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Ex-Ballerina Wins Malpractice Case vs. Star Surgeon

Doctor To The Stars

Doctors who treats pro athletes loses $4.3 million case

A former teen ballerina from Coconut Creek whose hip was damaged during surgery has won a $4.3 million malpractice case against a star doctor who has operated on dozens of pro athletes.

Hip specialist Marc Philippon, who used to practice at Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, has operated on New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez, Miami Dolphins quarterback Jay Fiedler, golfer Greg Norman, hockey star Mario Lemieux and Olympic skater Tara Lipinski, among others.

In this case, high school ballerina Katie Shreffler, now 30, was left with a permanent limp and chronic pain, and can't walk without a cane after Philippon gouged the smooth lining of her hip joint trying to repair an injury in 1997, her attorney said.

A Broward County jury awarded Shreffler $2.15 million after a 2007 trial. Philippon and the hospital lost on appeal, and the Florida Supreme Court ended the 13-year-old lawsuit last week by declining to review the case. The award has doubled over the years, counting interest and legal fees.

"The jury believed he caused her injury, the judge believed it and the appeals courts believed it," said Crane Johnstone, Shreffler's attorney.

Shreffler went to Dr. Marc Philippon after she injured the smooth cartilage that lines the hip and tore muscles as a result of dancing. He performed a minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery that was considered experimental at the time; it is now more common.

While attempting to shave the damaged cartilage, Philippon used too much force and snapped off two shaving devices in her hip joint, gouging the cartilage, Johnstone said.

Marc Philippon and the hospital contended during trial and appeals that he was not negligent and the damage was a known risk from the procedure.

The malpractice award will be paid by the hospital, which employed Dr. Marc Philippon at the time. He now is a partner at the nationally known Steadman Institute in Vail, Colo.

The attorney for Dr. Marc Philippon and the hospital could not be reached for comment despite phone calls to the office.

If you have been injured by a product defect contact a Personal Injury Attorney.


Sheldon J. Schlesinger, P.A. represents clients throughout the state of Florida including the cities of Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Carol City, Cooper City, Coral Gables, Coral Springs, Davie, Deerfield Beach, Delray Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hialeah, Hollywood, Jupiter, Lake Worth, Miramar, Miami, Oakland Park, Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Palm Springs, Pompano Beach, and Rivera Beach

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