The Hollander Law Firm, one of the most trusted injury law firms in South Florida, has taken on a challenging and legally complex case that has garnered the interest of Courtroom View Network, a legal news and analysis source founded by Michael Breyer, son of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.
We represent the plaintiff in Silkworth v. Boca Raton Regional Hospital, where the key question is causation. Specifically, what – or who – caused plaintiff’s paralyzing spinal cord injury in June 2012? Defendants assert the injury was the cause of a violent car accident, wherein plaintiff was seated in the back seat of a taxi. However, our claim is that while the plaintiff’s injuries at the time of the crash were indeed serious, it was the negligence of health care professionals who treated her that resulted in her paralysis.
Emergency health care workers are specially trained to be extremely cautious in their initial assessment of someone with spinal trauma. The standard of care almost universally dictates that when there is a clinical concern of a possible spinal injury, workers must immobilize the patient. That is, if there is any indication whatsoever that there could be a spinal cord injury, medical personal must immobilize. Generally speaking, proper immobilization will not hurt a patient who is not suffering a spinal injury. However, if a patient with a spinal injury is not immediately and properly immobilized, it could cause profound and irreversible damage.
Failure to immobilize the spine following an axial spine injury could either cause or worsen a spinal cord injury. Immobilization of the entire spinal column is deemed necessary in patients with suspected unstable cervical spine injuries after a trauma, until the spinal cord injury has been excluded or appropriately treated. As noted in a 2005 study by medical technology analysis group Elsevier, it’s estimated that up to 25 percent of spinal cord injuries may be aggravated after the initial insult – either during transport or early in the course of treatment.
In this medical malpractice lawsuit, as reported by CVN, the question is whether staff and doctors at the Boca Raton Regional Hospital failed to follow appropriate procedure in immobilizing plaintiff’s spine, and whether this ultimately resulted in her paralysis.
As Injury Attorney Gregg Hollander explained in opening statements, medical reports from immediately after the crash indicate plaintiff was able to move her arms and legs and that no symptoms of paralysis were noted until well after her arrival at the hospital. She underwent a series of tests and treatments while at the hospital – without the protection of immobilization.
A number of expert witnesses will testify in this case that had plaintiff been treated with spinal immobilization from the time she got to the hospital, she would have preserved the neurologic function and, most likely, the ability to walk again. However, in breaching the accepted standard of care in the protection of her spine, as we allege, defendants caused plaintiff to sustain complete paraplegia.
Plaintiff is asking for damages that exceed in the millions of dollars, not only for coverage of medical bills now and in the future, but for past and future pain and suffering and her son’s loss of parental support.
If you have been injured in a Boca Raton accident, contact the Hollander Law Firm at (888) 751-7770 for a free and confidential consultation. There is no fee unless we win.
More Blog Entries:
Cardiologist Seeks $27M From Doctor for Brain Damage During Electroshock Treatment, Oct. 31, 2016, Boca Raton Medical Malpractice Lawyer Blog