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$5 Million Award for Knee Replacement Gone Bad

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The National Trial Lawyers After a 20-day trial, a Cook County, Illinois court jury returned a verdict that awarded Celeste Trevino and her husband Ignacio Trevino $5,835,000 million due to the failure of two doctors to spot a leakage from an artery after a knee replacement operation.

In 2007, Celeste had surgery to replace her right knee. She decided to have her surgery performed by Dr. Mitchell Sheinkop at the Neurologic and Orthopedic Institute of Chicago (NOIC). Two days after the surgery was completed, she began experiencing symptoms of a neurovascular injury:

•Inability to move her toes.
•Inability to move her ankle.
•Constant numbness throughout her right foot.
•Constant intensified pain, anemia and edema.

After Celeste was discharged, she began her post surgery rehabilitation at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Dr. Bonita Alexander-Peterson determined that Celete, had suffered a “severe post-surgical neurovascular injury to her leg.” The doctor advised Celeste that she had developed a pseudoaneurysm.

A pseudoaneurysm is a leakage of arterial blood from an artery into the surrounding tissue. Some pseudoaneurysms resolve themselves, though others require treatment to prevent hemorrhage, an uncontrolled leak or other complications.

As a result she was rushed back into surgery. Celeste underwent a bypass surgery that corrected the pseudoaneurysm and a two-compartment fasciotomy. However, Celeste’s surgeries did not end there. Because of an immense buildup of fluids, Celeste had to undergo a four compartment fasciotomy as well. She remained hospitalized until early 2008, and was left with permanent damages including a drop foot, paralysis of both her ankle and toes, and a permanent numbness on her right foot.

Celeste brought suit against doctors Sheinkop and Michael Lee of NOIC. She argued that both doctors acted negligently regarding her post-surgical care. She asserted that on both occasions when Lee and Shienkop checked on her to evaluate her post-surgical recovery, neither of them noticed, nor did they notate, the “swelling and leg pain” that Celeste was suffering.

She argued that, but for the negligence of the NOIC doctors, she would not have suffered the permanent injuries. Had the doctors been diligent, they would have prescribed an “immediate vascular surgery” that would have prevented any injuries from occurring.

At trial Celeste was awarded, $1,250,000 for pain and suffering, $1,500,000 due to loss of a normal life, $1,250,000 for emotional distress, $500,000 for disfigurement, and $835,000 in medical expenses. In addition, the court awarded her husband Ignacio $250,000 for loss of consortium and reasonable value of service, and $250,000 for companionship and sexual relationship. In total the couple received $ 5,835,000 million.

The case is Celeste and Ignacio Trevino v. Mitchell Sheinkop, M.D. and Michael Lee, M.D, case No. 09 L 010604

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READER COMMENTS

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I too have been experiencing leakage into my left knee. I knee causes pain 24/7 with swelling and dislocates. It causes great difficulty getting around. I have a hard time sleeping at night due to all my knee problems and trying to get comfortable. My life has changed mine and my families life to a living hell. I thought having this complete knee replacement would make life better but it has made life a living hell.

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