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$1,000,000 Settlement in Medical Malpractice Action Against Occupational Medicine Physicians and ARNPs for Failing to Diagnose Thoracic Disc Herniation

The plaintiff injured his back in a work related accident. As a result he was referred to an occupational medicine clinic. Over the next 3 weeks the plaintiff began to complain of signs and symptoms of a thoracic disc herniation. The clinics physicians and ARNPS failed to appreciate these changes and instead attributed his complaints to a low back strain with a psychological overlay. No investigative studies were ordered. The plaintiff’s condition worsened to the point that he sought care outside the workers compensation system. An MRI revealed a large thoracic disc herniation. Emergency decompression disc surgery was performed. After the surgery the plaintiff ultimately became an incomplete paraplegic. The plaintiff filed suit alleging that the occupational medical clinics physicians and ARNPs who treated him failed to timely diagnose and treat a thoracic disc herniation. The plaintiff further alleged that the delay in diagnosis caused a prolonged thoracic cord compression which caused the incomplete paraplegia. The defendants denied the allegations, argued there was no misdiagnosis and that the plaintiff’s injuries were caused by the negligence of the neurosurgeon. The case settled shortly before trial.