Maryland Medical Malpractice Verdict ($620,000) For Neck Injuries During Spinal Tap

162017_132140396847214_292624_nA Maryland medical malpractice jury returned its verdict in the amount of $620,000 in favor of the medical malpractice plaintiff on June 13, 2013 after an eight-day trial in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. The Maryland medical malpractice jury deliberated for four hours on June 13, 2013 before finding that the medical care provided to the medical malpractice plaintiff was negligent and that the negligence led to her injuries. The jury awarded $120,000 in medical expenses and $500,000 for the plaintiff’s pain and suffering.

The Maryland medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that the now 47-year-old woman went to the emergency room of a large Baltimore City hospital in 2007, complaining of a severe headache. The emergency room medical providers decided to perform a spinal tap. A spinal tap (technically referred to as a lumbar puncture) is a medical procedure where a needle is inserted between two lumbar vertebrae and a sample of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is removed and analyzed to determine if there is an infection such as meningitis or a disorder such as multiple sclerosis, cancer, or Guillain-Barre syndrome. A spinal tap may also be used to inject drugs into the CSF, such as chemotherapy medications or anesthetic medications.

According to the woman’s medical malpractice claim, during the spinal tap, the emergency room personnel pushed on her neck while performing the procedure (the neck should not be touched during a spinal tap procedure), causing her to suffer two herniated discs in her neck.

The defense alleged that the woman did not complain of any neck pain from a herniated disc until later in the day, after she had ascended the stairs in her home. The defense argued that because the woman did not complain of neck pain before she was discharged to home, she did not sustain the injuries during the spinal tap procedure.

The plaintiff’s medical malpractice lawyer argued that the woman’s pain was masked by the strong pain medication (two oxycodone pills) given to the woman in the emergency room, which was supported by the hospital’s itemized medical bills and the testimony of the plaintiff’s emergency medicine expert during the trial.

The defense wanted to have its own experts testify during trial that the medical treatment the woman received for her herniated discs one year after the emergency room visit was unreasonable and unnecessary, and that the herniated discs suffered by the woman were not caused in the manner in which she alleged. However, pretrial motions filed by the plaintiff to preclude such testimony was granted by a judge before trial.

The Maryland medical malpractice lawsuit was filed in 2010 in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City and was captioned Blue v. University of MD. Medical Systems Corp., Case No. 24-C-10-006438.

Source: The Daily Record, June 18, 2013.

If you or a loved one may be the victim of medical malpractice in Maryland or in another U.S. state, you should promptly seek the legal advice of a Maryland medical malpractice attorney or a medical malpractice attorney in your state who may be willing to investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and file a medical malpractice case on your behalf, if appropriate.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 19th, 2013 at 9:35 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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