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Neurosurgeon Medical Malpractice Case Settlement: Benefits 7.5 Million Dollars

I am pleased to report that a settlement was just reached in New York medical malpractice case against Brooklyn's, Kings County Hospital with benefits to a sixteen year girl which will total over 7.5 Million Dollars. My partner, Shana De Caro and myself were the lawyers for this victim of neurosurgery medical malpractice.

At age 12, Gabrielle was admitted to Kings County Hospital for a shunt revision because she had a form of hydrocephalus (an accumulation of fluid in the ventricles of the brain) known as a Arnold Chiari Malformation. This was a birth related condition.  The shunt revision should have been a routine surgical procedure but unfortunately, the junior resident who was inserting the new shunt missed the ventricle and stuck a major artery in her brain causing a massive brain hemorrhage (bleeding into her brain) leading to brain swelling and resulting in coma.  Gabrielle remained in a non responsive coma for one year when she was discharged from the hospital and returned home to be cared for by her mother.  At home, she emerged from her coma and is now aware of her surroundings and able to communicate.  She still requires full time assistance.

Shunts routinely need to be replaced in children or adults with hydrocephalus because they fail to Jackson_ex1_bw__vsb_ operate for many reasons including the growth of the child, becoming clogged or because of infections.  The replacement of a shunt while a simple neurosurgery procedure carries a high risk of complication if not performed properly.  Our medical malpractice lawsuit charged that the neurosurgeons failed to properly read her CT scans before bringing her to the operating room and in the operating room chose an improper location for the insertion of the new shunt.  What the surgeons decided to do was reposition the new shunt in a different ventricle then the shunt they were removing.  This new procedure increased the risk of missing the ventricle and striking a blood vessel because this new ventricle was smaller then the ventricle originally used and thus a smaller target. The angle (trajectory) used by the neurosurgeon to insert the shunt was also improper and caused the neurosurgeon to miss the ventricle and strike the anterior medial artery.  Additionally we argued that after two failed attempts by the junior resident to insert the shunt, the procedure should have been aborted or at least the third attempt should have been made by the most senior neurosurgeon in the operating room.

While no amount of money will bring our client back to her former level of functioning, hopefully the funds recovered on her behalf will improve the quality of her life, allow her family to provide around the clock quality care and insure a safe and secure future for her.



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