A jury determined that two MU doctors were not negligent in a lawsuit that was asking for $625,000 in damages Thursday night.

Dr. James Stannard, medical director for the Mizzou BioJoint Center, and Dr. Matthew Jones, who now works for Boone Hospital Center, treated Robert “Skip” Smith at University Hospital and Clinics in August 2011.

The lawsuit alleged that Stannard "failed to exercise that degree of skill and learning ordinarily exercised" by members of Stannard's profession "and was thereby negligent."

Jones, who was in residency at the time, was attached to the lawsuit along with several other parties. However, all parties except Stannard and Jones were dismissed prior to the jury trial.

Screws and plates were implanted in Smith's knee and foot following a car wreck in 2010. In August 2011, he said the hardware was bothering him and had it removed Aug. 29, 2011.

Smith developed compartment syndrome in his leg following the procedure after increased pressure in his leg caused the muscle to die. Smith's attorney, Mark McCloskey, told the court that Smith, who is the Pettis County Coroner, "can't do his job the same as he could before."

McCloskey argued that, had Stannard and Jones kept Smith at the hospital longer, he would have been in better physical shape following the procedure.

The defense, represented by John L. Roark and Bethany R. Findley, brought in orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Anglen as an expert witness.

Anglen said he believed the choice to send Smith home was not a bad decision and that he did "not think they were negligent."

Anglen, who has performed the procedure "many times" and has written about compartment syndrome, did not believe that negligence by Stannard and Jones led to the compartment syndrome in Smith's leg.

Stannard faces several ongoing malpractice lawsuits.

The jury deliberated for less than four hours before coming to their verdict.

Colleen Wouters and Brennan John contributed to this report. 

Supervising editor is Claire Colby. 

  • I'm a graduate from the Missouri School of Journalism and former reporter with the Missourian. Currently, I'm a working for a law firm in Dallas, Tx before beginning law school later this year. Reach me at @ByHunterGilbert on Twitter

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