Wrong Side Brain Surgery Results In Permanent Disability For 15-Year-Old
Little Rock, AR (Law Firm Newswire) October 18, 2013 - The surgeon in this case operated on the wrong side of a young patient’s brain, and in the process destroyed tissue. In realizing his mistake, he then operated on the other side.
“This was a case full of twists and turns,” indicated Arkansas injury lawyer, Michael Smith. A 15-year-old boy went to hospital for brain surgery to stop seizures that started in the right side of his brain. The surgeon removed tissue from the left side, the wrong side of the brain. Then proceeded to remove tissue from the right side as well. The parents were not told left brain tissue had been removed.”
The surgeon admitted he had made a mistake, but had not harmed the left side of the brain and had been successful in removing the lesion in their child’s brain on the right side. The end result of the surgery error was the parents placing their son in a rehabilitation center, permanently. At the time their son was admitted to a rehabilitation center, the parents had no idea the doctor had damaged brain tissue on the left side. They did not find out about the removal of left-brain tissue until 15 months later. The family filed a medical negligence lawsuit. The surgeons settled the first case out of court, but the case continued against the Arkansas Children’s Hospital.
“The jury found for the plaintiff and handed down a $20 million award, that the court reduced to $11 million. The $11 million was the amount in line with the hospital’s liability coverage,” Smith explained.On appeal, the family asked for reinstatement of the $20 million award and the hospital wanted a new trial. The court indicated it found no errors in the judgment of the circuit court. The family still had $11 million and the insurance company would have to pay the damages.
The takeaway in this case is that even distinguished surgeons and hospitals make grievous errors and then try to cover them up in a dishonest manner. “Cases like this are extremely complex. It is best to discuss situations like this with a competent injury lawyer,” suggested Smith.
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