In February 2018, the Texas Supreme Court overturned the dismissal of a nerve damage lawsuit, which was dismissed by the court of appeals citing an expert report was deficient. After a lengthy process of moving between courts, the Supreme Court has remanded the Texas woman’s case to trial court, where hopefully, she will finally find resolution.
Nerve Damage Lawsuit Information
In March 2011, a Texas woman underwent surgery to correct a cataract in her left eye. Her procedure was held at the Surgery Center of Waxahachie. Prior to the procedure, retrobulbar anesthesia was administered – a type of anesthesia that is administered behind the eyeball. According to the lawsuit, the certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) that performed the procedure inserted the needle into her optic nerve, which resulted in permanent nerve damage and blindness in the patient’s left eye.
The patient filed a lawsuit claiming that the CRNA was negligent. After the first attempt at anesthesia failed, the CRNA tried again, which resulted in the injuries. The lawsuit named the CRNA and her employer, Complete Anesthesia Care, P.C. as defendants, claiming that the employer was vicariously liable for the CRNA’s actions. The patient included an expert report in the lawsuit, which was found to be deficient, but was amended to correct the issues.
Still, the trial court dismissed the case. The patient filed an appeal, but the lower court’s ruling was upheld. It was stated that the expert report failed to “specify what actions, procedures, or treatment was either required or should have been performed or provided… in order to avoid inserting a needle into the optic nerve”. The case then went to the Texas Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court reversed the lower court’s decision stating that the report did adequately explain how the standard of care was breached during the retrobulbar block procedure. The court found that the report exhibited a good-faith effort in summarizing the relationship between the defendant’s failing to meet the standard of care and the injuries the patient suffered. The Supreme Court also noted that the expert report included alternative methods that could have been used after the first failed anesthesia attempt.
After years of battling nerve damage and blindness, the patient may finally find some resolution as the case will once again be sent to the trial court. Cases like this one highlight just how complex medical malpractice lawsuits can be, and how sometimes, they must move between various courts before being resolved.
If you have questions about nerve damage lawsuits, medical malpractice, or your legal rights as a patient, contact Brown & Brothers to speak with one of our attorneys. Nerve damage is an unfortunate yet common result of medical malpractice or negligence. Don’t wait to find out more.
Nerve Damage and Medical Malpractice
Nerve damage may be listed as a potential risk when you undergo certain procedures. Even so, it is the responsibility of healthcare providers to do everything in their power to preserve your health, and your legal rights. That means that all healthcare providers should operate within the standards of care, and should be diligent in identifying risks and alternatives to ensure patient safety.
While nerve damage can be caused by a variety of factors, the most common causes of nerve damage by healthcare provider negligence include:
- Drug injection injuries
- Improper anesthesia administration
- Compression of nerves during treatment
- Stretching or traction of nerves during treatment
- Laceration of nerves during surgical procedures
Nerve damage can result in a wide variety of complications, and depending on how severe it is, it could have a permanent affect on your life. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may be experiencing the side effects of nerve damage:
- Muscle weakness
- Loss of feeling or sensitivity
- Drop foot (inability to lift the front part of your foot, or toe dragging)
Treating these symptoms can range from medications to physical therapy, surgery to life-long therapies or treatments. Treatment options can be expensive, and may require assistive aids like braces or even a wheelchair. In some cases, the effects are so detrimental that you may be permanently disabled.
What to do after a Nerve Damage Injury
Nerve damage can have a dramatic impact on your life, health, and productivity. When nerve damage is caused by the negligence of a healthcare provider, you also have the added emotions of anger, frustration, and anxiety about the future. As a patient, you have certain legal rights, and should not feel like you do not have options.
You likely have many concerns and questions about how to proceed after a nerve damage injury, including:
- How will I pay for treatment?
- How will my family be affected?
- What should I do if my injury was caused by a healthcare provider’s negligence?
- Can I sue a healthcare provider for causing my injuries?
Get the answers to these, and any other questions you may have, by contacting Brown & Brothers. Our attorneys have valuable knowledge and experience in all sorts of medical malpractice claims, including nerve damage lawsuits. To schedule your free case evaluation, or to ask questions, fill out our online form.