Florida Woman Awarded $38M In Spinal Surgery Medical Malpractice Suit

A Florida woman was awarded $38 million after a doctor with a history of medical malpractice lawsuits injected the wrong drug into her spine which left her unable to walk and in excruciating pain.

How a sports therapist’s life changed forever

According to an article in the Miami Herald, Amanda Slavin, a former sports therapist, went to Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami for spinal surgery. Her neurosurgeon, Dr. Mario Nanes, operated on her to repair a herniated disk. However, something went wrong and he had to perform another surgery to repair a spinal fluid leak. In doing so, he injected Slavin with methylene blue, a chemical dye, in order to locate the leak. However, the chemical’s packaging, which the hospital’s pharmacy management firm threw away, clearly stated that it should not be used in this type of surgery. As a result, Slavin developed a neurological disability known as arachnoiditis – a debilitating condition characterized by severe stinging and burning pain and neurological problems.

She sued the surgeon, Mount Sinai Medical Center and the hospital's pharmacy management firm – McKesson Medication Management. Although the hospital settled their part of Slavin’s lawsuit for $7 million, Nanes and McKesson decided to take the case to trial – a move they now likely regret.

9th medical malpractice lawsuit against Nanes

A jury awarded Slavin $31 million. It found that the hospital was 18% liable, the pharmacy management firm was 14% liable and the Dr. Nanes was 68% liable. Ironically, this was the 9th medical malpractice claim of Nanes’s career.

In addition, the Florida Department of Health fined Nanes $10,000 – the maximum amount possible – for ''failure to practice medicine with that level of care, skill and treatment which is recognized by a reasonably prudent similar physician as being acceptable under similar conditions” after Slavin reported him. She, and others that Nanes operated on, have said that Nanes’s license should have been revoked years ago.

Medical mistakes happen. That’s just a fact of life. However, when those medical mistakes are caused by someone’s negligence, the law provides that the victim is entitled to compensation. An experienced Florida medical malpractice attorney will be able to evaluate your situation.