A jury in Minnesota sided with former auto mechanic Joseph Lakoskey who sued his anesthesiologists after suffering spinal cord damage and paralysis in a 2012 surgery. Attorneys for Lakoskey contended that an anesthesiologist left him dangerously dehydrated before surgery at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale.

Lakoskey now lives in Minneapolis. He originally went to the hospital with flu like symptoms and received fluids for dehydration until doctors found a perforated bowel and recommended surgery.

What happened next changed his life forever.

His attorney convinced the jury that his treatment for dehydration was halted while he was started on anesthesia an hour before surgery, which caused his blood pressure to drop and his spinal cord to get inadequate blood flow.

The attorneys for Anesthesiology P.A., the private practice that provides anesthesia services at the hospital, denied that that was the cause of Lakoskey’s injury.

“Joe Lakoskey wants nothing more than to have his life and ability to walk back,” attorney Brandon Thompson said in a statement. “This verdict will provide him with the resources he needs to live as independent a life as possible.”

The amount of the judgement was among the larest amout ever awarded in a Minnesota malpractice suit.

According to the National Practitioner Data Bank, that lists only two larger awards since 1990 involving licensed Minnesota practitioners — a $22 million settlement for inadequate monitoring by a nurse in 2000, and an $11 million settlement involving a catastrophic birth injury to a baby.

Meanwhile Lakoskey will resume intensive therapy to try an rehabilitate his life and his legs. The rehab was stopped when the insurance finding ran out. He said he hopes money from the lawsuit will allow him to replace his broken-down wheelchair and resume therapy.

Bottom line 

Of course no amount of money can offset the loss of use of your legs. Damage awards like these are not common, but the right law firm can make all the difference. If you feel like you have been the victim of medical malpractice, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.


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