Effective July 1, 2023, Gerspach Sikoscow LLP joined Kaufman Borgeest & Ryan LLP. Any inquiries may be sent to: Thomas J. Gerspach (tgerspach@kbrlaw.com); Alexander Sikoscow (asikoscow@kbrlaw.com); Kristen J. Halford (khalford@kbrlaw.com); or Ryan J. Gerspach (rgerspach@kbrlaw.com).
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Supreme Court, Orange County grants summary judgment to orthopedic surgeon in case claiming that improper surgical technique during a total knee arthroplasty led to peripheral nerve injury and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)

Gerspach Sikoscow obtained summary judgment and an outright dismissal on behalf of an orthopedic surgeon who performed a right total knee replacement upon the 54-year-old male plaintiff. In our summary judgment motion, we established that (1) there is no evidence that plaintiff sustained any type of peripheral nerve injury as a consequence of surgery; and (2) there is nothing about the subject surgery that led to plaintiff’s development of CRPS, a rare complication that can arise after any type of invasive procedure involving a limb. In opposition to our motion, plaintiff’s orthopedic surgery expert alleged that improper malrotations and maltranslations of the implants during the surgery, along with excessive tourniquet time (65 minutes), caused the plaintiff to suffer patella maltracking, unrecognized tibial torsion, extensor mechanism malfunction, and CRPS. The patient’s expert further claimed that our client failed to timely diagnose CRPS post-operatively and failed to timely perform a revision knee arthroplasty to correct mechanical issues with the implants. Ultimately, the court agreed with our argument that plaintiff’s expert’s opinions as to what occurred during the subject surgery were speculative and without factual support in the record. The court also refused to consider the allegations concerning our client’s failure to diagnose CRPS and re-operate due to the fact that such allegations were improperly raised for the first time in opposition to our meritorious summary judgment motion. Given these deficiencies in plaintiff’s proof, the court concluded that plaintiff had failed to rebut our motion and dismissed all claims against our client.

Categories: Motion Practice
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