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Sommers Schwartz attorneys Arvin Pearlman and Ben Wilensky secured a $345,000 settlement for a man who suffered leg and spine injuries as a passenger on ...
  • Neurosurgical Malpractice – Failure to Treat Postoperative Symptoms Following a Lumbar Fusion: Tasson v. UP Health System Marquette et al.

Sommers Schwartz attorneys Matthew L. Turner and Dina M. Zalewski filed a medical malpractice action alleging the defendants failed to timely diagnose and treat the plaintiff’s neurological complications following lumbar fusion surgery.

The plaintiff underwent lumbar fusion surgery on July 30, 2019. Following the procedure, he complained of new and worsening neurological symptoms and problems until he was discharged on August 2, 2019. 

On August 11, the plaintiff returned to the ER and was seen by the defendant physician assistant (PA). Although the PA ordered an MRI, she failed to ensure the patient was seen and evaluated by someone from the neurosurgery team.

The plaintiff went to his first scheduled postoperative visit on August 15, 2019, where he was seen by the defendant nurse practitioner. The nurse practitioner neither performed a postoperative examination nor documented any pain or weakness in the plaintiff’s extremities, change in sensation, pain, or bowel and bladder dysfunction. In fact, the plaintiff’s urinary retention, bowel incontinence, and perianal numbness required urgent action. Like the PA, the nurse practitioner did not consult with the neurosurgeon, nor did she realize the severity of the patient’s condition from the MRI four days earlier.

The lawsuit claimed that the defendant neurosurgeon never saw the plaintiff in person after the surgery and before he was discharged, did not review the medical records, and did not speak directly to the PA to understand and appreciate the plaintiff’s postoperative course. The plaintiff also claimed the doctor did not order a STAT MRI before discharging the plaintiff after the surgery, a test that would have revealed fluid collection that could have been evacuated to relieve the pressure on the patient’s thecal sac.

Because the defendants were negligent in not treating the plaintiff’s postoperative symptoms before his discharge, the patient suffered postoperative fluid collection at the surgical site causing compression to the thecal sac and Cauda Equina Syndrome (sexual dysfunction).

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