Jury awards patient $135M after botched spine surgery at Michigan hospital: 5 insights

Written by Mackenzie Garrity | July 03, 2018 | Print  |

A jury awarded a Detroit Medical Center Children's Hospital of Michigan patient $135 million after a spine surgery left her paralyzed, according to MLive.com.

According to the patient's attorney, this is the largest medical malpractice verdict to be awarded in the U.S.

Here are five insights:

1. The lawsuit was filed in 2013, after a 10-year-old patient visited DMC Children's Hospital to undergo a spinal procedure for scoliosis. Days after the surgery, the patient was left paralyzed.

2. Attorneys for the plaintiff argued the orthopedic surgeon ignored signs the devices implanted along the patient's spine were causing pain and further injury.

3. The patient's attorneys argued instead of the patient receiving compression the surgeon took two vacations. It wasn't until 10 days postoperative that the patient saw another physician who removed the devices causing the paralysis.

4. Although the second surgeon removed the devices, the patient "was left with permanent quadraparesis of her four extremities and permanent loss of bowel and bladder control," according to a statement from the patient's attorney.

5. Eric Jones, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at DMC Children's Hospital, was named in the lawsuit. DMC Children's denied the allegations during trial and claimed a phantom blood clot caused the patient's paralysis.

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