This office represented a 53-year-old man who was involved in a hit and run motor vehicle accident that resulting in cervical spine disc injuries and neck pain. While he had pain in the neck area, he was able to walk into the hospital to undergo back surgery. Unfortunately, our client woke up from surgery with quadriplegia that despite intense physical therapy continues to cause severe neurological deficits, rendering him unable to ambulate without a walker or cane.
Our investigation and expert reviews of the medical records demonstrated that during the operation, the surgeon requested intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring in order to keep a close eye upon the spinal cord and nerves. This monitoring is used to identify if any surgical act is causing a potential spinal cord or nerve injury. If there are signs of any changes from the monitoring, the information is communicated to the surgeon so that it can be investigated and if needed, treatment rendered to alleviate any harm or pressure that can result in neurological impairment.
During our client’s surgery, the monitoring technician and the interpreting neurologist failed to obtain adequate baseline readings. Without these baseline readings, changes or loss of signal during the surgery could not be adequately identified. However, during our client’s surgery even with the insufficient baseline levels, there were identifiable changes and loss of signal that went entirely unreported to the operating surgeon. In fact, the reports issued by the monitoring personnel stated that the baseline readings were acceptable and that there were no changes during the operation.
However, the pretrial testimony taken in this case revealed admissions from both the technician and the neurologist that there were inadequate baselines readings that were completely lost during the operation, contrary to their reports.
Our experts advised that the surgery resulted in pressure causing a lack of blood supply to the spinal cord and had the monitoring personnel communicated this information to the surgeon, intraoperative steps could have been taken to restore the blood flow timely.
Because no such steps were taken to immediately restore the blood flow to the spinal cord, this man suffered loss of the neural tissue which has been replaced with scar tissue as a result of his injuries. This condition is called myelomalacia, and it is permanent.
This law firm reached a settlement before trial for the sum of $3,650,000.00 in compensation for his injuries.