Spinal Surgery Negligence Results in 38 Million Dollar Verdict

Posted on Mar 18, 2009
A woman left bedridden and in excruciating pain following spinal surgery in 2003 at Mount Sinai Medical Center was provided $38 million in compensation for a lifetime worth of suffering.  A six-person jury deliberated nine hours over two days before finding that neurosurgeon, the hospital and the hospital's pharmacy management firm caused her  debilitating injuries.

The hospital settled before the case went to trial, so it's not on the hook to pay any part of the award. The hospital's pharmacy management firm at the time vowed to appeal.  The nuerosurgeon originally operated on the woman to repair a herniated disc. In a subsequent surgery to fix a spinal fluid leak, the nuerosurgeon injected the womam's spine with a dye -- the chemical methylene blue -- in an attempt to locate the leak. The chemical's packaging, which had been discarded, warned it should not be used for the surgery that she underwent.  Following the surgery, the victim developed a neurological disability known as arachnoiditis. She said she suffers from burning, stabbing and pressure pains throughout her body and is bed ridden and in a wheelchair.