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Surgical Error Case Leads to $1.25 Million Settlement

What happened: Our client was struggling with back pain radiating down her left leg. She went to defendant neurosurgeon who advised her that she needed low back disc surgery. When the doctor performed the surgery, he failed to properly control the surgical instruments and allowed one of them to cut three vessels in our client's abdomen, causing extensive internal bleeding. A repair of the damaged vessels by a vascular surgeon was attempted but was not successful. Our client ultimately lost both her legs.

Key legal strategy: Five highly qualified experts were quickly retained to support the plaintiff's case. In addition, it was anticipated that the doctor's attorneys would try to blame the vascular surgeon for the poor outcome. For this reason, the attorneys representing our client retained a vascular surgeon known to be a favorite witness of defense counsel to help support our client's case. Accordingly, when he was contacted by the doctor's attorneys, he could not assist them in the defense of the case. 

Court/dates: Newport News Circuit Court 2003

Staff: James C. Lewis, Attorney; Denell Falzon, paralegal; Karen Lorda, litigation assistant

The case was settled before the trial for 1.25 million dollars.