Expert Institute Helps Meyers & Flowers Secure $43.5M Medical Malpractice Verdict for Former NFL Captain

Peter J. Flowers and Frank V. Cesarone of Meyers & Flowers, along with Dion G. Rassias and Jill Johnson of The Beasley Firm, secured a $43.5 million verdict for former Philadelphia Eagles player, Chris Maragos, after an orthopedic surgeon’s negligence resulted in a career-ending injury. 

football players on field wearing leg braces

ByZach Barreto

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Updated on March 7, 2023

football players on field wearing leg braces

A Philadelphia County jury found orthopedic surgeon James Bradley and Rothman Orthopaedics Institute negligent in their treatment of the plaintiff, former Philadelphia Eagles’ safety and captain, Chris Maragos. The jury awarded Maragos $43.5 million in damages.

Background

On October 12, 2017, during a football game against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, North Carolina, Maragos suffered an injury to his right knee on a punt return. Maragos underwent an MRI at Rothman Orthopaedics Institute in Philadelphia. Following the scan, he was diagnosed with a torn right knee posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). Based upon Maragos’ MRI, Dr. Bradley performed surgery to treat the torn right knee PCL. Rothman Orthopaedics oversaw Maragos’ treatment and subsequent recovery.

In May 2018, Maragos underwent a second MRI that showed that his knee had not healed properly. More specifically, Maragos’ MRI revealed a torn meniscus, which was missed by Dr. Bradley.

Despite the MRI results, Dr. Bradley released Maragos for rehabilitation treatment on his right knee, including running on dry land. Following the recommended rehabilitation, Maragos complained of further complications. The undue stress on Maragos’ knee from rehabilitation ultimately resulted in the premature end of Maragos’ NFL career.

Since the surgery performed by Dr. Bradley and his subsequent rehabilitation activities, Maragos has had two additional surgeries to address his continued knee problems.

Maragos’ Allegations

Maragos and his attorneys, Peter J. Flowers and Frank V. Cesarone of Meyers & Flowers and Dion G. Rassias and Jill Johnson of The Beasley Firm, argued that Maragos suffered from a torn meniscus, of which Dr. Bradley was aware based upon the MRI. Moreover, according to Maragos, Dr. Bradley and Rothman failed to properly treat the torn meniscus. They also negligently released Maragos and advanced his activities to the point of permitting running on dry land. Maragos alleged that due to Dr. Bradley and Rothman’s negligent treatment of his knee, his knee endured undue stress. This, in turn, led to further complications of the tear and contributed to the end of Maragos’ football career.

On the other hand, the defendants alleged that Maragos’ meniscus was stable. Furthermore, the defense asserted that they were of the opinion that surgery was not the right option.

Super Bowl 2023 and the Trial

On Monday, February 13, the day after the Eagles lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII, the jury returned a verdict against Dr. Bradley and Rothman.

Judge Charles J. Cunningham presided over the two-week trial in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas. Witnesses for the plaintiff included former Eagles players Nick Foles, Trey Burton, and Jordan Hicks.

The attorney for the defendant doctor opined that the timing of the trial, between the Eagles’ NFC championship and Super Bowl loss, as well as the star-studded witness list, had an enormous impact.

Expert witnesses also played an integral role in the trial. Flowers worked with Expert Institute to find a radiologist who specialized in musculoskeletal imaging to provide an expert opinion that supported the case facts.

The Verdict and Future Implications

After three hours of deliberation, the Philadelphia County jury awarded $43.5 million to Maragos. The jury found Bradley and Rothman negligent in releasing Maragos to rehabilitation, which caused further damage to his right knee.

The jury found Dr. Bradley to be 67% negligent and Rothman 33% negligent. Maragos will receive $29.2 million and $14.3 million from the defendants respectively.

Maragos hopes that this verdict will encourage team doctors and trainers to prioritize the long-term health and well-being of the athletes rather than focusing on getting the player back on the field as soon as possible.

About the author

Zach Barreto

Zach Barreto

Zach Barreto is a distinguished professional in the legal industry, currently serving as the Senior Vice President of Research at the Expert Institute. With a deep understanding of a broad range of legal practice areas, Zach's expertise encompasses personal injury, medical malpractice, mass torts, defective products, and many other sectors. His skills are particularly evident in handling complex litigation matters, including high-profile cases like the Opioids litigation, NFL Concussion Litigation, California Wildfires, 3M earplugs, Elmiron, Transvaginal Mesh, NFL Concussion Litigation, Roundup, Camp Lejeune, Hernia Mesh, IVC filters, Paraquat, Paragard, Talcum Powder, Zantac, and many others.

Under his leadership, the Expert Institute’s research team has expanded impressively from a single member to a robust team of 100 professionals over the last decade. This growth reflects his ability to navigate the intricate and demanding landscape of legal research and expert recruitment effectively. Zach has been instrumental in working on nationally significant litigation matters, including cases involving pharmaceuticals, medical devices, toxic chemical exposure, and wrongful death, among others.

At the Expert Institute, Zach is responsible for managing all aspects of the research department and developing strategic institutional relationships. He plays a key role in equipping attorneys for success through expert consulting, case management, strategic research, and expert due diligence provided by the Institute’s cloud-based legal services platform, Expert iQ.

Educationally, Zach holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and European History from Vanderbilt University.

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