Settlement Amount:  $1,000,000

 

 

 

Facts:

Plaintiff was involved in a freeway accident and sustained spinal personal injuries that required epidural injections.  Approximately a year and three months after the motor vehicle accident, Plaintiff receives a Kenalog lumbar epidural injections and subsequently had a severe hemorrhage to his left cerebral hemisphere that changed his ability to walk, use his arms, work, function in everyday life as he was no longer able to walk straight, speak clearly, or function normally.

 

Plaintiff’s Contentions:

Plaintiff contends that the mechanism for the hemorrhagic stroke was the Kenalog entering the baston’s plexus that caused an embolic stroke caused by the passage of the large particulate matter in the Kenalog directly into the posterior fossa producing a cerebellar lobe stroke which gradually enlarged and actually infarcted the brain stem, the pons, and the medulla, and likely the vermis as well.

The cerebral atrophy and hemorrhage to Plaintiff’s left cerebral hemisphere was caused by ta subsequent epidural injection, which was prescribed due to the pain caused by the subject accident.  Subsequently, Plaintiff had frequent visits to the emergency room due to his medical complications.

Since there was evidence of “left cerebral lobe hemorrhage” in subsequent CT Scan and no evidence of prior strokes, “white matter disease,” or “small vessel occlusive involvement,” the Kenalog epidural injection, Ignacio’s headaches and cerebral hemorrhage, (which slowly developed into a hemorrhagic stroke)  were not mere coincidences caused by a pre-existing “complication,” but rather, the epidural injection directly resulted in Ignacio’s life-altering hemorrhagic stroke, as explained by Plaintiff’s expert.

Where plaintiff’s injury is attributable to multiple defendants and/or multiple causes, plaintiff need not prove probability (i.e., more than 50% chance) between the injury and each individual defendant or cause. Having established a prima facie case of duty, breach and resulting injury, plaintiff need only prove that each defendant or cause was a substantial factor in producing the injury. “Clearly, where a defendant’s negligence is a concurring cause of an injury, the law regards it as a legal cause of the injury, regardless of the extent to which it contributes to the injury.” Espinosa v. Little Co. of Mary Hosp. (1995) 31 CA4th 1304, 1317–1318, 37 CR2d 541, 549 (bolded, with emphasis in original); CACI 431; BAJI 3.77.

 

Defendant’s Contentions:

Defendant Expert’s opinion of the cause of Plaintiffs’ stroke is mentioned to most likely be caused by an arteriosclerotic complication of his general medical problems.

In addition, Defense expert endocrinologist was of the opinion that Plaintiff’s hemorrhagic stroke stems from uncontrolled diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and possible hypercoagulable state that generally gets worse over time, and complications ensue after ten to twelve years of uncontrolled diabetes.

 

Result:

Plaintiff was rewarded a settlement of  $1,000,000