$750,000 Jury Verdict in Negligence Associated with Spinal Surgery

Walter Hoover was 70 years old when he suffered a compression fracture in his back at L4. After the first rounds of treatment were found to be unsuccessful, he was transferred to a Veterans Administration Hospital where two neurosurgeons performed a corpectomy and diskectomy at L3-5 with placement of spinal instrumentation. This procedure was done to decompress the spine.

After the surgery, Hoover experienced paralysis in his left leg. Days later, he underwent additional surgeries to remove a misplaced surgical screw, reposition his surgically implanted hardware and to decompress his spinal cord.

Even after that series of surgeries, Hoover remained paralyzed and required multiple hospitalizations and treatments until he died several years later.

Before his death, Hoover and his wife brought a lawsuit against the United States alleging its neurosurgeons at the Veterans Administration Hospital negligently misplaced a surgical screw into Hoover’s spinal canal, injuring his L3-4 nerve roots.

A trial was held under the Federal Tort Claims Act by a federal judge in the Eastern District of Arkansas wherein a judgment was entered in the amount of $750,000 for damages to Hoover and his wife for the loss of consortium. The attorneys representing the Hoover family were George R. Wise, Jr. and Jeanne A. Steffin.

The case presented for the Hoover family included a physical medicine expert, an orthopedic surgeon, an economist and a life-care planner. The defense used a neurosurgeon to testify on behalf of the government.

Hoover v. U.S., No. 4:11-cv-00395-JM (E.D. Ark. Sept. 18, 2014).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical malpractice cases, hospital negligence cases and nursing home abuse cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of a medical provider for more than 38 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Homewood, Highwood, Hinsdale, Schaumburg, Schiller Park, Joliet, Justice, Grayslake, Crystal Lake, Mundelein, Gurnee, Waukegan, Evergreen Park, Lansing, Kenilworth, Bolingbrook and Naperville, Ill.

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