53 year old Victoria Little, of Harford County, MD, walked into the hospital to have surgery wearing four inch heel, but when the surgery was over, she was left a paraplegic unable to walk. Ms. Little underwent a grafting procedure in 2007 for blocked arteries.
Ms. Little filed suit in 2008 claiming that Dr. Rodger Schneider and Dr. Mark Gonze, partners and surgeons of Vascular Surgery Associates, used an improper grafting technique. Plaintiff’s counsel, two good friends of ours, Jim Cardea and Scott Kurlander, argued that the procedure led to blood loss and damage to Ms. Little’s spinal cord, which left her a paraplegic.
The Baltimore Sun reported that after hearing all arguments and nine hours of deliberation, the jury awarded Ms. Little $1.3 million for non-economic damages, $2 million for future medical costs and over $200,00 for prior medical bills.
Attorney for the defendants, E. Phillip Franke, III, claimed that Ms. Little simply had a poor outcome and that her injuries wee not the result of malpractice. The defense is currently reviewing the case for appeal. In light of Maryland’s cap on non-economic damages (e.g. pain and suffering) we expect that in the interim that the award will be reduced.
Harford County has traditionally been viewed as a conservative jurisdiction and not plaintiff-friendly. Well, the good people of Harford County got it right! Congratulations, Scott and Jim!