Former Miami Dolphin wide receiver O.J. McDuffie won a medical malpractice case against a team physician in 2010, but lost the retrial this November.
McDuffie returned to the game
In November 1999, McDuffie suffered a serious turf toe injury during a game. Dr. John Uribe, the Dolphin’s head orthopedic surgeon, examined, X-rayed and gave him an injection to numb the injury. McDuffie then played the remainder of the game.
The injury ended his career
The wide receiver sat out for a month, but then started playing with the team again. After the season was over, McDuffie had multiple surgeries on his toe, but he was not able to return to the NFL. He later sued Uribe alleging that allowing him to play delayed his treatment, worsened his injury and ultimately led to the end of his NFL career. His suit stated that Uribe should have demobilized him and sent him to a specialist.
Doctor found guilty of malpractice in 2010
In 2010, Dr. Uribe was found guilty of medical malpractice, and McDuffie received a $11.5 million settlement. But a Miami judge threw out the verdict and granted a retrial. Judge Michael Genden said he should not have allowed a medical manual to be admitted as evidence.
Attorneys argued the doctor provided the correct care
During the retrial, Uribe’s attorneys argued the doctor did meet the standard of care when treating McDuffie. The retrial also featured witnesses like former Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino and coach Jimmy Johnson.
McDuffie plans to seek a new trial.
Those guilty of malpractice violate the standard of care
In a medical malpractice case, the injured party must show that a medical professional acted negligently and caused his or her injury. This is done by proving the health professional violated the standard of care. The standard of care is the generally accepted treatment that a medical professional would provide for a patient in those circumstances.
A malpractice claim must also prove the negligence in care led to harming the patient. The harm can include physical harm, mental pain, additional medical costs and loss of earning capacity.