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AAOS Now

Published 11/1/2007

Professional Compliance Grievance Summaries

Steven L. Nehmer, MD
Union, N.J.
Fellowship suspended for one year

In July 2006, a grievance alleging violations of the Standards of Professionalism (SOPs) on Orthopaedic Expert Witness Testimony was filed against Steven L. Nehmer, MD, based on a case that arose from a femoral nerve injury that may have followed right knee surgery during which a tourniquet was placed at the midthigh level.

In court testimony, Dr. Nehmer stated that the tourniquet caused the femoral nerve injury and that he believed a femoral nerve injury could not occur without negligence.

Dr. Nehmer appeared at the hearing conducted by the Committee on Professionalism (COP) on this grievance; he did not appear at the appeal hearing conducted by the Judiciary Committee.

The COP and the Judiciary Committee found that Dr. Nehmer violated the following Mandatory Standards:

  1. An orthopaedic expert witness shall provide opinions and/or factual testimony in a fair and impartial manner.
  2. An orthopaedic expert witness shall evaluate the medical condition and care provided in light of generally accepted standards at the time, place and in the context of care delivered.

The COP and the Judiciary Committee did not find violations of Mandatory Standards 1 or 6, as had been alleged.

On Sept. 29, 2007, after considering the recommendations of the COP and the Judiciary Committee, the AAOS Board of Directors voted to suspend Dr. Nehmer’s fellowship in AAOS for one year.

Marvin Winell, MD
South Plainfield, N.J.
Fellowship suspended for one year

In June 2006, a grievance alleging violations of the SOPs on Orthopaedic Expert Witness Testimony was filed against Marvin Winell, MD, based on a case alleging a painful hip due to a leg length discrepancy of 1.5 cm-2 cm after a total hip replacement.

In court testimony, Dr. Winell stated that it is a deviation from the accepted standard of care to have lengthened the leg by 1.5 cm-2 cm. Further, his court testimony ignored the fact that the leg length inequality was a result of the inability to obtain adequate hip stability intraoperatively by other means. He also misrepresented a two-stage hip revision as a mere femoral head exchange. In addition, Dr. Winell made statements concerning abductor muscle necrosis and atrophy that could not be supported by the records or by scientific data.

The COP conducted a hearing of this grievance, and the Judiciary Committee conducted an appeal hearing. Dr. Winell was present at each of these hearings.

The COP and the Judiciary Committee found that Dr. Winell violated the following Mandatory Standards:

4. An orthopaedic expert witness shall neither condemn performance that falls within generally accepted practice standards nor endorse or condone performance that falls outside these standards.

7. An orthopaedic expert witness shall have knowledge and experience about the standard of care and the available scientific evidence for the condition in question during the relevant time, place and in the context of medical care provided and shall respond accurately to questions about the standard of care and the available scientific evidence.

On Sept 29, 2007, after considering the recommendations of the COP and the Judiciary Committee, the AAOS Board of Directors voted to suspend Dr. Winell’s fellowship in AAOS for one year.