July 5, 2021

An Alabama neurosurgeon who was charged with manslaughter in the death of a third-year medical student is now being sued for medical malpractice for allegedly performing the wrong brain surgery on his patient. The patient died four days after the wrong brain surgery.

The patient had reportedly consented to the biopsy and debulking of his left frontal lobe brain tumor but the neurosurgeon reportedly performed a bilateral craniotomy during which he removed the tumor that he later described as extremely vascular and hemorrhagic. The Alabama medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit alleges: “At some point later in time, Dr. Nakhla realized he performed the wrong surgery and either he himself crossed through the original disclosure to alter it to read “Bifrontal Craniotomy for Resection of Tumor” or directed someone else to do so.”

The Alabama medical malpractice wrongful death Complaint further alleges: “Considering the circumstances giving rise to Mr. Metzger’s death, on or about December 11, 2018 Defendants knew, or reasonably should have known, that litigation was probable. Therefore, Defendants had a duty to not suppress, alter, or destroy material evidence favorable to the Plaintiff. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants breached this duty and severely prejudiced the Plaintiff by creating late entries into the medical record, altering the medical record to support the Defendants’ defenses, destroying telemetry monitoring information specific to Mr. Metzger, deleting blood pressure readings, destroying nurse monitoring information which would show the location of the nurses caring for and assigned to Mr. Metzger, and/or by deleting, destroying, or creating other entries and documents concerning Mr. Metzger. Plaintiff further alleges that the destroyed evidence was relevant to the facts and circumstances of this case, the allegations in this Complaint, and the care provided to Mr. Metzger.”


The Alabama neurosurgeon was charged in August 2020 with manslaughter after the then 26-year-old was driving his sports car at more than 130 miles per hour in a 45 miles per hour zone, with a blood alcohol level above the legal limit, when he swerved to avoid another car, causing his car to roll multiple times. The impact killed his passenger, who was a 24-year-old third-year medical student at the time. Soon after the manslaughter charge was filed, the neurosurgeon was fired from his job. He surrendered his Alabama medical license in September 2020.

The neurosurgeon was a graduate of Duke University School of Medicine and became licensed in Alabama in 2018. He interned in neurologic surgery at Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Health System in New York City after which he had fellowships at both Einstein and Weill Cornell Medical College/New York–Presbyterian Hospital. He was a junior attending neurosurgeon at Brown University’s Lifespan Health System.


If you or a loved one may have been injured (or worse) as a result of medical negligence in Alabama or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find an Alabama medical malpractice lawyer, or a medical malpractice lawyer in your state, who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.

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