Can I sue my surgeon for my fusion not healing and a screw breaking?

by John
(Portland, Maine, USA)

I had an L4 -L5 fusion in October 2011 and it never healed properly. A CAT scan showed a broken titanium screw. I have been in tremendous pain ever since then and I'm limited in the movements I can do. What can I do about this? Can I sue my surgeon for my fusion not healing and a screw breaking? What about the screw manufacturer for making a defective product? Thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Can I sue my surgeon for my fusion not healing and a screw breaking?":

John (Portland, Maine, USA):

You probably don't have a legitimate medical malpractice against the surgeon. Unless you have some evidence the surgeon committed medical malpractice, you'll have to focus on the manufacturer.

Surgeons can't be held liable for occurrences outside their control. Problems during surgery sometimes occur. If surgeons were to be held liable every time something goes wrong, medical malpractice lawsuits would back up the court system for years to come. The surgeon apparently performed the surgery properly. It seems she has no fault for the titanium screw breaking.

It does appear however, that you have the basis of a product liability claim against the screw manufacturer for producing a defective product. This is a claim you shouldn't handle yourself. Medical product liability claims are very complex and expensive to try in court. You need a qualified and experienced personal injury attorney.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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