Was the failure to diagnose and treat a back injury the basis of a medical malpractice case?

The Illinois medical malpractice attorneys of Lipkin & Apter were called upon to represent a 28 year old truck driver who sustained a herniated disc in his low back after driving on a stretch of bad road. He presented to West Suburban Hospital in Melrose Park, Illinois with complaints of severe pain in his low back, radiating into his leg. An MRI confirmed the presence of a herniated disc. Surgery followed, during which the herniated disc was removed and two vertebrae in our client’s low back were fused (permanently joined). The purpose of the fusion was to prevent the vertebral bones from collapsing onto each other, causing further injury to the spinal nerves in the client's low back.

Prior to discharge from the hospital, a CT, another type of radiographic film, was taken on the surgically repaired area. The CT showed that the fusion had come loose and had moved into the client’s spinal canal, where the fusion matter came into direct contact with his spinal nerves. This situation presented an emergency, which should have required immediate surgery to remove the fusion matter from contact with the spinal nerves. Instead, our client was discharged from the hospital, where his medical condition rapidly deteriorated.

In the course of two days, the client lost feeling below his waist, could not walk and lost bowel and bladder control. He was diagnosed with cauda equina syndrome, which in his case was permanent in nature.

At the time of his accident, our client was married with two teenage children. He had no history of back problems.

Successful Resolution: $2,500,000

The client now has limited use of his lower body, requires a catheter and other means to remove waste from his body, has difficulty walking and has been declared permanently disabled by social security.

A medical malpractice suit was brought against the neurosurgeon and West Suburban Hospital for failing to diagnose and treat the failed fusion.

This medical malpractice case settled during the course of trial for more than $2.5 million.

With over 70 combined years of legal experience, the attorneys of Lipkin & Apter are available for consult. If you have suffered injuries due to negligence, contact us to schedule a consultation in our office or by phone.