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$2.39 Million Verdict in Medical Malpractice Case

In the face of a $25,000 dollar offer to settle by the defendant, A Lehigh County jury awarded $2.39 million to a woman who alleged that a knee injury following surgery caused her to become completely disabled and largely confined to a wheelchair. The Plaintiff, Betty L. Shiflett underwent a successful left knee revision surgery at Lehigh Valley Hospital in April 2012. A day after the surgery Shiflett was scored as a high risk for fall, however, Lehigh Valley Hospital provided no training on how to reduce the fall-risk, contrary to their own clinical guidelines. Two days after her surgery, Shiflett fell out of bed and landed on her left knee. The day after her fall plaintiff complained to her nurse that the knee pain was worsening and a clicking noise could be head when she moved her knee. The nurse never reported those symptoms. During PT four days later, Shiflett’s physical therapist heard the clicking noise and sent her for an X-ray. It was found that Shiflett needed additional surgery for an avulsion fracture. The second surgery was unsuccessful. Shiflett developed an MRSA infection that making her ineligible for additional surgery and crippled for life. The verdict followed a seven day trial and about three hours of
deliberation reported Goslee.

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