Jury finds late Indiana orthopedic surgeon guilty in $744k malpractice suit: 6 things to know

Practice Management

A St. Joseph Superior Court 4 jury found a South Bend (Ind.) Orthopaedics surgeon guilty in a medical malpractice suit, South Bend Tribute reports.

Here are six things to know:


1. In June 2015, a family filed a lawsuit against Willard G. Yergler, MD, alleging the surgeon performed an unnecessary surgery on their 16-year-old son. Dr. Yergler since passed away in May 2016.


2. The parents claimed the surgery caused pain their son will experience throughout his life.


3. The jurors ruled for damages of $744,000 for the family.


4. The son suffered a shoulder injury in a wrestling match in 2012. After continuous pain for months, Dr. Yergler recommended the Mumford procedure, which involves removing the clavicle end to reduce pain.


5. The parents alleged Dr. Yergler said their son could either undergo the surgery or live with pain. The family's attorney argued the surgeon could have offered other conservative treatments before turning to surgery.


6. The defense attorney has not commented whether he will appeal. If he doesn't appeal, the family will receive a $250,000 payment from Dr. Yergler's malpractice insurance, with the remaining damages coming from the Indiana Department of Insurance's Patient Compensation Fund.


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