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Virginia Judge Rules Medical Device Pioneer Committed Malpractice
Date:4/29/2008

RICHMOND, Va., April 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The principal U.S. investigator for the Maverick(TM) artificial disc device has been found liable for malpractice in his use of the device by a state court judge in Richmond, Va. Garver v. Mathews, CL No. 07-206, Circuit Court, City of Richmond, Va.

Judge T.J. Markow awarded damages of $650,000 against Hallett H. Mathews, M.D., and Midatlantic Spine Specialists, P.C. Dr. Mathews is a prominent spine surgeon who now works as a vice president for Medtronic, the manufacturer of the Maverick(TM) Artificial Disc.

The damages were awarded to Eric M. Garver, M.D., who is himself a spine surgeon in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Dr. Garver traveled to Richmond in April 2005 to undergo surgery by Dr. Mathews, who installed a Maverick at the L5-S1 level of Dr. Garver's spine.

The device consists of two metal plates that fit into the patient's disc space with a ball and socket between them, which is intended to maintain the natural mobility of the disc as an alternative to traditional spinal fusion. See the manufacturer's web site for more details: http://www.maverickdisc.com/about-maverick-disc.html.

Judge Markow, who heard three days of evidence in a lawsuit brought by Dr. Garver, issued a written decision in which he found that Dr. Mathews had violated "the standard of care in preparing the disc space for insertion of the Maverick artificial disc." The standard for the surgery, written by the defendant himself and other spine surgeons, required that the disc space be "meticulously cleared of materials that might be driven into nerves behind the disc space by insertion of the artificial disc," the judge wrote. In the Garver surgery, Dr. Mathews, while inserting the artificial disc, drove material from the disc space into the patient's S-1 nerve root on his right side. This caused permanent injury to the nerve with pain and diff
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SOURCE Patrick Malone & Associates, P.C.
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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