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Negligent Monitoring of Blood Thinner Prescribed to Spinal Surgery Patient - $1 Million Settlement

We achieved a $1 million settlement within just four months of having presented this case to the defendant’s insurance carrier. In order to accomplish settlement of the case, we prepared comprehensive PowerPoint and demand letter presentations with the help of our medical team. In the demand package, we laid out the applicable medical literature including the FDA Black Box Warning literature and explained how the surgeon had failed to provide appropriate care. We also prepared a video presentation which depicted the disability of our client.

The case settled at mediation without the necessity of filing suit. At mediation, the insurance company for the surgeon contended that it had obtained a renowned neurosurgeon who would testify in the defendant surgeon’s care was reasonable and appropriate. Nevertheless, it agreed to pay $1 million to settle the case.

Our client had a long history of disabling and intractable pain stemming from structural deformity and degeneration in her lumbar spine. Conservative treatment – physical therapy and epidural injections – had failed to diminish her pain. The client underwent surgery for the implantation of a neurostimulator, an FDA-approved device that intercepts pain signals. Neurostimulators are utilized as a last resort for pain management.

The day following surgery, while the client remained hospitalized, a blood thinner was administered during the morning hours. The use of the blood thinner posed especially high risk for the client because of the client’s age; the client’s having undergone spine surgery; and the client’s gender. Later that day, the client began to experience loss of movement in the lower extremities. The surgeon, recognizing that the client was likely experiencing bleeding into the spinal canal which was causing nerve dysfunction, failed to order appropriate radiology testing. Such testing could and should have been used to confirm the bleeding complication and identify the location of the hematoma so that it could be evacuated.

The client, who was substantially impaired but ambulatory previous to the implantation surgery, was rendered paraplegic as a result of the failed medical care.