A Los Angeles County woman may receive more than $1.6 million to settle a malpractice lawsuit she brought against the county after being paralyzed during back surgery at a Los Angeles medical center. The L.A. county Claims Board is prepared to discuss the proposed medical malpractice settlement with legal counsel behind closed doors. If they give their go-ahead, the matter will then go before the county Board of Supervisors for final approval.
The lawsuit was brought by a woman who had two vertebrae fractured in a car accident in 2005. During surgery at the hospital, the woman, who was 20 years old at the time, was paralyzed. In her lawsuit, the woman claimed that no one explained the risks of the procedure to her and that the hospital’s staff failed to provide her with the necessary care. Although the medical center took the position that she received proper care, the settlement was proposed to avoid a potentially risky jury trial.
Under the terms of the proposed settlement, the county would pay $1.5 million to the woman and assume medical bills totaling $112,999. The county has already paid more than $217,000 in attorney fees in the case. A copy of an article regarding the case can be found here.
I have successfully handled a number of medical malpractice / medical negligence / medical error cases in Baltimore and other counties in Maryland involving a failure to properly perform surgery. In one such medical malpractice case I am handling now in the District of Columbia, a woman was paralyzed during spinal cord stimulator replacement surgery. Other cases that I have handled involved injuries to arteries during surgery and nerve compression injuries, which have caused paralysis and even quadriplegia.
Interestingly, in the Los Angeles case cited above, the county has to approve all settlements with county hospitals. In Maryland, state hospitals such as the University of Maryland Medical Center are able to settle medical malpractice cases on their own.