Court to decide motions for preliminary objections in knee surgery malpractice case

By Nicholas Malfitano | Dec 16, 2015

Kristine A. Clark  

PHILADELPHIA – A series of preliminary objections will be decided this week in the case of a 2013 knee replacement surgery allegedly gone awry.

Three separate preliminary objections were filed by defendants in the suit brought by Coatesville residents Terry S. Toole and Debra Toole, against Dr. Nikos K. Pavlides, Pottstown Memorial Medical Center, Brandywine Institute of Orthopedics of Pottstown, and Smith & Nephew, Inc. of Andover, Mass.

On Aug. 18, Kristine A. Clark filed one such motion on Aug. 18, seeking the case be transferred to the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas (due to the surgery occurring there) and the striking of paragraphs in the complaint related to the physician’s negligence due to “catchall, boilerplate language” that is not specific enough.

Clark felt this left the plaintiff with “open-ended, vague allegations” that could be changed at a later date.

Defense attorney Michael J. Blum filed another motion for preliminary objections on Aug. 19, also seeking a transfer of proceedings to the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas and the striking of numerous paragraphs in the complaint against Pottstown Memorial Medical Center. Blum felt these paragraphs contained “vague and overbroad negligence and damage allegations” with a lack of sufficient specificity.

Finally, Jaimee B. Farrer filed a third motion for preliminary objections on Sept. 8, seeking complete dismissal of the complaint against Smith & Nephew, Inc. or in the alternative, a transfer to the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas.

A hearing in this matter was set for Wednesday in Court chambers, at Philadelphia City Hall.

On Feb. 11, 2013, Pavlides performed a total left knee arthroplasty on Toole. After the surgery, the knee replacement allegedly failed to heal properly and caused the plaintiff great pain, due to defective devices and components used as part of the procedure. However, Terry Toole remained Pavlides’ patient after the surgery, and claimed the doctor failed to address his post-operative pain issues.

These issues necessitated a second surgery on Feb. 11, 2014, which was “more complicated, invasive and less successful” than the first one would have been, had it been properly performed, according to the plaintiff. Toole believed the prosthetic used in the first surgery was not properly placed.

Terry Toole filed suit against Pavlides for negligence, Pottstown Memorial Medical Center for vicarious liability and corporate liability, Brandywine Institute of Orthopedics for vicarious liability, Smith & Nephew, Inc. for breach of implied warranty and strict liability design defect.

Terry Toole is seeking damages in excess of $50,000 and other relief in this case, while Debra Toole is seeking an equal amount in damages for loss of consortium.

The plaintiffs are represented by James R. Radmore in Philadelphia.

The defendants are represented by Farrer and Michael T. Scott of Reed Smith in Philadelphia; Clark, Jacqueline R. Drygas, Kyle N. Thompson and James P. Kilcoyne of Kilcoyne & Nesbitt in Blue Bell; and Howard S. Stevens, Susan Ellis Wild and Michael J. Blum, of Gross McGinley in Allentown.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 150200018

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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