Sommers Schwartz attorneys Richard Groffsky and Jay Yasso secured a confidential $1.25 million settlement for a client who suffered extensive damage after undergoing a lumbar decompression and spinal fusion procedure.
According to the neurosurgical malpractice lawsuit, the plaintiff, then 41 years old, presented to the defendant hospital with chronic intractable lumbar pain that radiated into his legs. He underwent lumbar decompression and fusion at L4-L5 and L5-S1, performed by the defendant neurosurgeon. The surgeon negligently placed a pedicle screw directly into the spinal cord at the L4 level during the operation, puncturing the dura. A cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak was detected, which the neurosurgeon claimed to repair.
In the first four days after the procedure, the plaintiff complained of lower extremity weakness and numbness and the inability to have a bowel movement. Despite his complaints, more in-depth examinations were not performed. On the fifth day after surgery, he was returned to the operating room, where a CSF leak and hemorrhage were discovered and evacuated.
The post-operative MRI films of the lumbar spine clearly showed a screw track of a previously placed then removed pedicle screw that transected the dural canal, the area where all nerves travel. The plaintiff claimed that, because of the defendant doctor’s medical malpractice, he now suffers from saddle parasthesia, conus medullaris syndrome, cauda equine syndrome, perineal numbness, bowel and bladder dysfunction, weakness in the lower extremities, difficulty ambulating, and sexual dysfunction.
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