77 Year Old Woman Paralyzed from Torso Down
Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin attorney obtained a $1,125,000 settlement on behalf of our client, a 77 year old woman who is paralyzed from the torso down. Our client was a home health aide and suffered a knee injury while at work. This injury brought her to the care the defendant neurologist, who ran a physical therapy mill in Brooklyn. After a year of treatment, our client began complaining of neck, arm and back pain. The neurologist, appreciating the neurological impact of these complaints, ordered an MRI. The order for the MRI was put through the Workers Compensation program, despite the fact her new complaints were not related to the accident that brought her to the defendant neurologist. Workers Compensation denied the request because they were not related to her work injury. Despite the denied request, the defendant spent years fighting with Workers Compensation in an attempt to keep our client as his patient, instead of referring her out to a clinic that would take over her care.
Years later, as a result of extreme frustration and worsening pain which was only treated symptomatically, our client went to an emergency room at the co-defendant hospital to try and receive care. The emergency room failed to appreciate the severe nature of her condition and scheduled her for a clinic appointment in the far future. A few weeks later she returned again the to the co-defendant hospital emergency room, at which time the severity of our client's condition was finally recognized. She underwent emergency spinal surgery a few days later for severe cervical spondylosis. Unfortunately, the years of compression of her cervical spine left her spine so compromised that it could not withstand the rigors of the surgery and she was immediately paralyzed at the end of the surgery. There was nothing that could be done for her at that point.
Unfortunately, in addition to the pain and suffering our client experienced, our client's recovery in this case was limited due to the neurologist's limited policy coverage and lack of coverage for his professional corporation. The liability of the hospital was extremely limited by the lack of causation between their missing the diagnosis for one month versus the years of inadequate care suffered under the neurologist. Ultimately however, the firm settled the case on behalf of our client in the amount of $1,125,000.