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$100,000 Settlement for Coach’s Knee Injury

A junior high basketball coach suffered a sprain to his knee in a physical education class. He went to an orthopedic surgeon who, with a minimal exam, indicated the coach should undergo arthroscopic surgery within a week or two. The doctor then injected a steroid solution into the coach’s knee. At the time of the arthroscopic procedure, the orthopedic surgeon recognized that there was something going on in the knee which looked suspiciously like an infection. The orthopedic doctor ordered testing to determine if an infection was there, what was the cause of the infection and what antibiotic to use. Because the orthopedic had a practice in two cities, the lab report showing an MRSA infection never got to the doctor. Despite the coach’s complaint of increased pain following surgery, the physician ordered physical therapy. Two and one-half weeks after the infection misdiagnosis, the doctor realized his mistake and cleaned out the knee joint which had been seriously damaged by the infection. The doctor denied performing the injection which caused the infection despite a charge for the injection. A claim for medical review panel was brought against the physician who admitted his liability and paid the $100,000.00 required under the Medical Malpractice Act. A subsequent proceeding was brought against the Patients’ Compensation Fund and the coach received full compensation for his knee injury and disability.