The Willmer Case
Mr. Willmer was a truck driver/delivery man who injured his left knee and went to the Emergency Room where the ER physician placed him in a knee immobilizer. X-rays were also taken, and he was told to follow-up with an orthopedic physician, which he did. Mr. Willmer sought treatment from the Defendant, Dr. Davilon. Dr. Davilon met with Mr. Willmer, examined him and told him that he would have to undergo a left knee arthroscopy.
Dr. Davilon was a surgeon who, unknown to Mr. Willmer, was performing his first laparoscopic procedure that day. He began the surgery and used a Trocar medical instrument; a medical instrument which is inserted into the knee to perform the surgery. However, the Trocar instrument was placed in the opposite side of the knee from where the intended surgery was to be performed, and Dr. Davilon inadvertently cut the patient’s peroneal nerve. Dr. Davilon continued with and then finished the surgery.
Immediately after the surgery, Mr. Willmer began to experience symptoms of common peroneal nerve palsy. Mr. Willmer was unable to flex his left ankle and had numbness and loss of feeling in his lower left leg, ankle and foot.
Dr. Davilon saw Mr. Willmer in the hospital and suggested that Mr. Willmer simply had a tapped nerve, suggesting that the feeling would return. However, an electronic study of the nerve showed no improvement in the regeneration of the left peroneal nerve, and showed that it wasn’t working.
After physical therapy did not work, the Plaintiff saw several neurologists and neurosurgeons who tried to repair the nerve, but noted that the nerve was completely severed and there would be no repair of the nerve.
Mr. Willmer was left with a permanent disability of what is known as foot drop. Mr. Willmer’s job as a truck driver/delivery many was effectively ended, as he was unable to perform that job.
A lawsuit was filed in the Court of Common Pleas of Mercer County for Dr. Davilon’s failure to perform the surgery properly and for cutting the peroneal nerve. Before trial, the case was settled for a substantial sum.