PAOrtho Notches Second Litigation Victory Protecting Orthopaedic Surgeons

December 11, 2020

The stakes could not be higher. Can a surgeon present expert testimony regarding risks and complications in a medical liability case? For the second time in two years, that question was before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. And for the second time, PAOrtho entered the litigation fray and led the charge to defeat the trial lawyers attempting to diminish your right to defend yourself.

PAOrtho had protected your right to present expert witness testimony on surgical risks and complications with the 2018 Mitchell vs Shikora amicus brief. The state Supreme Court sided with PAOrtho and others with a favorable June 2019 decision. But the trial lawyers were at it again in 2020 with the Kirksey vs Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. They attacked risks and complications evidence again, but suffered the same result - defeat at the hands of PAOrtho’s superior legal arguments.

PAOrtho’s amicus counsel, Michael Feeney of Pittsburgh’s Matis Baum O'Connor law firm, phrased the tremendous victory in this way:

Because of the time we were able to spend carefully and thoroughly reviewing the case, we were able to identify a significant procedural defect in Plaintiff's appeal. This defect was the leading argument in our Amicus Brief and we were the only party to assert it. Earlier today, we learned that it served as the basis for the PA Supreme Court's decision to DISMISS the appeal in its entirety. This is the best possible outcome: it totally preserves the holding of Mitchell without even giving the court's more plaintiff-friendly justices an opportunity to somehow undermine it.

PAOrtho led on this, in a big way, and its membership should be proud. This is another rare win for us in an appellate environment that earlier this week was declared the worst "Judicial Hellhole" in the nation. (emphasis in original)

Please be assured that PAOrtho continues to protect your patients and your practice in all three branches of Pennsylvania’s state government: the legislative; the executive; and for two years running, the judicial. Please share this news with your colleagues and invite them to join your vital and robust state society.