June 30, 2017
On March 23, 2017, Robbin Smith, a paralyzed woman from Colorado, was awarded $14.9 million after The Surgery Center at Lone Tree, a medical-care facility that focuses on same-day surgical care, was found to commit medical malpractice. According to her attorneys, this was the second-largest malpractice verdict in the state’s history.
A jury in Douglas County Colorado awarded Smith of Castle Rock the verdict after she was permanently paralyzed from the waist down after an epidural steroid injection. According to attorneys, the drug was not labeled for epidural use.
According to Brain Aleinikoff and Bruce Braley, Smith’s attorneys from Leventhal and Puga PC, Smith was administered the epidural steroid injection using a drug called Kenalog in 2013 at the age of 57 while a patient in the care of The Surgery Center.
Shortly after receiving the injection, she contracted a spinal cord infarction, which is an obstruction of the flow of blood causing the death of tissue, subsequently paralyzing her from the waist down.
Two years before she received the injection from Bristol-Myers Squibb, the company that produces Kenalog, they had received FDA permissions to alter the labels of the drug to read that it was not to be used for epidural use.
The new comprehensive label also noted a neurological warning explaining the adverse reactions that caused Smith’s spinal cord infarction, among other adverse reactions, such as paraplegia, quadriplegia, stroke and cortical blindness.
According to her attorneys, The Surgery Center failed to inform the Smiths of the label changes before her injections and as a result, she will require around-the-clock care for the rest of her life. Her husband, Ed Smith, was forced to retire so that he could provide his wife’s care.
The attorney for the Surgery Center at Lone Tree was unavailable for comment regarding the verdict at the time of the article.
Our clients decide to pursue medical malpractice lawsuits for different reasons, including failure by a medical facility and the staff to administer medications as designed. We can provide effective counsel if you have been the victim of a negligence or medical malpractice. Contact our Orange County Personal Injury law firm today at (949)586-6682.