CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (CBS4) – A Douglas County has found an ambulatory surgical center negligent and awarded its patient millions of dollars in damages after she was paralyzed following a medical procedure.
In 2013, Robbin and Ed Smith visited The Surgery Center at
Lone Tree to treat Robbin’s back pain. The couple, who live in Castle
Rock, had plans to from Colorado to Missouri for their son’s upcoming wedding.
Doctors recommended an epidural steroid injection, a
procedure Robbin had had before. This time, doctors used a different
drug, Kenalog, one that according to the Smith’s attorney Bruce Braley
contained a warning it could cause serious injury or death if
administered by epidural injection.
The Smiths tell CBS4 they were not told Kenalog was being
used in her injection or warned of its potential effects. They say the
drug caused a in Robbin’s spine. Minutes later, she was paralyzed.
“Our life has changed forever,” Robbin Smith said. “I died that , I completely died that day.”
Robbin spent more than two months in inpatient rehabilitation at Craig . She learned she would never walk again.
Unable to attend her son’s wedding while in rehab, Robbing watched the using FaceTime and an iPad Ed carried down the aisle and with him throughout the reception.
Braley says Kenalog’s maker received FDA approval to add the warning to its
not to use the drug for epidural use in 2011, two years before it was
administered to Robbin. The Smiths say the surgery center should have
known not to use Kenalog for epidural injections.
“I don’t think there’s anyone that I know of that’s going to
say, ‘yeah go ahead, inject me with a drug that’s known to cause
catastrophic neurological damages,’ they didn’t give us that
opportunity, they know better than we do,” Ed Smith said.
Last month, after a two-week long civil trial, a jury in
Douglas County found the surgery center negligent and awarded the Smiths
nearly $15 million in damages. Braley says it’s the second largest
medical negligence verdict in Colorado history. Because of damages caps,
the Smiths say they will likely receive about a third of the award.
“It’s not about the money,” Robbin said. “Give me my legs
back, that will trade for the money, that will completely trade for the
money. Is that going to happen? No.”
The Smiths had been looking forward to traveling, especially
to the beach, Robbin’s favorite destination. Robbin now needs 24/7 care
for the rest of her life. Ed retired early to help care for her. They
say travel is often too difficult to manage.
A representative of the law firm that’s defending the surgery center said Thursday it’s
were not available to comment on the case. They’ve filed a motion to
delay final judgement as they seek to resolve “post-trial motions and
issues” in the case.
Full Article & Source:
Medical Negligence Victim Awarded $15 Million: ‘I Died That Day’