Publication: Cook County Jury Verdict Reporter
Published: 3/27/2015
(GGG 23/1) MEDICAL MALPRACTICE--KNEE REPLACEMENT COMPLICATIONS LEAD TO DROP FOOT (12M)

Celeste Trevino, Ignacio Trevino v Dr. Mitchell Sheinkop, Dr. Michael Lee, Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, Neurologic & Orthopedic Institute of Chicago 09L-10604 Tried Jan. 2-22, 2015

Verdict: $5,835,000 v Dr. Mitchell Sheinkop and Dr. Michael Lee: $5,335,000 to Celeste Trevino ($1,250,000 pain & suffering; $1,500,000 loss of normal life; $1,250,000 emotional distress; $500,000 disfigurement; $835,000 medical expenses); $500,000 to Ignacio Trevino ($250,000 loss of services; $250,000 loss of consortium); Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush settled out prior to trial for $1,000,000; Neurologic & Orthopedic Institute of Chicago setted out before trial for $40,000.

Judge: Edward S. Harmening (IL Cook-Law)

Pltf Atty(s): David A. Axelrod and Jason M. Kleinman of David A. Axelrod & Associates for both pltfs DEMAND: $1,000,000 policy ASKED: $7,835,000

Deft Atty(s): Mark C. Fedota of Fedota Childers for Sheinkop (Illinois Guaranty Fund) OFFER: none; Robert W. Smyth, Jr. of Donohue, Brown, Mathewson & Smyth and Fuad R. Sulayman of Kamensky, Rubinstein, Hochman & Delott (Lincolnwood) for Lee (ISMIE) OFFER: none

Pltf Medl: Dr. Juan Carlos Jimenez (Neurosurgeon) and Dr. Bonita Alexander- Peterson (Rehab/Physical Medicine) for Celeste

Pltf Expert(s): Dr. Raymond Vance (Orthopedist), Dr. D. Preston Flanigan (Vascular Surgeon) and Dr. Farah Khan (Internist) for Celeste

Deft Expert(s): Dr. Richard S. Sherman (Orthopedist) for Sheinkop; Dr. Bernadette Aulivola of Loyola University Medical Center, 2160 S. First Ave., Maywood, IL (708-327-2686) (Vascular Surgeon) and Dr. Jeffrey Kopin (Internist) for Lee

Pltf F-67 Celeste Trevino underwent a total right knee replacement on September 11, 2007. The surgery was performed by deft orthopedic surgeon Sheinkop at the Neurologic & Orthopedic Institute of Chicago. Two days after the procedure, pltf began exhibiting signs and symptoms of a neurovascular injury, including inability to move her right toes and ankle as well as numbness of the right foot. Dr. Sheinkop examined pltf in her hospital room on September 13 in response to these symptoms, but he allegedly failed to even write a note in the chart indicating he was aware of her condition. Dr. Sheinkop examined her again on the morning of September 14, but still failed to recognize and respond to the signs and symptoms of neurovascular injury, despite the fact that a physical therapist had noted the patient was still unable to move her toes and ankle. Deft Dr. Lee, the on-call internist at the hospital, was summoned to pltf's room on the afternoon of September 14 to assess her leg pain and swelling. However, Dr. Lee made no chart notation and was unable to establish whether or not he actually came to her bedside, assessed her condition, or took action. There were no progress notes or orders written in response to the call to Dr. Lee. Pltf's symptoms, along with anemia, edema, and more pain than would be expected, continued until she was discharged from the hospital on September 15 and sent to the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Alexian Brothers Medical Center. Upon pltf's arrival at RIC, Dr. Bonita Alexander-Peterson immediately recognized that she was suffering from a severe postoperative neurovascular injury to her right leg. Pltf was diagnosed with a popliteal pseudoaneurysm in her right calf, which had been caused by leakage of blood from a small laceration of the popliteal artery during the knee replacement surgery. As a result, pltf underwent bypass surgery to address the pseudoaneurysm on September 16, as well as a two-compartment fasciotomy procedure. However, over the next few days, she developed compartment syndrome in the right leg (fluid buildup which causes pressure inside the compartments of the leg). On September 20, pltf underwent a fourcompartment fasciotomy, removal of infected tissue, and placement of a wound vac (vacuum assisted closure). She remained hospitalized at Alexian and other facilities until January 28, 2008. Pltf sustained permanent neurological injuries including right drop foot, paralysis of her ankle and toes, and foot numbness. Her husband claimed loss of consortium and services. Pltf argued defts were negligent in failing to assess, recognize and respond to her neurovascular symptoms, and failing to order necessary testing to determine if there was an injury. Pltf asserted a Doppler ultrasound would have revealed the popliteal pseudoaneurysm and enabled her to receive timely vascular surgery to prevent further damage. 

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