$300,000 Recovery for Ankle Injury, Orange County, Florida
Jane Doe, a 29-year-old finance manager, went with her grandparents to pick up her dog from the office of a local veterinarian. Jane had never been to this veterinarian's place of business before.
On her way out of the office, Jane badly twisted her ankle on a section of broken sidewalk. Because of the swelling in her ankle, she visited a local walk-in clinic later that day for examination. X-rays taken at that time were interpreted as normal.
Because the pain in her ankle persisted, Jane went to a local orthopaedic surgeon for a thorough evaluation. After several visits, and many tests, this doctor was unable to diagnose the cause of her continued symptoms. He referred Jane to a local podiatrist who performed diagnostic arthroscopic surgery. The surgery revealed that Jane had a small osteochondral fracture in her ankle. Because the injury involved a weight bearing joint, this minor condition progressed over time and Jane ultimately had three arthroscopic surgeries as well as a procedure in which new cartilage was grafted into her ankle.
Initially, the veterinarian defended the claim stating that he was not at fault and that Jane was responsible for her own injuries. Through a number of court depositions it was learned that the veterinarian had knowledge of the broken sidewalk for nearly six months before the fall and had contacted a maintenance man to repair the sidewalk before this incident occurred. Unfortunately, the necessary repairs were not made until two weeks after this incident. The veterinarian's attorney later claimed that the injuries were not the result of the incident and that Jane' condition was made worse by questionable care which she had received from some of her doctors.
At a court ordered mediation held shortly before trial, attorney Jim Cunningham was able to achieve a $300,000 settlement for Ms. Doe.
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