The plaintiff’s decedent was involved in an automobile collision and suffered a herniated T-10 disk. A neurosurgeon performed an anterior thoracolumbar fusion surgery to treat the herniated disk several months after the accident. During the procedure, the surgeon damaged the patient’s aorta, causing a significant hematoma. Emergency repair surgery was performed immediately. However, the decedent had already suffered an anoxic brain injury. The decedent survived in a vegetative state until he ultimately succumbed to his injuries 18 months after surgery.
Plaintiff’s allegations of negligence included performing a thoracic spine surgery which was contraindicated due to absence of radiculopathy, failure to obtain an informed consent for use of a fixation device, failure to determine an appropriate angle for placement and to accomplish proper placement of screws and hardware, and failure to properly employ techniques to protect the aorta during surgery.[11-T-161]
Type of action: Medical malpractice
Injuries alleged: Wrongful death
Name of case: Confidential
Date: June 2011
Verdict or settlement: Settlement
Attorney for plaintiff: R. Lee Livingston, Charlottesville