PRINCETON – A man is suing Azzo Orthopedics after he claims he was negligent during a surgical procedure.
Dr. Walid H. Azzo was also named as a defendant in the suit.
On Feb. 10, 2014, Azzo performed a total right knee replacement on Kenneth Dean, according to a complaint filed Aug. 25 in Mercer Circuit Court.
Dean claims on April 1, 2014, he suffered an injury to his right knee and the following day he went to Bluefield Regional Medical Center with knee pain.
A CT scan revealed a periprosthetic supracondylar femur fracture above the right knee and Azzo was consulted on April 3, 2014, according to the suit.
Dean claims Azzo performed a surgical fixation and repair of the fracture with a retrograde intramedullary nail and interfragmentary screw on April 4, 2014.
During the procedure, when attempting to place the proximal locking screw, Azzo missed the target and drilled anterior to the rod and through the femoral cortex, according to the suit. Azzo wrote post-operative orders with instructions for Dean to weight bear as tolerated with a walker.
On April 16, 2014, Azzo instructed Dean to bear weight as tolerated on the right leg and, four days later, Dean was standing in his kitchen with his walker when he heard a loud “pop” when his right femur snapped and he fell to the floor, according to the suit.
Dean claims it took him over an hour to crawl and hoist himself to an area where he had a phone to be able to dial 911 and when the medics arrived, they had to break his glass door to his home in order to reach him.
Dean was taken by ambulance to Tazewell, Va., to the local fairgrounds where a medical helicopter flew him to Bristol Regional Medical Center in Bristol, Tenn., according to the suit.
The plaintiff claims he was treated in the emergency department at Bristol and, given the complexity of his case, he was then transported via ambulance to Holsten Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tenn., where he received surgical treatment.
Dr. Daniel Krenk performed numerous procedures on Dean and noted in his operative report that Azzo had missed the target when attempting to place the locking screw wherein he gouged the metal rod and thinned the cortex of the bone in the area of the fracture, according to the suit.
Dean claims he was forced to also undergo another knee revision on Jan. 9, 2015, and suffered an infection after that surgery and had to then undergo an extensive course of intravenous antibiotics.
Azzo was negligent and breached the standard of care. Azzo Orthopedics, as Azzo’s employer, is vicariously liable for Azzo’s actions, according to the suit.
Dean is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. He is being represented by R. Dean Hartley and Mark R. Staun of Hartley & O’Brien PLLC.
Mercer Circuit Court case number: 16-C-276