NY Jury Awards Paralyzed Bronx Man $19.2M In Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

A New York jury has awarded a Bronx man $19.2 million in a medical malpractice lawsuit after doctors at Montefiore Medical Center failed to diagnose a spinal cord infection which led to permanent paralysis. The doctors' and the hospital's negligence was blatant – and the plaintiff's lawyer has said that the man's injuries might have been avoided had an MRI or CAT scan been done sooner.

Doctors ignored patient

This New York medical malpractice lawsuit involves 58 year old Wilfredo Figueroa. According to news reports, Figueroa was a radiology technician who was taken to Montefiore Medical Center, the university hospital for the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, complaining of severe back pain. Like anyone admitted to a hospital, Figueroa expected that doctors would do the right thing. Unfortunately, they didn't. In fact, they basically ignored him.

Instead of conducting an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) test or a CAT (Computed Tomography) scan right away to diagnose Figueroa's source of pain, doctors waited two weeks. Had they acted more quickly, they would have discovered that Figueroa had a spinal abscess, or spinal cord injury. The delay in diagnosis resulted in permanent paralysis from the chest down.

Med mal lawsuit filed

Figueroa filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital and the doctors who were involved in his treatment and a jury awarded him $19.2 million in damages. While most of that will likely go towards his future medical care, some of it will go towards building wheelchair access ramps and widening doorways to accommodate his wheelchair at his home – where he has not been able to live with his family for the past five years.

Other NY medical malpractice awards

Unfortunately, situations like Figueroa's happen all the time. Here are some other recent New York medical malpractice verdicts and settlements:

  • $77.4 million verdict against St. John's Riverside Hospital. Doctors at a New York hospital failed to monitor a pregnant woman's fetal strip readings and did not perform an emergency Caesarian section in time to avoid catastrophic injury to her newborn. He is now blind, continues to suffer from constant seizures, has cerebral palsy, severe developmental delays and requires feeding through a tube. A jury awarded the family $77.4 million in damages..
  • $60 million verdict against Bronx NY Plastic Surgeon. A botched plastic surgery operation in which a doctor failed to use proper surgical techniques in a thigh lift procedure left a New York woman permanently deformed. A jury awarded her $60 million in damages.
  • $10 million verdict against Queens Hospital. Emergency medical staff at New York's Queens Hospital left a woman waiting in the emergency room for over two hours with a fractured skull. She now suffers from permanent neurological damage and needs a full time nurse as she cannot care for herself. A jury awarded her $10 million in damages.

If you've been injured due to medical malpractice, it's important to understand that you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in New York is generally 2 ½ years, with some exceptions. Speak with an experienced attorney about your situation to determine whether medical malpractice may have been the cause of your injuries.