On May 26, 2023, the jury in Knowles v. Smith
, Case No. 190401925, Fourth Judicial District Utah, Provo, Judge Derek Pullman, returned a verdict in favor of the defendant Dr. David Smith. The jury found that Dr. Smith did not breach the standard of care he owed to Ms. Knowles.
Plaintiff alleged that Dr. Smith negligently performed a minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) and laminectomy at L4-5.
Go to http://https://www.hss.edu/conditions_tlif-transforaminal-lumbar-interbody-fusion-spine-surgery.asp
for greater detail regarding this surgery.
Plaintiff alleged specifically that Dr. Smith's failure to perform a complete laminectomy placed unnecessary pressure on the surrounding nerves, that Dr. Smith closed the incision without a drain, that Dr. Smith broke a portion of Ms. Knowles' spine during the surgery, and that Dr. Smith waited more than 12 hours before conducting a post-operative evaluation. Dr. Smith had to perform two subsequent surgeries on Ms. Knowles due to complications created by the initial operation. The two subsequent surgeries were performed within a very short period of time and subjected Ms. Knowles to Cauda Equina (click here for more information
). Additionally, she had a postoperative diagnosis of Arachnoiditis (click here for more information
Plaintiff's experts were: Robert Horne, M.D. (orthopedic Surgery), Rick Hoffman (economist), and Jennifer J. James, M.D. (physical medicine and rehab).
Defendant's experts were: Dean Chou, M.D. (neurosurgery), James A. Brunberg, M.D. (radiology), Lora White (life care planner), Jeffery Randle (physical medicine and rehab), M.D., and R. Brad Townsend (economist).
Case materials are available here:
Docket - Knowles v. Smith - Docket
Complaint - Knowles v. Smith - Complaint
Answer - Knowles v. Smith - Answer
Preliminary Jury Instructions - Knowles v. Smith - Preliminary Jury Instructions
Closing Jury Instructions - Knowles v. Smith - Final Jury Instructions
Special Verdict Form - Knowles v. Smith - Verdict form
Congratulations to the trial team: Michael Miller, Kathleen Abke, and Dustin Johnson