$9.66 Million Jury Verdict for Late Diagnosis of Spinal Abscess

Anderson Fuentes, 47, had been diagnosed HIV-positive. He experienced severe back pain and an inability to urinate. He was admitted to Wycoff Heights Medical Center emergency room, where he was seen by an internist, Dr. Onyemachi Ajah. After Fuentes underwent drainage of his urine, Dr. Ajah attributed his pain to urine retention and scheduled Fuentes for discharge from the hospital.

Mr. Fuentes then began to experience difficulty walking and refused to leave the hospital. As a result, a CT scan was done, which showed a previously diagnosed herniated disk at L3-4.

Another physician, Dr. Theophine Abakporo, assumed Fuentes’s care and ordered a second CT scan. Dr. Abakporo also called for a neurological consultation, which was done several hours later.

By the time the neurologist examined Fuentes, he could not move his legs. An MRI was then done that evening, which showed an abscess at C7.

Despite surgery, Fuentes suffers from paraparesis, which causes him to experience leg spasms and impairs his ability to walk. He now also suffers from a neurogenic bladder. A neurogenic bladder is the name given for a person’s lack of bladder control usually caused by a brain injury, spinal cord injury or a different neurological injury.

Fuentes sued Dr. Abakporo and Dr. Ajah as well as their employer alleging that they chose not to timely diagnose the spinal abscess by, among other things, ordering an earlier MRI. The lawsuit did not claim lost income.

The jury returned and signed a verdict for $9.66 million in Fuentes’s favor.

The attorney who successfully handled this case was Susan Dennehy.

Fuentes v. Abakporo, No. 500229/13 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Kings County).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical negligence lawsuits, hospital negligence cases, neurology negligence lawsuits, misdiagnosis 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 Cicero, Naperville, Elgin, Hoffman Estates, Highland Park, Vernon Hills, Barrington, Algonquin, North Chicago, Elmhurst, Orland Park, Harvey, Chicago Heights, Chicago (Avalon Park, Woodlawn, Hyde Park, Bronzeville, Fuller Park, Back of the Yards, Near West Side, Humboldt Park, Pilsen, Albany Park, Ravenswood, Uptown, Greek Town, Wrigleyville, South Shore, East Side, Morgan Park, Mount Greenwood), Evergreen Park, Chicago Ridge, Palos Hills, Midlothian, Oak Forest, Country Club Hills and Hazel Crest, Ill.

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

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