$4.34 Million Awarded To Veteran Paralyzed After Spinal Surgery
A 66-year-old veteran who alleged he was left paralyzed from spinal surgery at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in West Los Angeles has been awarded $4.34 million by a federal judge, according to Courthouse News Service.
In October 2005, Alvin Johnson had spinal surgery to correct a ruptured disc at the VA medical center, according to the article. Doctors injected Surgifoam, a material which absorbs blood and other fluids, into the space created once the ruptured disc was removed.
According to the complaint, the doctors did not remove all the excess foam and it expanded, pressing against the spinal cord. When the veteran’s daughter was notified two and a half hours later, Mr. Johnson had no feeling from his neck down and was nearly completely paralyzed.
An MRI showing the spinal cord was compressed was ordered by another doctor, but Mr. Johnson’s doctors did nothing, the veteran’s complaint alleged. The complaint also alleged that had corrective steps been taken, permanent damage could have been prevented. Mr. Johnson is now totally dependent on others and confined to a bed or wheelchair.
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