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$55.9 Million Verdict for Woman Injured After Spinal Surgery

Photo of Ciro Samperi

A New York jury awarded $55.9 million to a woman and her spouse in a lawsuit that alleged a spinal surgery left her paralyzed.

The woman sought treatment from a surgeon for symptoms of tingling and pain in her arms, hands, and neck. The doctors recommended a surgery to relieve her pain and symptoms. The surgeons were criticized for recommending the surgery prior to other treatment options for the plaintiff to try such as physical therapy or various forms of conservative treatment. The woman's attorney argued that during the surgery she was injured when a piece of a fractured bone damaged her spinal cord. The plaintiff's counsel stated that even though testing to monitor the spinal cord during the surgery indicated an injury, the doctors proceeded with the surgery and even noted in their records that there were no adverse events.

The injured woman has been restricted to a wheelchair since August of 2009. The jury awarded her $20 million for pain and suffering, plus amounts for her lost earnings, nursing needs, therapy, medications, and other expenses she will incur in the future for additional medical care. Additionally, her husband was awarded $10 million for his claim for loss of consortium.

Lawyers for the surgeons argued that the woman suffered from a "spinal cord infarction" or stroke after the surgery. The lawyers took the position that the monitoring during the surgery merely indicated a "false positive" of an injury occurring. Counsel for the doctors indicated they would appeal the jury's verdict.

If you or someone you know has been injured as the result of medical malpractice, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-396-3964 or toll free at 1‑800-594-4884.

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