Shariff Floyd, a former defensive tackle in the National Football League, has been unable to play since 2016 following a surgical procedure on his knee. He has since filed a claim of medical malpractice against Dr. James Andrews and the Andrews Institute in Pensacola, FL in an Orange County Circuit Court. Floyd alleges that he did not consent to the surgical procedure that has left him with significant muscle and nerve damage. The claim seeks roughly $180 million in damages alleging that the defendant demonstrated negligence in administering a pain blocker that led to permanent damages.
Promising NFL Career Ended
Floyd attended Philadelphia's George Washington High School and then became an All-American player for the Florida Gators. He was later drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. During his four years in professional football, he was hampered by injuries that caused him to miss approximately 30% of his games. He claims that the damage to the knee and lower leg region has ended his career that would have brought him significant income.
Floyd flew to the Andrews Institute for what he believed to be a routine medical examination; however, after arriving he learned that the surgical team had him scheduled for a knee operation. Floyd contends to have been told that the procedure was relatively minor and that he would be able to resume playing in roughly four weeks. A “cartilage regrowth procedure” was allegedly performed without his consent that was unsuccessful and required that he be administered a post-operation nerve blocking agent.
Post-Operation Pain Blocker
Floyd says the procedure was significantly more invasive than he had expected and the allegations suggest that Dr. Andrews exhibited recklessness in delegating the process to several inexperienced staff members that he was training. The claim says the blocking agent that was used to treat his pain was “unwarranted” for the situation. Floyd also says he did not grant the required “informed consent” for the operation and would have been legally unable to do so because he was strongly medicated at the time.
Legal counsel for the defendants stated, “we strongly dispute Mr. Floyd's allegations.” The defense team is likely to assert some of the following in discrediting the allegations of negligence:
- That the surgical team performed in a manner that met the current acceptable standards of practice within the medical profession
- The resulting nerve damage was not a direct result of the actions of the surgeons
- How surgical procedures have inherent risks and outcomes (results) cannot be guaranteed
- That each patient is unique and may have negative reactions to certain procedures and medications
- Situations do arise where a surgeon will encounter a condition that exists during a surgical procedure that was not apparent in the preliminary x-ray or scan
Medical Errors & Informed Consent
Errors during medical procedures do commonly lead to nerve problems. Nerve damage often occurs from an unintended cut or usage of an improper tool. In this case, the allegations extend beyond merely the poor outcome of the procedure, as a failure to obtain consent from Floyd is also asserted. The defense may contend that the plaintiff did consent to the operation and that both parties sought to do what was needed to improve his condition.