Visitor Question

Replacement Knee Failure…

Submitted By: Larry (Sabula, Iowa, US)

In the spring of 2008 my wife was diagnosed with total knee failure. The doctor recommended a full knee replacement. After much discussion and research the operation was scheduled and completed. There was 3 months of physical therapy following the operation and high levels of pain.

My wife was off work for nearly a year before she was able to go back full time. Shortly after she went back to work she started to experience more pain in the same knee. After several doctor’s appointments it was determined that the knee replacement had failed to bond to the lower bone.

Another surgery would be required to replace the lower part of the knee. The operation was performed in April of 2010. This operation appears to be a success so far.

During the past 2 years my wife has experienced severe pain and a loss of wages. She is 61 years old in September of this year and out of work due to all this.

I have contacted the doctor as well as the manufacturer of the knee. The doctor said he is not responsible for the failure. The manufacturer will settle my claim for $70,000 without going to court. I had asked for $100,000.

What is a reasonable settlement request for this situation?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Larry,

It sounds as though you have an excellent claim against the manufacturer, however it would be interesting to know whether $70,000 is their first offer or the result of several back and forth discussions.

If it is the first offer, I would be willing to wager that there is more money on the table.

You have to also weigh the options of pushing the settlement to the point of filing a court case.

For example, you will have filing fees which are nominal in comparison to the over-all case. In addition to that, you would have a lot of litigation, expert witnesses (always required in medical malpractice or products liability cases) which can be expensive and no doubt, an attorney would be required.

Even if you were able to garner a higher settlement through litigation, the higher settlement would be eaten up by the expenses involved in taking it to court. When you consider the time, expense and aggravation of having to go to court, the settlement you are offered at this stage may start to sound very, very reasonable.

Don’t forget to submit a counter-offer if $70,000 is the first offer proposed.

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

Best of luck,

Published: August 10, 2010

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