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Defense Verdict for Neurosurgeon in Case Involving a Fracture of a Cervical Allograft

February 20, 2015

A woman in her mid-fifties with a history of cervical disc disease had a prior fusion of two vertebrae in her neck at the C5-6 level, employing hardware. Our client, an experienced neurosurgeon, detected a further problem at the C3-4 level, and fused that level, without hardware, using an allograft. A month later, the allograft fractured requiring a major operation with subsequent neurological sequella. The plaintiffs alleged that it was negligent to fuse at a higher level leaving an unprotected space in between two fused areas, and that was what led to the fracture and subsequent problems. The jury unanimously accepted the defense position that the defendant neurosurgeon exercised proper judgment, and the unfortunate result was simply a known complication of the procedure. MC&B trial partner was Anthony M. Sola, assisted by Michael A. Sonkin. (New York State Supreme Court, New York County).

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