Lawsuit Against Brain Surgeon and Hospital for Operating on Wrong Side of Brain

Photo of Brant Stogner

Just last Friday, a lawsuit was filed against SSM Health care-St. Louis and neurosurgeon, Dr. Armond Levy, for medical malpractice in Missouri state court. What is so shocking is that the brain surgeon operated on the wrong side of Regina Turner's brain. Turner was scheduled for "left-sided craniotomy bypass" on April 4, 2013 at St. Clare Health Center in Fenton, Missouri. Instead, Turner received a "right-sided craniotomy surgical procedure" the lawsuit alleges.

While Turner was having neurological problems prior to the surgery, Turner "was mobile, cognizant and able to care for herself" according to the suit. After the incorrect surgery, Turner now "requires around-the-clock care for her basic needs." Dr. Levy, the surgeon charged with the error, is one of seven board certified neurosurgeons associated with SSM Neurosciences Institute. According to Turner's attorney, this surgeon did not attempt to hide or cover-up the error; however, he will be held accountable in this case.

How did this happen? According to St. Louis Post Dispatch, hospital safety experts characterize these types of events as "never events," meaning that such events should never occur with proper vigilance by hospital staff and surgeons. The experts also characterize such events as "systems or process breakdowns." In other words, these events stem from when the hospital or surgical center lacks proper systems and processes to "mistake-proof" such errors. According to Turner's suit, SSM's hospital staff improperly prepared the operating room and "stood by and watched A.L. [Dr. Levy] operate on the wrong side of plaintiff's [Turner's] skull and brain when they could have prevented the error." Turner's attorney added that once the operating team realized they had made an error, a second surgery was performed on Turner's skull. However, it was too late to correct the irreparable damage caused by the wrong-site surgery, or "never event."

The lawsuit is seeking compensatory damages for Turner's personal damages and punitive damages sufficient to punish the defendants for "complete indifference to or conscious disregard for the safety of Regina Turner." Currently, Missouri has no cap on medical malpractice lawsuits after the Missouri Supreme Court struck down such arbitrary limits as unconstitutional. Accordingly, if this makes it to trial, a jury of Turner's peers will likely decide the fair amount of compensation for Turner and her life-altering injuries as a result of this "never event."

If you or someone you know have been injured by a wrong-site surgery or medical malpractice, contact the attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend by calling 713-222-7211 or 1-800-870-9584.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Awards & Recognition

  • 2016-2017 Equal Access to Justice Champion

    The Equal Access to Justice Champions Program was started by the Houston Bar Association in 2006, to help ensure placement of Houston Volunteer Lawyers cases with pro bono volunteers. Originally, firms were tiered according to size, and firms within each tier committed to accept a certain number of pro bono cases from HVL each year for five years.

  • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers

    The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state or region who meet stringent qualifications as civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense trial lawyers. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase objective and uniformly applied process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research.

  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum

    Established in 1993, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum (which includes the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum) is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States. Membership is limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. There are over 4000 members throughout the country. Fewer than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members.

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers America | Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz | 2017

    Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Their methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.

  • Lead Counsel Rated

    In order to earn the Lead Counsel Rating, an attorney must not only demonstrate significant legal experience, but must also receive multiple peer recommendations advocating his or her ability. This is a key component in the screening process.

  • Texas Super Lawyers | Texas Monthly

    Each year, Super Lawyers recognizes the top lawyers in Texas via a patented multiphase selection process involving peer nomination, independent research and peer evaluation. The Texas lawyers who receive the highest point totals during this selection process are further recognized in Texas Super Lawyers Top Lists.

Get Your Free Case Review 713.587.9668

Let Us Help You Today! Request a Free Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

  • $50+ Million Personal Injury Fire and Explosion

    The firm successfully represented nearly 100 victims who suffered personal injuries and damages to property from a large fire and explosion resulting in a settlement of more than $50 million. The firm served as lead lawyers on the steering committee in this litigation.

  • $80 Million Personal Injury Large Plant Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 270 plaintiffs', taking a lead role in the plaintiffs' steering committee, who suffered injuries in a large plant explosion resulting in a settlement of nearly $80 million.

  • $50+ Million Personal Injury Plant Fire and Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 45 personal injury victims in a plant fire and explosion, serving on the plaintiffs' steering committee, concluding with a settlement of more than $50 million.

  • $22+ Million Personal Injury Work Site Accident

    The firm prevailed in a personal injury trial for a worksite injury client with the jury returning a verdict and resulting in a judgment of over $22 million for the firm's client.

  • $12 Million Auto Accident 18-Wheeler Collision

    The firm successfully achieved a $12 million settlement for the family of a man who died in an 18 wheeler collision.

  • $30 Million Personal Injury Burn Victims

    The firm prevailed on behalf of three burn victims with settlements totaling nearly $30 million.

Our Record Of Success.

When you are hurt and you choose a law firm to represent you in court or at the negotiation table, you need to carefully consider the firm's record.

More Success Stories