Articles Posted in Podiatry Malpractice

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While many malpractice cases arise out of incompetent care within a doctor’s specialty, such as the failure to diagnose or a delayed diagnosis, some arise out of harm caused by a doctor practicing outside of the scope of his or her expertise. This was demonstrated in a recent case in which the court discussed the standard of care imposed on a podiatrist that allegedly caused harm by performing a non-FDA approved therapy for Lyme disease on a patient. If you were harmed by an unapproved medical treatment or other negligent care provided by a podiatrist, it is advisable to speak with a seasoned Rochester podiatry malpractice attorney regarding your case.

Facts Regarding the Plaintiff’s Treatment

It is reported that the plaintiff saw an advertisement in a magazine in which the defendant podiatrist stated he could treat Lyme disease. The plaintiff subsequently visited the defendant, who routinely stated he could cure non-podiatric issues, for treatment of Lyme disease. The defendant recommended that the plaintiff undergo ozone therapy, which is not an FDA-approved treatment. The plaintiff underwent three ozone therapy sessions. Following the third session, he fell asleep, and when he awoke, he was disoriented and confused. He was taken to a hospital where an examination revealed he had left-sided weakness and paralysis. He was admitted and hospitalized for approximately two weeks.

Allegedly, the plaintiff was evaluated for seizure and stroke but did not receive a definitive diagnosis. Following his discharge from the hospital, the plaintiff was unable to get out of bed for three months. He subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant, alleging that the ozone therapy caused inflammation in his brain, which led to his subsequent symptoms. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, which the trial court granted. The plaintiff then appealed.

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When people think of a malpractice case, they often think of cases involving high-risk procedures, but malpractice can and does occur in any practice area, including seemingly low-risk areas such as podiatry. Regardless of the nature of the underlying treatment, if a doctor’s care causes harm it is essential to set forth the allegations and evidence needed to prove the doctor should be held liable, otherwise you may lose the right to recover. The grave consequences of the failure to offer an adequate expert report were illustrated in a recent New York appellate court case, in which the court dismissed the plaintiff’s podiatry malpractice case due to the insufficiency of her expert report. If you sustained injuries due to negligent podiatric care, it is vital to engage a skillful Rochester podiatry malpractice attorney to help you seek compensation.

The Plaintiff’s Medical Treatment

Reportedly, the plaintiff treated with the defendant podiatrist on one occasion. During the visit, the defendant podiatrist diagnosed the plaintiff with a hammertoe and a corn on the second toe of the left foot and performed an aseptic debridement of the corn to alleviate pain. The defendant podiatrist did not prescribe the plaintiff any medication and did not provide the plaintiff with any other treatment. The plaintiff continued to treat with the defendant independent contractor, however, who worked for the defendant podiatrist.

It is alleged that five months after her debridement the plaintiff presented to the defendant independent contractor with signs of infection. She was referred to the hospital for the infection but left against medical advice. One week later the plaintiff returned to the hospital, where she underwent a partial amputation of the second left toe. The plaintiff subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants. The defendant podiatrist filed a motion for summary judgment, which the court dismissed, after which the defendant appealed.
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Surgical procedures on infants often come with high risks. New York medical malpractice law requires doctors to disclose medical risks and perform surgeries under a legally imposed standard of care. Unfortunately, a recent lawsuit alleged that an infant child’s podiatrist failed to disclose risks to the patient’s mother related to a foot surgery, and the surgery was performed negligently.In this case, a Brooklyn-based podiatrist performed a surgical procedure on the right foot of the plaintiff, who was an infant at the time of the surgery. The surgery was performed because the podiatrist believed that the plaintiff had a rupture of the extensor hallucis longus tendon. The plaintiff alleged that as a result of the surgery, she has constant pain and limited movement of her right big toe. Moreover, the plaintiff alleged that the surgery was unnecessary, and it actually aggravated the plaintiff’s condition. The plaintiff also brought a cause of action for lack of informed consent.

Under New York law, a claim for podiatry malpractice requires proof of (i) a departure from the accepted standard of practice among podiatric specialists and (ii) sufficient proof that such a departure caused the injury to the plaintiff.

Although the trial court granted summary judgment for the defendants, the appeals court revived the plaintiff’s malpractice claim. The panel of judges agreed that there was an issue of fact as to whether the proper testing had been conducted prior to the operation. The appeals court reiterated that the defendants’ expert affidavit was merely conclusory and therefore did not meet the standard required to win on summary judgment. Specifically, the defendants’ expert affidavit did not address whether they failed to perform pre-operative testing on the plaintiff. The plaintiff’s complaint asserted that the defendants had failed to determine whether she had the circulation required to heal properly from the surgery.

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