpractice

A Bergen County jury returned a verdict in favor of a 63-year-old woman who developed complications following right toe surgery.

The woman, who had hallux limitus of her right great toe, was advised by her podiatrist to undergo a total joint replacement with a silastic implant. Since she was 54 at the time, and, very active, it was argued she should have been advised of other alternatives such as a longer lasting titanium implant, or, less invasive procedures, such as a cheilectomy and decompression osteotomy. After 3 ½ years, she experienced pain and swelling in the right foot and obtained a second opinion from an orthopedic surgeon. X-rays were taken which revealed shortening of the first toe, bone loss and bone spur formation. She was diagnosed with a failed implant, which had to be removed. She also required a fusion of the great toe with a bone graft. Subsequently, one of the plates from the fusion cracked, and, she will likely require an additional surgery, i.e., a repeat fusion, in the future.

The jury found that the defendant podiatrist failed to obtain the patient’s informed consent , and did not provide other reasonable alternatives besides a silastic implant, and, awarded the client $500,000.00 for her injuries. Partner Michael B. Zerres tried the matter on her behalf.