$3.4M Jury Award in Hip Surgery Error Case
A man who will need hip replacements every 10 years, and pain medication for the rest of his life won $3.4 million in damages when his surgeon used the wrong type of hardware in a hip surgery.
Covon Martin was 13 in 1999 when he underwent surgery to correct a hip dislocation that sometimes occurs during teenage growth spurts.
Dr. Richard W. Moscowitz was the operating surgeon. He used several devices called “Knowles pins” to stabilize Martin’s hip when he should have used newer devices called “cannulated screws,” the judge said. The new screws prevent the device from going all the way through the bone and into the joint.
Several of the Knowles pins did go through to the hip joint, and caused Martin to develop chondrolysis (death of the surrounding cartilage) and degenerative arthritis.
Martin’s parents filed the suit on Martin’s behalf in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York.
Medical experts testified that Martin’s injuries will cause him lifelong chronic pain, and require him to have a hip replacement surgery every 10 to 15 years as the implants wear out. According to expert witnesses, each surgery costs about $36,000. Martin is expected to live another 55 years.
The jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff awarding him $1.75 million for future pain and suffering, $400,000 for past pain and suffering, $400,000 for present pain and suffering, and $900,000 for future medical costs.
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