Medical Malpractice - $6.2 Million Settlement
When a Rockford doctor performed brain surgery on a 58-year-old man for a benign cyst, the man fell into a weeks-long coma and remained cognitively disabled with a debilitating brain injury. The resulting lawsuit, in which we alleged that the surgeon’s failure to use available brain navigation equipment amounted to medical negligence, and led to one of the largest-known settlements in the history of Winnebago County.
Numerous experts in the field of brain surgery were enlisted to support these allegations and our attorneys helped the family arrange a transfer to a different hospital to pursue better care. Today, our client still requires 24 hour supervision due to his resulting cognitive disabilities. In a lawsuit filed against the surgeon and a Rockford area hospital, a settlement in the amount of $6,200,000 was secured on behalf of our client and his wife. This settlement represents one of the largest known settlements of this kind ever in Winnebago County.
About Neurosurgical Malpractice
According to a report published by the respected New England Journal of Medicine, neurosurgeons were more likely to be the subject of medical malpractice claims than any other group of medical specialists. The chances of a neurosurgery doctor facing such a lawsuit was said to be 19.1%, or about 1 in 5 such doctors; the highest likelihood amongst all the specialties. Thoracic-cardiovascular surgeons were at 18.9%, and general surgeons were at 15.3%, while only 3.1% of pediatric specialists were likely to face a malpractice claim in any year.
Why do neurosurgeons face such a much higher chance of being sued by patients? Some say that it’s because the complexity of surgery involving the brain is that much greater than for other areas of medical care. The neurosurgical field has to do with both cranial and spinal disorders that relate to epilepsy, trauma, behavioral disorders, vascular disease, and brain tumors. Because these types of surgeries are often so complicated, such doctors are usually well paid for the difficult and delicate work that is required.
Other Neurosurgeon Cases in the News
Probably the most widely known neurosurgeon around is Ben Carson, who ran for President of the United States in the last election. According to sources, he alone was sued for malpractice at least eight times. In one case, he was sued along with John Hopkins University by a woman suffering from multiple sclerosis who underwent a microvascular decompression, which involved partially removing her cranium to reduce her pain.
Today’s technology allows medical professionals to study the roadmap of the brain before operating and in this case, it was alleged that Dr. Carson simply didn’t review the MRI before proceeding, which according to most experts, was clearly negligent and below the “standard of care” required for such a medical professional. Once the operation was underway, it then became apparent that the surgery would be useless because of the presence of lesions on the woman’s brain stem and the doctor blamed his staff for failing to inform him of these lesions. In another case, he was sued by a woman who claimed that her face was paralyzed after a surgical procedure to remove a tumor.
In order to be successful in such cases, the plaintiff’s attorney must demonstrate to a court that the defendant failed to use the skill and care customarily used by other such neurosurgeons under similar circumstances. Due to the complex nature of these cases, the attorney will enlist the aid of experts in the field to help prove that the medical results could have been avoided in the absence of negligence. Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC (800- 996-4824) stands ready to help those injured through the improper actions of such doctors and no fees are ever charged unless we are successful on your behalf.