Spinal Stroke Lawsuit Settles for $1M
2015 Medical Malpractice Trial Report
Delay in the diagnosis and treatment of a spinal stroke results in paraplegia in a 30-year-old man
On five occasions during a 2-month period in 2011, the plaintiff presented to his primary care provider, the defendant nurse practitioner, with complaints of severe back pain. The defendant refused to prescribe any pain medications, and rather, dismisses the plaintiff’s complaints as drug seeking behavior and suggested he go to a local ER for detox.
On the last of the five visits, the plaintiff reported that he felt as though his spine was on fire. He reported chills, pain in his hips and legs, and 6 - 8 falls within the last week. All of these complaints were new. The defendant did not order any diagnostic tests, and instead, sent the plaintiff home.
A few days later, the plaintiff awoke unable to move his legs and was incontinent. Imaging revealed that the plaintiff sustained a spinal cord infarct. Today, at age 31, the plaintiff is paralyzed from the waist down.
The plaintiff’s experts were prepared to testify at trial that the defendant failed to comply with the accepted standard of care required of a nurse practitioner when she failed to urgently transfer the plaintiff to the emergency department.
The case settled in November 2015 for the defendant’s policy limits of $1,000,000.00.
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