Veterinarian named in settlement over human knee surgeries

The University of Missouri reportedly agreed to pay $ 16.2 million earlier this year to resolve multiple lawsuits over a knee surgery procedure developed by an orthopedic surgeon for human medicine and a veterinary surgeon at the university’s Mizzou BioJoint Center .

Dr. James Cook

According to news reports, the $ 16.2 million payout settles personal injury and false advertising claims made by 22 plaintiffs against Mizzou BioJoint Center’s founder, James Stannard, MD, and the centre’s director of operations and research, Dr. . James Cook, the veterinarian, was charged the surgeon.

Kaiser Health News received the settlement agreements in March – signed in February – through a request for public records, the news agency reported on April 21.

The KHN report states that plaintiffs claim they were not informed of the 86% failure rate of the “joint biological repair” procedure they received at the center. The surgery is also marketed as an osteochondral allograft transplant and involves replacing parts of the knee with cadaver bones or cartilage to treat arthritis or joint damage. Patients received grafts that were stored in the Missouri Osteochondral Preservation System. Dr. Cook, Head of Orthopedic Research at Mizzou, led a team of scientists who developed the system “using a novel cartilage-preserving solution and specially designed storage conditions that allow osteochondral allografts to be stored for twice as long as traditional storage methods.” and still maintain the necessary cell viability, ”read a 2020 BioJoint Center press release. According to the KHN report, court documents argued that the operations were“ unproven ”and“ experimental ”and sometimes resulted in follow-up procedures and knee replacements .

The lawsuits alleged that Dr. Stannard acted negligently because he was Dr. Cook allowed parts of the operations to be carried out “without adequate medical guidance and supervision,” according to the KHN report. Some plaintiffs alleged they were unaware that Dr. Cook is vet.

Dr. Cook, Missouri ’94 was a diplomat from the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and a founding diplomat from the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation. He received his PhD in Pathobiology from Mizzou in 1998 and then joined the College of Veterinary Medicine as a clinical instructor in small animal orthopedics. Most recently, he was listed on the Mizzou website as the Chair of Orthopedic Surgery at the Mizzou School of Medicine and Director of the Thompson Laboratory for Regenerative Orthopedics, as well as Head of the School’s Orthopedic Research Department.

The defendants have dismissed the allegations, the university admitted neither liability nor negligence of its employees.

In a statement to JAVMA News, a university spokesperson said, “Each health care provider on the Mizzou BioJoint Center team is unique and specifically qualified to serve his or her role in the care of every patient, including James Cook, who holds an orthopedic technologist and an orthopedic technologist degrees has completed surgery certification from the National Board for Certification for Orthopedic Technologists. ” Cook recently received the Marshall R. Urist, MD Award from the Orthopedic Research Society 2021 for his work in tissue regeneration research, the spokesperson added.

correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Dr. James Cook is a diplomat from the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. As of February 2020, he was not a diplomat.