Failure to Diagnose and Treat Cauda Equina Syndrome
Lovenstein and Frye v. David Adler, M.D., Multnomah County Case No. 16CV23478
Plaintiff Lovenstein went to the hospital on December 1, 2015, with severe, radiating back pain. He was able to urinate and was neurologically intact. He was evaluated and discharged on December 2, 2015. He returned to the emergency room on December 3, 2015, unable to feel or use his left leg. Defendant, Dr. Adler, was the on-call neurosurgeon. He did not come to the hospital to evaluate Lovenstein but scheduled surgery for the next day. By the time surgery began the next day Lovenstein was retaining urine and had decreased rectal tone. Lovenstein claimed that the delay in care caused him to develop full-blown cauda-equina syndrome resulting in paralysis. He sought $178,728 for past medical expenses, $1,036,823 for future medical costs, $172,714 for lost wages, $512,565 for future lost income and $1,900,830 for non-economic damages. Lovenstein’s wife sought $500,000 for lost consortium.
Defendant Adler argued that the symptoms Lovenstein presented at the hospital on December 3, 2015, were not consistent with complete cauda-aquina syndrome and nonetheless, his surgery was done timely as surgery within 24-48 hours offers similar outcomes.
Plaintiff’s Counsel – Stephen Hendricks
Defense Counsel – Dennis Percell and Jeffrey Street
Verdict – Defense Verdict
Date – October 4, 2018