A Cook County jury awarded more than $7.88 million to the estate of a woman who died after suffering complications from a nerve block procedure.
The verdict came in plaintiff, Terry Arient’s wrongful death and negligence case, which alleged his wife Kathy’s pain physician incorrectly performed an unnecessary procedure without possessing the proper privileges to do so.
“Needle placement is important in the procedure because physicians could damage nerves around the spinal cord as well as the arteries that supply oxygen to it”, said Robert J. Napleton, a partner at Motherway & Napleton. Robert J. Napleton and Bradley Z. Schulman represented Arient’s estate.
Arient became paralyzed shortly after the procedure and remained in that condition until she died 20 months later in June 2014.
He alleged Yasser Alhaj-Hussein, M.D. was negligent for performing the pain-management procedure without first trying more conservative treatments, like a fentanyl patch or intrathecal spinal pump; failing to properly place the needle; and failing to possess the proper privileges that would have allowed Alhaj-Hussein to inject absolute alcohol.
After three hours of deliberation, the jury awarded Arient’s estate $684,761 for her necessary medical care and treatment, $1.5 million for her disability, $200,000 for disfigurement, $1.5 million for pain and suffering, $3 million for loss of society and $1 million for grief, sorrow and mental suffering.
The case is Terry Arient v. Yasser Alhaj-Hussein, M.D., et al. 12 L 14249.