On May 5, 2014, an Alaska medical malpractice jury returned its verdict in the amount of $1.72 million against a neurosurgeon whom the jury found to have acted negligently and recklessly while performing surgery on a patient in 2009. The verdict included $232,000 for past medical expenses incurred by the plaintiff.
The medical malpractice plaintiff alleged that he had gone to the neurosurgeon in April 2009, complaining of lower back pain and leg pain for which the neurosurgeon recommended spinal surgery. After the surgery, the neurosurgeon told his patient that during the surgery (which was not completed), the neurosurgeon found a meningocele that caused extensive bleeding leading to a large opening of the dura. The plaintiff had severe neck pain and headaches the following day for which he was admitted to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with chemical meningitis. The neurosurgeon allegedly told the plaintiff that he had a defect in his blood vessels and a fluid-filled cyst that caused his bleeding and his pain.
During the summer of 2009, the plaintiff sought a second opinion regarding his pain. The man underwent cervical surgery in July 2009 that was performed by the second surgeon. An additional surgery was performed by the same surgeon one month later because the man’s condition did not improve. During this last surgery, the second surgeon discovered a defect in the man’s dura and also found material used to stop bleeding packed in the man’s spine during his original surgery. The second surgeon reportedly advised his patient that he did not have a cyst or a blood vessel defect before the first surgery, and that his surgical complications following the first surgery were caused by surgical instruments.
The plaintiff filed his medical malpractice lawsuit against the original neurosurgeon in 2011, claiming that he suffers incurable arachnoiditis that causes near-constant pain which has not allowed him to return to work as a plumber for an Alaska school district. The Alaska medical malpractice jury’s verdict against the neurosurgeon was unanimous.
A Second Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Is Pending Against The Same Neurosurgeon
Another medical malpractice lawsuit was filed against the same neurosurgeon in October 2013 and is scheduled for trial in November 2014. In that case, the neurosurgeon’s former patient claims that she had surgery in October 2011 to place a shunt in her skull in order to relieve headaches caused by intracranial pressure. The shunt did not function properly and the neurosurgeon subsequently performed a second surgery one month later to replace and reposition the catheter. The medical malpractice plaintiff in this case alleges that the neurosurgeon breached the standard of care in his treatment of her, causing her pain and suffering and requiring future medical care.
If you or a family member suffered serious injury or other substantial harm as a result of medical malpractice in Alaska or in another U.S. state, you should promptly seek the legal advice of an Alaska medical malpractice attorney or a medical malpractice attorney in your state who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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