Paralysis / Spinal Cord Injury
$2.8 million settlement. A 16 year-old girl suffered nerve damage during spinal surgery that left her pelvis and legs paralyzed. Before surgery the orthopedic surgeon ordered an MRI of the spine. The radiologist negligently interpreted the MRI by failing to recognize a condition known as spina bifida occulta, which leaves the spinal cord unprotected by the bones of the spine. The orthopedic surgeon also reviewed the MRI film before surgery and failed to recognize this condition. During spine surgery to correct a condition known as spondylolisthesis, the surgeon cut into the spinal cord with his surgical knife. After surgery, both the surgeon and the radiologist realized that they misdiagnosed the obvious abnormality that was shown on the MRI films.
$2.5 million settlement for a 14 year-old boy who was paralyzed during spine surgery. A 14 year-old boy underwent spine surgery to correct his scoliosis. During surgery, the orthopedic surgeon attempted to place steel rods in the child's spine in order to straighten the spine. The spinal cord was traumatized during the surgery, resulting in paralysis.
$2 million settlement for a woman who suffered left-sided paralysis during surgery. The patient, a 65 year-old woman, was admitted to the hospital to have fluid removed from her left lung. Prior to surgery the anesthesiologist attempted to place a central venous pressure catheter in the right internal jugular vein. He inadvertently placed the large bore catheter in the carotid artery. This misadventure required immediate removal of the catheter from the carotid artery to avoid serious complications. The general surgeon instructed the anesthesiologist to leave the catheter in the carotid artery until the end of the surgical procedure. Although the anesthesiologist disagreed with this course of action, he followed the improper advice of the surgeon. Following surgery, the catheter was withdrawn, which resulted in a blood clot traveling to the brain and causing a massive stroke. As a result of the stroke, the woman was paralyzed on the left side of her body.
$1.75 million verdict for a 68 year-old woman who suffered paraplegia as a result of the failure to diagnose a descending thoracic aortic aneurysm. The patient's family doctor had taken chest x-rays each year over several years. The radiologist and the primary care physician failed to recognize an expanding descending thoracic aortic aneurysm that was clearly shown on the x-rays. The aneurysm dissected and caused the blood supply to the spinal cord to be cut off. The damage to the spinal cord resulted in paralysis below the waist.