On Friday, August 9, 2013, Naulty, Scaricamazza & McDevitt partner Robert E. Dillon obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a podiatric physician in York County, Pennsylvania. The case was tried before Judge Limebaugh from August 5, 2013 through August 9, 2013.
The plaintiff alleged that the defendant podiatrist was negligent in the diabetic foot care of the patient over the course of three years of treatment. It was alleged that this negligence caused the plaintiff to undergo amputations of the toe, the foot and, finally, the lower leg, after the appearance of a non-healing ulcer which progressed to gangrene on the great toe of the left foot.
The plaintiff's expert podiatrist opined that the defendant podiatrist violated the standard of care by failing to chart the absence of pedal pulses for each visit and for failing to perform an earlier ankle-brachial index (ABI) test as a preventative measure, before symptoms appeared. The plaintiff sought damages for past and future medical expenses, home health care, medical device expenses, home and vehicle modifications and loss of consortium.
On behalf of the defense, Mr. Dillon argued that the defendant's treatment of the plaintiff was proper and that the defendant had successfully healed many other ulcers over the course of the patient's treatment and care. Mr. Dillon also noted that the defendant doctor referred the plaintiff to a vascular surgeon at the earliest sign of the plaintiff's inability to heal an ulcer. During a review of the medical records, Mr. Dillon revealed that the plaintiff had a Q8 qualifier in the chart, indicating the permanent absence of pedal pulses; thus, making the charting of the absence of pedal pulses at each subsequent visit, suggested by the plaintiff's expert, superfluous and unnecessary.
Mr. Dillon also presented an expert podiatrist who noted that an ABI test which was performed at the defendant's urging after the appearance of a non-healing ulcer indicated that the plaintiff still had adequate flow to the ankle. The expert podiatrist then explained that the inability of the plaintiff to heal the ulcer in the toe was caused by small vessel disease in the arteries of the foot, itself. Furthermore, the expert noted that it is not possible to bypass these small vessels and that the defendant doctor's accelerated visit schedule, careful treatment of ulcers, and immediate referral to a vascular surgeon at the first sign of danger was the proper means of treating the patient.
The jury found in favor of the defendant podiatrist represented by Robert E. Dillon. The case was tried before the Honorable Judge Stephen P. Limebaugh in the York County Court of Common Pleas in York, Pennsylvania.