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Patient accuses doctor of causing nerve damage with epidural

A woman hospitalized for severe back pain has accused her physician of causing nerve damage when he administered an epidural injection for pain management. The treatment occurred in 2015 and the case is scheduled to begin in May of 2019.

The patient has accused the physician of failing to follow the accepted standard of care when he allegedly did not reach out to other professionals in the field before administering the injection. This failure, the patient contends, contributed to the development of cauda equina syndrome. As a result, she claims she will have permanent nerve damage.

The physician and his employer have countered that the treatment was appropriate and in the patient’s best interest.

Although we do not yet know the fate of this medical professional’s case, lessons from the case that apply to any physician facing similar accusations include:

  • These cases take time. State law generally provides a statute of limitations to these types of cases. This law results in a limited time period for a patient to make a claim against a physician. However, once the patient has made the claim it can take time for the case to move forward. This case is the result of an event that occurred four years ago and yet the physician is still battling the allegations.
  • The court will require professional testimony. In most cases, these types of allegations will require the use of expert testimony. Other experts in the field will review the facts of the case to determine if the medical professional accused of the crime was conducting themselves within the accepted standard of care.