Final Verdict: Surgical Error Loses Leg

FREE Case evaluation

Serious injuries deserve experienced attorneys

Final Verdict: Surgical Error Loses Leg

In May 2019, a jury in Montgomery County held a Maryland surgeon responsible for putting an ER nurse in a wheelchair for the rest of her life.

Patricia Bent was a successful emergency room nurse for years prior to her surgery on August 11, 2014. She’d had recurrent back problems and sought treatment for four years, including injections and a prior surgical procedure. The pain on the right side of her back was corrected after surgical intervention on that side, but the pain on the left side of her back remained, and so the same physician who had performed the first surgery — Dr. Navinder Singh Sethi — arranged to have a repeat laminectomy on the left side.Final Verdict: Surgical Error Loses Leg

The planned surgery, laminectomy, is a procedure where a skilled surgeon removes a portion of the bone in order to make additional space when damaged nerves and other tissue are under too much pressure. The Mayo Clinic describes laminectomy as follows:

Laminectomy is a surgery that creates space by removing the lamina — the back part of a vertebra that covers your spinal canal. Also known as decompression surgery, laminectomy enlarges your spinal canal to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or nerves.

Laminectomy is generally used only when more-conservative treatments — such as medication, physical therapy or injections — have failed to relieve symptoms. Laminectomy may also be recommended if symptoms are severe or worsening dramatically.

The initial surgery took place on August 11 of 2014, with follow-up twelve days later, on August 23. During and after this period, however, Bent experienced numbness in her right leg. It started in her hip and extended down to her foot, growing worse and worse until she was unable to feel anything from that leg.

Despite lengthy convalescence, including post-operative rehabilitation and ongoing physical therapy, she never regained sensation in her right leg. She had to use a walker or wheelchair at all times. At trial, experts explained that she could no longer work, as her job as an emergency room nurse required her to be on her feet. She could not drive herself and needed outside treatment and care. The loss of sensation also resulted in constant pain that would never be relieved.

During medical malpractice testimony in court, it was revealed that the surgeon had done a bilateral laminectomy rather than a left-sided laminectomy. In other words, he performed two procedures, one on each side. He had made the same incisions and procedures as he had already performed in 2013, on top of the old scar tissue. Bent’s experts explained that since she only had pain on her left side, there was no reason to perform multiple surgeries on both the left and the right.

Repeated surgeries in the same place involve the removal of old scar tissue, which greatly increases the odds of surgical injury. In this case, the surgery produced a dural tear and spinal leakage, damaging her spinal cord so significantly that she subsequently lost sensation in her right leg. The jury determined that the surgeon shown have known that repeat surgery on the right side was unnecessary, and awarded a judgment of more than $1.8 million. A medical attorney such as,  Cohen & Cohen can evaluate your case.

Personal Injury Attorneys In:

Washington DC | Maryland | Virginia

workers compensation attorneys in dc
[divi_library_shortcode id="987499082"]

Featured on:

Injury Attorneys DC, MD, VA – Get the Compensation You Deserve! Whether you have been injured in a car accident, a malpractice victim, injured on the job, as the result of shoddy craftsmanship, or in a slip and fall, we can help! Our experienced, competent attorneys excel in all areas of personal injury law.

PRACTICE AREAS

Catastrophic Injuries DC, MD, VA

Automobile Accidents DC, MD, VA

Workers’ Compensation DC, MD, VA

Slip and Fall DC, MD, VA

Medical Malpractice DC, MD, VA

Wrongful Death DC, MD, VA

Truck Accidents DC, MD, VA

Motorcycle Accidents DC, MD, VA

Metro Train Accident DC, MD, VA

FREE CASE EVALUATION

Our team is available and ready to help you with your case. Feel free to contact us via the form below or call us 24/7 at 202-955-4529

RECENT POSTS

Client Review

"My experience with Cohen & Cohen was beyond my expectations. Jill did an amazing job with negotiating on my behalf and got me way more money than I anticipated. Thank you for having my back."
L Proctor
Client Review

"I am very pleased with the outcome of my case. I received more than the amount that I originally thought and am very satisfied with how my case turned out. Jill, the attorney working on my case did an excellent job advocating for me to the insurance company and getting me a good settlement. A special shout out to Bryan Moran, who always kept me posted on the updates of my case and was always super responsive to my questions. They are a really thoughtful team, I would definitely recommend to my friends and family."
Carolina Bazan
Client Review

Hear from our clients

If you have been injured, contact Cohen & Cohen for a free case evaluation today. Our staff is available 24/7 to assist you.

Cohen & Cohen has an  impeccable Client Satisfaction Rating with hundreds of
5 STAR Reviews. We are among the best-rated firms in the areas we serve.

Cohen & Cohen has an  impeccable Client Satisfaction Rating with hundreds of
5 STAR Reviews. We are among the best-rated firms in the areas we serve.

L Proctor
August 30, 2022.
My experience with Cohen &Cohen was beyond my expectations. Jill did an amazing job with negotiating on my behalf and got me way more money than I anticipated. Thank you for having my back.
Ebony Stoutmiles
June 23, 2022.
To say that I am happy with the outcome of my case is the understatement of the century! Jill Stanley is a BEAST at what she does. That is the only way to explain it. She takes no prisoners. She and her team are very skilled and knowledgeable. I am so happy I trusted them to do their job and rolled with Jill's suggestions. I would choose Jill again 100 times. She settled my case for more than I imagined I would receive. I was literally in tears. It is the best feeling to know my pain isn't for naught. Wayne Cohen and Kristopher Yorke were nothing short of amazing. They have the patience of saints. I'm 100% certain that I got on their last nerves with my frustration and tears at every other call I had with them. Being in pain and wanting to just be able to heal was all I could focus on, but they helped me realize that I also had to focus on the bigger picture (the case) so I could put this piece behind me. As a high-strung individual with anxiety, it was hard for me to not worry and let them do their jobs, but they reassured me all of the time that they had this. To be injured before the start of the pandemic and have to receive regular, weekly treatment while others are able to stay home is anxiety inducing. I was in pain, I was anxious, and I was just hoping it all worked out. It more than worked out. I hope Jill, Siri, and Kris know how much their hard work and "hanging in there" meant to me. I am eternally grateful. I can't recommend you all enough. If you choose this law firm, you won't be sorry!
Beloved Temple
June 3, 2022.
I was very pleased with the handling of my case and settlement with Cohen& Cohen. I appreciate them, would highly recommend them.
willie howell
May 25, 2022.
COHEN & COHEN ARE THE BEST I WAS INVOLVED IN A REAR END CAR CRASH AND 2 YEARS LATER I HAVE RECEIVED MY SETTLEMENT I AM VERY EXCITED TO SAY BRYAN!!! IS THE MAN HE INSURED THEY WILL TAKE CARE OF ME AND THEY DID 100% ANY QUESTIONS I ASKED THEY WERE ANSWERED. Jill and SIRI WAS ALSO REMARKABLE AND SHOWED THEY REALLY CARED I RECOMMEND COHEN &COHEN TO ANYONE THEY ALSO MADE SURE I GOT MORE THAN EXPECTED WHICH WAS AMAZING I APPRECIATE YOU GUYS THANK U💯
Jose Rivera
May 25, 2022.
The legal team at cohen & cohen did a great job I really appreciate the hard work on gating my compensation in a fair amount of time. Special thanks to Kris for a wonderful job
Lea Harvey
May 25, 2022.
I had a great experience with the team at Cohen & Cohen. From my intake attorney, Adam, to the paralegal, Bryan, who worked with me regularly for months to document and prepare my case, to Jill, the attorney who secured my settlement, I feel fortunate to have had their representation and expertise on my side.
Cameron Galloway (HustleDaGod)
May 19, 2022.
Kris was phenomenal. Spectacular communication & knowledge in regards to my case. Would definitely return if I needed more legal services. 100% definitely recommend.

Best Personal Injury Lawyer in DC

SuperLawyers2010
SuperLawyers2011
SuperLawyers2012
SuperLawyers2014

Cohen & Cohen Has Been Featured On

FREE CASE EVALUATION

Our team is available and ready to help you with your case. Feel free to contact us via the form below or call us 24/7 at 202-955-4529

10 + 11 =

Read more: