$3 Million Jury Verdict in Failure to Diagnose and Treat Spinal Cord Injury That Left Patient Paralyzed

Samuel Chifalo, 63, fell and hit his head. An ambulance crew arrived and put a cervical collar on before taking him to Parkview Medical Center.

At the hospital, the staff noted that Chifalo had difficulty moving his arms and legs. Nevertheless, emergency room physician Dr. Ashley Ostrand did not document this condition after doing a physical exam and recording Chifalo’s medical history. The doctor ordered CT scans of Chifalo’s neck and head and discharged him from the hospital with a referral to an orthopedic surgeon.

The next day, Chifalo was unable to walk and returned to the emergency room at the same hospital. This time Dr. Ostrand ordered MRIs of his head and cervical and thoracic spinal cord regions. Chifalo was then diagnosed as having a spinal cord injury at C3-4 with quadriparesis. Despite rehabilitation, Chifalo continued to suffer from paralysis.

Chifalo and his wife sued Dr. Ostrand and Parkview Medical Center, alleging that they chose not to timely diagnose and treat the spinal cord injury. It was alleged that had Chifalo undergone the appropriate testing and neurosurgery the day before at the same hospital, Chifalo would have avoided paralysis. The Chifalo family did not claim lost income.

The defendant, Dr. Ostrand, settled before trial. The jury, however, signed a verdict for $3 million finding non-party Dr. Ostrand 5% at fault with the hospital being responsible for the balance.

The attorneys successfully handling this case were David S. Woodruff and Henry Miniter.

Chifalo v. Ostrand, No. 2018 CV 30092 (Colo. Dist. Ct. Pueblo County).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling misdiagnosis of spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injury lawsuits, birth trauma injury cases, misdiagnosis of cancer lawsuits and wrongful death cases for individuals, families and loved ones who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of a medical provider for more than 40 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Hoffman Estates, Waukegan, Libertyville, Tinley Park, Palatine, Palos Park, Warrenville, Woodridge, Burr Ridge, LaGrange, Bedford Park, Crestwood, Forest Park, Country Club Hills, Homewood, Harvey, South Holland, Glenwood, Homer Glen, Mokena, Frankford, Joliet, Orland Hills, Alsip, Chicago Ridge, Addison, Norridge, Hickory Hills, Harwood Heights, Chicago (Jefferson Park, North Park, Ravenswood, Uptown, Albany Park, Ukrainian Village, River West, River North, South Loop, Lower West Side, Little Village, Heart of Chicago, McKinley Park, Brighton Park, Gage Park, Bronzeville, Grand Boulevard, Woodlawn, Hyde Park, Englewood, Chatham), Homewood, Naperville, Evergreen Park, Burbank, and Oak Lawn, Ill.

Robert D. Kreisman has been an active member of the Illinois and Missouri bars since 1976.

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