Negative Outcome of Back Surgery Initiates San Francisco Medical Malpractice Suit, Part 3 of 4

The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of a medical malpractice case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court. It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this medical malpractice case could just as easily occur at any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as Kaiser Permanente, UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco General, California Pacific Medical Center, or St. Francis Memorial Hospital.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury case and its proceedings.)

Post-operatively, plaintiff’s severe pain resolved. Dr. Michaels continued to follow her for several months. At the time of plaintiff’s last visit with Dr. Michaels, plaintiff continued to have proprioception issues, bladder urge incontinence, and decreased sensation in her leg and peroneal areas. Her reflexes were normal. Her left leg strength was 4/5, and her right leg strength was normal. She had returned to work with accommodations.

Plaintiff underwent outpatient physical therapy from September 14, 2007 to October 15, 2007. At the end of this course of therapy, plaintiff could ambulate independently with a quad cane for short distances. Plaintiff also underwent a course of physical therapy from January 9, 2009 to February 17, 2009. At discharge, plaintiff was using a front-wheeled walker for ambulation. According to plaintiff, she requested that therapy be stopped because she did not feel that she was making progress and her therapist agreed.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Plaintiff then continued to see her primary care physician, Dr. James Merek, for left leg pain. On February 11, 2008, Dr. Merek certified plaintiff as disabled. Thereafter, she quit her job. In the months leading up to trial, plaintiff complained of increased pain in her left leg and sought treatment at UCSF Medical Center. At UCSF, plaintiff was seen by neurologist Dr. Richard Clark, who, after several diagnostic tests and two physical examinations, could not identify an organic cause of plaintiff’s symptoms.

Plaintiffs alleged that, during surgery, Dr. Melon failed to properly place the shunt into the syrinx, and, instead, placed it into her spinal cord, causing debilitating injury, and that, following surgery, Dr. Melon intentionally misrepresented that he would see plaintiff in an effort to conceal discovery of his alleged negligence. Plaintiff further claimed that Dr. Melon guaranteed that, if she underwent surgery, her arm and neck pain would completely resolve. Plaintiff claimed that, instead of draining the syrinx, Dr. Melon instead placed the shunt in an area of her spinal cord that caused damage. Plaintiff further alleged that Dr. Melon failed to inform her that one of the risks associated with the surgery was misplacement of the catheter and injury to the spinal cord.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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