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Expert Witness Case 48
A 66-year-old woman presented to an orthopedic surgeon with knee pain.
A knee replacement was recommended and she had surgery in December 2017.
She suffered a periprosthetic fracture in May 2018.
She then underwent right knee revision arthroplasty.
This was followed by numerous complications including developing a septic joint.
She had numerous surgeries in the following months.
The plaintiff reported difficulty walking, inability to work, and was unable to drive.
She and her husband hired an attorney and filed a lawsuit against the orthopedic surgeon who initially operated on her.
An expert witness was hired. He personally saw the patient.
A (low quality) picture of the knee was entered into the court records:
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The history and exam performed by the expert witness are shown here:
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The expert witness wrote the following report:
The plaintiffs offered to settle for $650,000.
Less than 3 months later the plaintiffs and defendant reached an agreement and the case was settled.
This case is unique because the expert witness also performed a history and exam on the patient. In most cases, the expert witness simply reviews the record and writes a report. Reimbursement for this extra work can be significantly higher than reviewing records alone.
The plaintiffs were clearly motivated to settle this case. The offer for compromise is lower than many other cases. No doubt the surgeon and his professional liability insurer saw a pathway to a relatively quick resolution and found this to be preferable.