Tuesday, January 24, 2012
CALF IMPLANT JURY VERDICT
A Frackville, Pennsylvania man has received a $1.5 million verdict from a Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania jury that accepted his claim that a Pottsville doctor improperly performed a calf implant operation in October 2002.
The jury deliberated four hours before deciding on Friday night, at the end of a five-day trial, that Brian W. Gaverick suffered permanent scarring and other damage from the operation by Dr. Robert M. Kimmel.
"Both Mr. Gaverick and I are very pleased and grateful that the jury was as attentive as it was. There was a lot of information and medical terminology for the jury to process over the course of a five-day trial," Sudhir R. Patel, Pottsville, Gaverick's lawyer, said Monday.
Gaverick filed the lawsuit on Oct. 13, 2004, alleging that Kimmel had improperly performed the operation on Oct. 18, 2002, and had not obtained his informed consent before performing it.
In its verdict, the jury ruled that Kimmel had obtained Gaverick's consent for the operation but did not timely diagnose and treat the compartment syndrome that resulted from it.
The jury awarded Gaverick, a former personal trainer who had participated in bodybuilding competitions, $550,000 for past and future lost earnings, $550,000 for past and future noneconomic losses and $400,000 for permanent scarring and disfigurement.
Judge Cyrus Palmer Dolbin presided over the trial.
Gaverick testified that he wanted the calf implants in order to improve his business and bodybuilding competition prospects.
"Genetically, I did not really have muscular calves," he said. "I was well aware that I was lacking in calf development. You want to look your best in order to attract customers."
However, he said he began experiencing severe pain within an hour of leaving the hospital after the operation.
Gaverick said he has permanent scars on his left leg, doesn't work, never wears shorts and seldom leaves the house due to embarrassment.
"I'm just not comfortable," he said.
Kimmel said he told Gaverick of all the possible risks of the operation, and that Gaverick did not complain of pain immediately after the surgery.
"I feel it was in keeping with the high standards of my profession in all respects," Kimmel said of his care of Gaverick.
Patel said the verdict was a good one but did not alter his client's future.
"Even with the jury's verdict, nothing changes the fact that Mr. Gaverick has suffered horribly and will endure a lifetime of permanent scarring, disfigurement and permanent nerve injury," he said.