The Indiana medical malpractice lawyers of Garau Germano Hanley & Pennington, P.C. recently received a $1.26 million jury verdict in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana in Hammond, Indiana.
The medical malpractice verdict came in the case of Nolan v. Arora, M.D. In July of 2000, Dr. Arora performed a Racz catheter procedure on Patty Nolan. The procedure is a pain management procedure that involves placing a catheter in the epidural space of the spinal canal and injecting a local anesthetic and then hypertonic saline through the catheter to remove scar tissue and, hopefully, ease the patient’s pain.
When Dr. Arora injected the local anesthetic, Mrs. Nolan experienced a profound motor and sensory block. At trial, Mrs. Nolan’s attorneys argued that this should have been a warning sign to the doctor that his catheter was in the subdural space rather than the epidural space. Injections of hypertonic saline into the subdural space could cause serious nerve damage. Rather than terminate the procedure or check the placement of his catheter with fluoroscopy, the doctor left his catheter in place, waited for the blocks to wear off, then had Mrs. Nolan return the following day for an additional injection of anesthetic and the hypertonic saline. Mrs. Nolan then developed acauda equina syndrome resulting in leg weakness and permanent bowel and bladder dysfunction.
The jury entered its verdict on March 19, 2010, at the conclusion of a five-day trial. (Indiana law limits the maximum amount that may be recovered on the jury verdict to $1.25 million.)