PRINCETON – A seventh complaint has been filed against a Mercer County doctor alleging negligence in his practice.
Princeton Community Hospital Association and Drs. Robert C. Pennington and Walid H. Azzo were all named as defendants in the suit.
On Aug. 11, 2015, Elizabeth Musick presented to Princeton to have a total left knee arthroplasty performed by Pennington, and, during the surgery, she was exposed to an unsterile environment, water, devices and/or techniques, according to an amended complaint filed Dec. 26 in Mercer Circuit Court.
On Oct. 20, 2015, Musick presented to Pennington’s office complaining of left knee pain and an office note indicated areas of redness over the anterior lateral leg, according to the suit.
Musick claims during the visit, Pennington aspirated her left knee and there was no fluid. He then diagnosed her with “cellulitis concerned deep infection post op…” and started her on Vancomycin.
The plaintiff was seen against three days later by Pennington and was again diagnosed with cellulitis and told to continue the Vancomycin, according to the suit.
Musick claims on Oct. 30, 2015, Pennington’s exam revealed that her left knee was worse and it was noted that she might need an incision and drainage and possibly have the implants in her knee removed.
On Nov. 4, 2015, Pennington performed an I&D and, on Nov. 12, 2015, the hospital reported that the cultures taken from Musick’s left knee came back “gram positive,” according to the suit.
Musick claims on Nov. 21, 2015, she presented to Bluefield Regional Medical Center, complaining of pain and swelling in her left knee and was consulted by Azzo. She was then started on Clindamycin and ordered to have a bone scan to check for osteomyelitis.
The plaintiff’s bone scan found “osteomyelitis around the total left knee prosthesis,” according to the suit.
Musick claims two days later, she went to Azzo’s office for a follow-up and was diagnosed with subacute osteomyelitis of the left tibia, fibula and femur.
On Nov. 30, 2015, Azzo performed an irrigation and debridement of left knee abscess and aspiration of the left knee joint, according to the suit. The knee was then irrigated and antibiotic beads were inserted.
Musick claims on Dec. 12, 2015, she presented to Azzo’s office for a post-op visit and, four days later, was ordered to start 300mg Cleocin.
On Dec. 28, 2015, LabCorp identified the organism from the Nov. 4, 2015, cultures as Mycobacterium mageritense and reported the results to Princeton and/or Pennington.
On Dec. 31, 2015, Musick presented to Princeton complaining of pain, redness, swelling and purulent drainage from her left knee, according to the suit.
Musick claims the consult note indicated that Azzo felt the wound was ok, that the antibiotic beads can swell and advised the consulting doctor to discharge her with Cipro.
There was no mention of the plaintiff testing positive for Mycobacterium mageritense, according to the suit.
Musick claims on Jan. 5, 2016, she presented to Azzo’s office and was diagnosed with a cutaneous abscess of left lower limp; an abscess of bursa, left knee; and infection and inflammatory reaction due to other internal joint prosthesis.
The following day, Musick went to Bluefield Regional Medical Center, where Azzo performed surgery to remove the infected knee prosthesis and to insert an antibiotic spacer.
Musick claims Azzo performed a total knee replacement revision on March 7, 2016. In April 2016, she presented to Bluefield with pain and swelling of her left knee. She was seen again in June 2016, where Azzo noted “two open drainage” areas and continued the plaintiff on Cleocin.
On Aug. 7, 2016, Musick presented to Princeton, complaining of persisten pain and swelling of her left knee and was diagnosed with recurrent severe left knee pain and ordered to follow up with Azzo, according to the suit.
Musick claims she followed up with Azzo in August, September, October and November.
On Jan. 12, 2017 and Feb. 2, 2017, Musick presented to Azzo’s office and complained of chronic pain, soreness, stiffness, tenderness and drainage from her left knee.
On Feb. 1, 2017, Musick was seen at Princeton and told to stop all antibiotics and to start on Doxycycline and was diagnosed with effusion of the left knee.
The antibiotics that Musick was prescribed were not appropriate for her Mycobacterium infection, according to the suit.
The defendants were negligent and breached the standards of care, according to the suit.
Musick is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is being represented by Mark Staun of Hartley Law Group and Russell A. Williams.
Staun, who has represented the plaintiffs in the other six lawsuits, too, said the other cases involved Azzo performing arthroscopic surgery on the wrong knee; two ankle surgeries that failed; improper workup where knee replacement patient ended up having to have heart transplant surgery; and fracture of femur after missing a drill hole in rod.
“Dr. Azzo is still practicing in Mercer County,” Staun said. “The Amended complaint to sets forth the infection history and what is alleged that Dr. Azzo did not do.”
The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Derek C. Swope.
Mercer Circuit Court case number: 17-C-429