The doctor who blamed a botched hip implantation on Smith & Nephew(FTSE:SN, NYSE:SNN) spiked a lawsuit that sought to force the British medical device company to cover a $2.2 million malpractice loss.
Dr. David Chao, formerly the team physician for the NFL’s San Diego Chargers franchise, sued Smith & Nephew in the U.S. District Court for Southern California, alleging that inadequate training and faulty surgical scissors for SNN’s Birmingham Hip Resurfacing implant led to the botched surgery on Kathleen Adams in 2007.
Adams sued Chao for negligence, winning a $2.2 million settlement in 2008. Chao wants Smith & Nephew to cover the tab, accusing the company of training him and other doctors "to push the tips of the scissors into tissue in a manner such that the surgeon did not have a view of the tips of the scissor tines (i.e., ‘blind’ cuts)," according to court documents. Smith & Nephew asked Judge Marilyn Huff to dismiss the case, arguing that federal law preempts any claims against it because the Birmingham device was approved by the FDA.
Last month Huff dismissed 2 of Chao’s claims, that the design of scissors used in the hip replacement procedure in part caused him to botch the surgery and that Smith & Nephew failed to warn him not to use the hip implant with an obese patient. Another claim, that Smith & Nephew failed to adequately train Chao, was allowed to stand, the judge ruled.
But Huff dismissed the case with prejudice Nov. 5 after the parties filed a joint motion to dismiss, according to court documents, with each party bearing its own costs.
It’s not the 1st time Chao has run into legal trouble, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. In addition to a $7.5 million jury award in 1 case involving A jury awarded 1 former patient $7.5 million in damages in 1 case; in another case, a patient "suffered nerve damage from a hip resurfacing procedure in 2007," according to the newspaper, and another "who suffered a blood clot in one leg and a pseudoaneurysm after knee replacement surgery in 2010."
Chao has been sued by patients for malpractice, personal injury, negligence or fraud 20 times since 1998. California’s medical board is seeking to have his license revoked, according to the newspaper.
Chao left the Chargers in June, citing “health reasons” and a desire “to spend more time with his family.”