A 43-year-old man and his wife have reportedly filed a $15 million Iowa medical malpractice claim with the Iowa State Appeal Board, alleging that his brain stem was punctured by an ENT performing unnecessary surgery, thereby requiring extensive rehabilitation and resulting in permanent cognitive changes, memory loss, changes in personality, emotional changes, fatigue, muscle weakness, speech problems, loss of balance, and other neurological issues.
The man was 41-years-old in 2018 when he sought treatment from an ENT who was the Chair of the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics (“UIHC”), for tinnitus and some hearing loss in his right ear. It was determined that the man had a non-cancerous tumor on his nerve leading from his inner inner to his brain. The plaintiffs’ Iowa medical malpractice claim alleges that the standard of care was to monitor the tumor because he was not having neurological problems at that time from the tumor. Instead, the ENT recommended and performed surgery on December 21, 2018 to remove the tumor.
The plaintiffs’ medical malpractice claim alleges that the ENT performed a craniotomy without the assistance of a neurosurgeon and without properly immobilizing the man’s head during which the ENT negligently operated a retractor that punctured the man’s brain stem. The plaintiffs further assert that the man’s ventilation tube was removed too early after surgery. The man did not adequately emerge from anesthesia and when he did emerge, he was paralyzed. A post-surgical CT scan found that his brain stem had been injured.
The plaintiffs allege that the man was healthy and had a successful real estate company before the surgery. Now, he cannot live independently and his wife takes care of him. He does not have full function of the left side of his body. He has problems with balance and coordination.
The Gazette reported on August 10, 2020: “Settlements involving medical malfeasance, discrimination and other missteps or mistakes by state employees or agencies drove fiscal 2020 victim payouts approved by the State Appeal Board to the highest level in five years. While settlements and judgments paid by the state approached $15 million, board officials note that more than a third of the total — $5.3 million — was due to a reconciliation with the University of Iowa Physicians group to pay back money it was owed by the state in splitting medical malpractice costs under a cooperative agreement … The UI Physicians’ reimbursement warrant issued last week covered settlements above a $9 million annual limit outlined in the agreement created to protect and defend UI Health Care employees from medical malpractice claims. According to the state board, UI Physicians — the state’s largest medical and surgical group practice, with more than 1,000 UI Carver College of Medicine physicians who serve as the UIHC medical staff — surpassed the settlement cap on settlement payments and attorney fees for the first time since the state-UI cooperative program began decades ago. A dozen settlements involving the UI physicians group over the last budget year totaled $13.1 million, plus another $1.2 million in attorney fees, totaling $14.3 million in payouts for the year, according State Appeal Board documents.”
If you or a loved one may have been harmed as a result of medical malpractice in Iowa or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find an Iowa medical malpractice lawyer, or a medical malpractice lawyer in your state, who may investigate your medical negligence claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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