Jury finds neurosurgeon largely responsible for paralysis, awards $15.5M in damages


A jury ruled neurosurgeon Mark Fulton, MD, failed to diagnose and treat a patient's spinal injury, leading to his paralysis, Medscape reported Aug. 24.

Four things to know:

1. A Florida jury awarded $15.5 million in damages to Jean Magloire and his wife after a monthlong trial in Brevard County Circuit Court. Melbourne, Fla.-based Holmes Regional Medical Center, where Dr. Fulton and radiologist Jared Thomas, MD, were affiliated, will be responsible for paying damages.

2. Mr. Magloire was hit by a truck in December 2012, and his right leg was amputated. A CT scan was done two days after surgery, but Dr. Thomas did not mention a spinal fracture and an epidural hematoma; nor did he recommend a follow-up MRI, the report said. The jury assigned partial blame to Dr. Thomas for missing signs of damage in the initial CT scan.

3. Dr. Fulton examined the CT scan and also did not see the bone chip in Mr. Magloire's spinal canal. He took Mr. Magloire off spinal precautions that had been put in place for the first two days after surgery.

4. Three weeks after his accident, an MRI found Mr. Magloire had a herniated disc penetrating his spinal cord. Another physician said he was paralyzed. Mr. Magloire's attorneys argued that if Dr. Fulton and Dr. Thomas properly read the initial CT scan, Mr. Magloire could have had surgery to prevent paralysis.

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