Botched Spinal Surgery Blamed for Permanent Injury
1-17-2019 01:07:00

PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) -  A man has permanent neurological impairments after a Kaiser surgeon injured his spinal cord during surgery, according to a Multnomah County Circuit Court lawsuit.

Robert A. Wayland sues Northwest Permanente, P.C. and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, Inc. for medical malpractice. 

In April 2017, Robert Wayland had spinal surgery at a Kaiser facility to decompress his spinal canal and stabilize his cervical vertebrae. According to the action, his spinal cord was injured during the surgery, and the decompression and removal of a large bone spur were not achieved. 

When he awoke from the surgery, Wayland found that he “was partially paralyzed below the neck, with diminished sensation throughout his body,” the suit states.

Following long and intensive rehabilitation, he has regained some neurologic function but is still significantly impaired. He has quadriparesis, or muscle weakness throughout all four limbs, Horner’s Syndrome, which affects the nerves to the face causing eyelid droop and sinking of the eyeball into the cavity, and Brown-Sequard Syndrome, which causes weakness on one side of the body and numbness on the other, among other neurologic impairments, the suit states.

Because the surgery did not decompress his spinal canal or remove the “significant osteophyte,” (bone spur), he still needs additional spinal surgery, “but the risks of such surgery are great,” according to the action.

Wayland seeks $2.6 million in economic damages for medical costs, and lost earning capacity, and $10 million in non-economic damages for pain, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and continuing neurologic deficits and function, as well as legal costs.

The plaintiff is represented by Robert S. Wagner and David K. Miller of Miller & Wagner, LLP in Portland, Oregon.