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Medical Malpractice Verdict In Botched VA Hospital Surgery 

Written by Berkowitz

With a wealth of experience in medical malpractice litigation, Berkowitz and Hanna LLC knows firsthand that injuries from surgical mistakes can have long-term financial, physical and emotional repercussions.  Recently, the firm read about a case in Little Rock, Arkansas, where a U.S. District Court judge ruled against a surgeon for negligence during a spinal surgery at a Department of Veterans Affairs hospital—awarding the 75-year-old patient $725,000 in damages.

The plaintiff suffered a fall in 2009, causing him to undergo surgery to repair his back.  According to the lawsuit, the surgeons misplaced screws into the plaintiff’s spinal canal, causing complete paralysis of his quadriceps.  The lawsuit further alleges that a second surgery to correct the placement of the screws could not undo the damage that had been done. The plaintiff, who said he is “in constant pain” and is “primarily confined” to a wheelchair, originally filed a $5M claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs, but the claim was denied.  He and his wife then sued the U.S. Government in federal court, and won, albeit a lesser amount.

Due to the very nature of their work, doctors are held to a very high standard of care, notes Berkowitz and Hanna LLC.  Thus, when a patient is injured because of a doctor’s mistake caused by negligence and/or recklessness, the physician can be held accountable.

Berkowitz and Hanna LLC did not represent any of the parties in this case.