Wrong level spinal surgery results in paraplegia.
Our client was a retired machinist who suffered from chronic low back pain. A South Dakota neurosurgeon recommended fusion surgery and our client underwent the procedure at a Sioux Falls hospital. However, the surgeon and his assistant failed to take precautionary measures, misidentified the intended level of surgery and performed the procedure at an incorrect spinal level. The mistake was discovered three days later but by this time our client had been rendered paraplegic by the trauma to his spinal cord. He was paralyzed from the waist down and had no bowel or bladder control. After many depositions and the involvement of numerous expert witnesses, the case was settled in a ten hour mediation with the aid of a South Dakota mediator for $1.4 million. According to the mediator, this was the largest settlement of a South Dakota medical malpractice case ever.
Botched gall bladder surgery leads to chronic illness.
Our client, an 83 year old retired assembly plant worker who suffered from gall stones, entered a suburban hospital for removal of his gall bladder by a general surgeon. The surgeon unfortunately misidentified numerous structures and cut away a portion of the client’s bile duct system. Our client was transferred to a metropolitan hospital where physicians felt his age and fragile health made extensive restorative surgery too risky to undertake. Our client eventually improved but was left subject to recurring illness requiring short hospital stays. The case was settled for $400,000.00.
Mismanagement of infection leads to big verdict.
Our 17 year old male client slipped on gravel and fell on his ankle, fracturing it badly. Orthopedic repair was adequate but the wound became infected. The treating orthopedic surgeon allowed the infected limb to become gangrenous and emergency surgery at the Mayo Clinic saved our client from amputation of his foot. A Wright County jury awarded our client $584,023.93, the precise figure Jim Lindell suggested to the jury would be fair compensation for our client.
Incorrect surgical procedure results in large worker’s compensation and medical malpractice award.
Client injured his low back while working as a unionized laborer. After conservative treatment failed, he elected for a back surgery that was designed to help him get back to work with his employer. Tragically, the surgeon operated on wrong disc level causing the necessity of a later, much more invasive surgery that destroyed client’s ability to return to his job. He was represented on his workers’ compensation claim by Ben Lavoie and by both Jim and Ben Lavoie on the medical malpractice claim. Result – $660,000 total recovery from both claims.
Doctor’s negligent administration of a routine procedure results in catastrophic injury to a 49 year old woman.
When a 49 year old woman went to her doctor for treatment of a cough and cold she never imagined that her life would change forever because of the doctor’s negligence. Many years before, the plaintiff had suffered a gunshot wound to the head which left her without a portion of her skull near her left ear. The defendant physician was well informed of the plaintiff’s prior injury and vulnerability. Unfortunately, in treating the plaintiff’s cold and cough, the defendant physician ordered an ear lavage which introduced water and contaminates through the defect in her skull and into her brain. She was found hours later suffering a seizure and was ultimately diagnosed with meningitis, hydrocephalus, and a cerebral spinal fluid leak. Despite emergency brain surgery, she spent the next year and a half in a coma. While she has made a miraculous recovery, she remains profoundly disabled and requires daily care and assistance with all of her personal needs. Grim Howland and Ben Lavoie started a lawsuit on the plaintiff’s behalf and shortly thereafter the defendant’s insurer offered its $4,000,000 policy limit. Represented by Ben Lavoie and Grim Howland. Result – $4,000,000 settlement.
Jury finds doctor negligent in care of post-surgical infection.
17 year old client underwent open reduction of his fractured ankle with the use of plates and screws by Defendant medical clinic’s orthopedic surgeon. After surgery, the wound became badly infected. Instead of referring our client to an infectious disease specialist or asking a plastic surgeon with infection control expertise, the orthopedic surgeon kept the patient to himself, and tried and failed on two different occasions to surgically remove the infection on the client’s ankle. On both attempts the surgeon sutured the wound tightly closed, encapsulating a still active infection. When it became obvious the wound remained badly infected, our client was referred to a plastic surgeon who performed emergency surgery to save his endangered limb. The new physician cured the infection and performed tissue transfer reconstructive surgery to close our client’s large resulting wound. Represented by Jim Lindell.Following a weeklong trial, the jury in a rural Minnesota county awarded our client $584,000 in damages.
Lindell & Lavoie, LLP
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431 South Seventh Street
Minneapolis, MN 55415-1801
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