A New York state court jury on Friday awarded a former New York Giants running back $28.5 million in his medical malpractice suit against New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery and the hospital’s late chief of the orthopedic trauma service for allegedly botching the player’s ankle reconstruction surgery, according to his counsel.
The jury found the estate of the now-deceased Dr. Dean Lorich and the Hospital for Special Surgery liable for medical malpractice, and awarded plaintiff Michael Cox $15.5 million for future pain and suffering, plus $12 million in lost earnings and $1 million in past pain and suffering, according to a statement released Monday from Cox’s attorney. Cox’s
counsel, Jordan K. Merson of Merson Law PLLC, said Monday he and his client are pleased with the jury’s decision.
“The jury spoke with a clear and unambiguous voice that Mr. Cox received inadequate medical care and treatment and was significantly injured as a result,” Merson said. Counsel and representatives for the defendants didn’t immediately respond Monday to requests for comment.
The verdict is the latest development in a two-count personal injury complaint Cox filed in May 2016 against his one-time surgeon and the hospital after an allegedly botched surgery in 2014 abruptly ended Cox’s once-promising NFL career. The lawsuit asserts one count of personal injury and one count of lack of informed consent.
Cox was a seventh-round draft pick by the Giants in 2013, but when he was 25 years old, he suffered significant injuries in the Giants’ 38-14 loss against the Seattle Seahawks in November 2014, according to his counsel.
During the game, Cox broke his leg and injured his ankle, causing cartilage damage, which he sought treatment for from Lorich, according to court documents.
Cox underwent surgery under Lorich, who was the chief of the hospital’s orthopedic trauma service at the time. However, the surgery failed to repair Cox’s left ankle, and he would never play in the NFL again as a result, his attorneys argued.
Lorich performed an “open reduction of the left pronation-external rotator type IV ankle fracture,” but Cox claimed there were numerous issues with the repair, including that Lorich did not address the articular cartilage injury to the talus, which left Cox unable to ever play professional football, according to court documents.
The surgeon was found dead in December 2017 in his Park Avenue apartment, a year after the lawsuit was filed in what has since been determined a suicide, according to Cox’s counsel. Lorich is survived by his wife and three daughters, according to his obituary in the Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma at the time.
Cox is represented by Jordan K. Merson of Merson Law PLLC. Lorich’s estate and the hospital defendants are represented by Bhalinder L. Rikhye of Vigorito Barker Patterson Nichols & Porter LLP. The case is Michael Cox v. Dean G. Lorich et al., case number 805214-2016, in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York.
Original post written by Dorothy Atkins with editing by Lakshna Mehta and published in Law360.