Many Louisiana residents probably take for granted their ability to walk with relative ease and freedom. For some, not until mobility is suddenly taken away from them do they realize how much it was appreciated. Unfortunately, surgical procedures can sometimes result in such a loss, and such situations often have a significant effect on a person’s life. Recently, a woman in another state and her husband were awarded $56 million in a medical malpractice lawsuit in which she alleged a surgical procedure she had undergone 10 years ago had left her a quadriplegic.
In 2009, the then 56-year-old woman had experienced pain and tingling in her arms, hands and neck, according to her lawyer. She underwent spinal surgery, called a laminectomy, to alleviate her pain. During surgery, she suffered injury in which a fractured bone caused a contusion to her spinal cord. Apparently, the injury was revealed through testing during the surgery, but doctors continued the procedure and neglected to record this fact.
According to the plaintiff, following surgery, the woman experienced a drop in blood pressure and became paralyzed. Doctors did not order a CAT scan until several hours later, which according to a radiologist who read the scan, revealed an epidural hematoma. However, neurosurgeons disputed this finding, claiming there was no hematoma. During the trial, the woman’s lawyer said that if doctors had properly diagnosed the issue, they could have performed surgery to remove the hematoma, which would have alleviated the paralysis. According to the verdict, she was awarded $20 million for pain and suffering and other amounts for lost earnings, nursing care, modifications to her home and other costs.
Sadly, this woman has been confined to a wheelchair since 2009 because of what seems to have been an error in judgment on the part of her trusted medical professionals. Victims of medical malpractice in the state of Louisiana have the right to pursue the matter in civil court, as this couple has done. An attorney experienced in this area of the law can review individual case details and provide legal guidance.