Sunday, 16 of December of 2018

Misdiagnosis of Neck Injury Leaves Man Permanently Paralyzed

Jurors awarded the man a medical malpractice judgment of $15 million.

By Shapiro, Lewis, Appleton and Favaloro, Medical Malpractice Attorney in Virginia

A Colorado (CO) man who went to the hospital complaining of neck pain and numbness in his arms and legs was told by a doctor that he suffered from a neck strain and was sent home with medications and instructions to rest. In actuality, the man had a herniated disc that was pressing against his spinal cord so severely that emergency surgery was required.

Within hours of leaving Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs, the man became permanently paralyzed from the chest down. After hearing evidence of the doctor’s misdiagnosis and the man’s injury and need for lifelong medical and personal care, jurors awarded the man a medical malpractice judgment of $15 million. The owner of the hospital and the doctor whose mistake that harmed the man were ordered to pay the award.


The Virginia Medical Malpractice Lawyer’s Perspective

My medical malpractice attorney colleagues and I practice in Virginia (VA), so it may seem out of character to report and comment on a case from Colorado. What caught my eye, though, was how badly the doctor misdiagnosed the neck injury when first seeing the man who became paralyzed. Diagnosing a herniated disc in the neck or anywhere along the spine can be as simple as taking and examining a few x-rays.

I do not have access to all the medical evidence presented during the medical malpractice trial. Having been involved in similar back injury and misdiagnosis cases, however, I know that showing the doctor was negligent in not ordering and waiting for the results from x-rays and other imaging tests would go a long way toward making the plaintiff’s case.

Potentially Helpful Info

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About the Editors: The VA-NC medical malpractice attorneys at Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton include medical and surgical malpractice lawyers licensed in both Virginia and Carolina. Our medical/hospital malpractice focus on personal injury and accident law and have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctors’ mistakes, as well as nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see our track record of success in medical malpractice lawsuits, and also be sure to read our free medical malpractice reports Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider and Top 5 Surgical Errors. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis have been listed among the Best Lawyers in America since 2008. They, along with fellow attorney Randy Appleton, have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor fewer than 5 percent of outstanding attorneys receive.