Part of a multiple firm recovery.
Failure To Notice Epidural Mass- Spinal Discs. Synopsis: The plaintiff went to an internist complaining of pain radiating down her legs. The plaintiff claimed that the internist suggested exercises and prescribed Tylenol with codeine, but did not perform any diagnostic tests or studies. The following day, the plaintiff returned to the health care group complaining of increased pain and weakness in her legs. At that time, the plaintiff was seen by a physician's assistant who allegedly prescribed a muscle relaxant even though the plaintiff had no relief from the Tylenol. The plaintiff claimed that neither diagnostic studies nor neurological evaluation were performed. The next day the plaintiff complained that her legs were giving out from under her. When she was seen by another physician, she had marked decreased range of motions in all parameters. The plaintiff claimed that she was given another muscle relaxant, but did not undergo any diagnostic testing. The following day the plaintiff was transported by ambulance to a local hospital where a CAT scan revealed a large epidural mass at L4-5 in the mid-line. She was immediately transferred to another facility where she underwent a lumbar discectomy and laminectomy. Following surgery, the plaintiff was left with a severe cauda equina. The plaintiff, mother of three, is now a residual paraparetic with sensory motor deficit of the bowel and bladder. She has chronic low extremity pain and has limited ability to mobilize without crutches and is mostly confined to a wheelchair for ambulation.
Patient's undiagnosed fracture leaves her unable to walk. The plaintiff arrived at the emergency room with full cervical restraints after her air bad deployed when her vehicle struck a tree, but she was discharged after the on-call radiologist read a negative CT scan. Prior to being discharged, the plaintiff was unable to stand on her own, was assisted to the floor by the nursing staff and then into a wheelchair. That information was never relayed to the emergency room physician who had already signed the discharge papers. The plaintiff's husband was unable to get her into his automobile and other nursing staff personnel arranged for alternate transportation to take her home. Prior to discharge, the plaintiff was unable to dress herself. The plaintiff returned to the hospital the following day after she woke up unable to move her legs. A review of the CT scan from the previous night, along with an MRI, confirmed an undiagnosed fracture. The plaintiff was med-flighted to another hospital for emergency surgery and underwent extensive rehabilitation. Although she has feeling in her lower extremities, the plaintiff is unable to walk and has limited use of her upper body. A suit was brought against the emergency room physician, radiologist and nurses who argued that the injuries were caused by the automobile accident and not the delay in surgical intervention. The plaintiffs also claimed that there was issues of secondary gain due to the fact that the plaintiff had had previous psychiatric history. The case was settled through mediation.