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DEFENDANT’S Medical Malpractice – Orthopedics – Informed consent – Plaintiff alleges negligence and lack of informed consent results in early retirement

Superior Court, Dept. "O"

In this action for medical malpractice, the plaintiff alleges that the defendant’s negligence forced him into early retirement. The defense denied all allegations of negligence.

The 48-year old plaintiff presented to the defendant complaining of long-standing lower back pain and radiating leg pain. As a result, the defendant performed surgery to place an L4-5 investigational artificial disc in the plaintiff’s spine. When, several years later, the surgery failed to alleviate the plaintiff’s pain, he went on to have L4-5 fusion surgery by another orthopedic surgeon. The second surgery also failed to resolve the plaintiff’s complaints; forcing him into early retirement from the Los Angeles Police Department. The plaintiff retired on disability and 75% pay for life, plus medical benefits.

On April 1, ________, the plaintiff filed suit against the defendant for medical malpractice. The plaintiff argued that the defendant had not only negligently placed the investigational disc in his back, but also failed to obtain informed consent before proceeding. In addition, the plaintiff contended that had the surgery been performed correctly he would have been able to work for five more years. The defense denied all allegations of negligence; arguing overall that the defendant’s actions fell within accepted standards of care.After 15 days of trial, and a one-day jury deliberation, the jury found in favor of the defendant on all counts.

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