Matthew Standley grew up on the south side of Boston where he led an active
life. He participated in athletics and played sports growing up. Eventually, he met the love of his life, Corinne. When they were married, he became dad to Corinne’s two young daughters from a previous marriage.
Matthew and Corinne would move in pursuit of various career opportunities. While living in
Atlanta, Matthew began to develop knee pain, which led to the first of a handful of surgeries on his left knee. None of the surgeries were very invasive and Matthew was always back on his feet in no time.
As a result of one of these surgeries, he developed a bone infection known as
“osteomyelitis”. He was treated for a couple days with an antibiotic called vancomycin and the infection resolved. Matthew was back on his feet.
As the years went on, Matthew continued to have on and off knee pain. Eventually, Matthew and Corinne moved to Broward County. Because of the continuing knee pain, Matthew sought the medical care and treatment of an osteopathic orthopedic surgeon named Melvin Rech. Dr.Rech convinced Matthew he would be an excellent candidate for a total knee replacement,
despite the fact that Dr. Rech knew Matthew had already undergone several knee surgeries and had previously developed a serious infection. Because of Matthew’s previous infection, he was never a candidate for this type of surgery. Someone who has previously developed an infection, such as osteomyelitis following surgery is at a greater risk of developing a future infection. For that reason, if it was, in fact, medically necessary for Matthew to have the total
knee replacement, he should have ordered prophylactic antibiotics. He never did.
Inevitably, after Matthew had surgery, he developed an infection.
Matthew went for a follow-up to see Dr. Rech and complained of knee pain. He showed signs of redness and swelling around the knee, which Dr. Rech ignored. Instead of an aggressive antibiotic, he ordered a mild oral antibiotic and sent Matthew home. As the days went on, Matthew’s pain became unbearable. His surgical site continued to develop redness and soreness. Eventually it became too much, and Matthew was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital.
While at Memorial Regional Hospital, the emergency room doctor immediately suspected that Matthew had an infection. The nurses, doctors, and other health care providers continually called Dr. Rech to come and see Matthew. Dr. Rech would not return phone calls. The emergency room doctor made the decision to admit Matthew in the hopes that Dr. Rech would come and see his patient. When Dr. Rech finally showed up the following day, he saw Matthew
and said he was not impressed by his knee. He told Matthew that the pain was normal and that he just needed to deal with it. Inexplicably, he sent Matthew home again.
The following day, Matthew was on the verge of tears because of the pain and agony he was experiencing. Corinne made the decision to take him to North Broward Regional Center. Immediately upon arriving at the hospital, the triage doctor was shocked at the condition of Matthew’s knee. He immediately ordered that Matthew be admitted to the trauma center. After following
up with Dr. Rech and failing to contact him, a team of specialists provided medical care and treatment to Matthew. There were several surgeries attempted to clean and debride the infection.
After several months of continued pain and agony and with no further hope in sight, Matthew’s leg was amputated above the knee. He contacted a local attorney who, in turn, contacted David Sampedro. David reached out to a board certified osteopathic orthopedic surgeon in Arizona who opined that Dr. Rech
had made three errors. He had mistakenly identified Matthew as a candidate for a total knee replacement; he failed to order prophylactic antibiotics; and he abandoned Matthew by failing to provide him appropriate medical care and treatment and failed to respond to the nurses’ calls in the emergency room. As a result of Dr. Rech’s negligence, Matthew’s left leg was amputated.
Eventually, David filed suit. The case was recently tried before a jury in Broward County. The jury returned a verdict acknowledging the egregious conduct on the part of Dr. Melvin Rech and awarded Matthew damages in the amount of $11,882,175.48. The jury acknowledged that while there is no amount of money that could ever make up for Dr. Rech’s negligence, his actions deserved an award recognizing the harms and losses caused by