Our law firm recently represented a woman who claimed that an emergency room doctor’s failure to provide prompt treatment for nerve damage caused by a ruptured disk left her permanently incontinent and unable to work. The client, Nicole Hill, is largely confined to a wheelchair and must wear a catheter.
Hill was a 33-year-old certified nursing assistant in 2011, when she went to the emergency room at Houston Medical Center in Warner Robins, complaining about pain in her back, hip and leg. The visit became a two-week ordeal involving four emergency room visits. She was diagnosed with exacerbation of sciatica and the doctors told her to have an MRI done, but she could not, as she was uninsured. She returned to the hospital not long after to complain of more pain, desensitization and incontinence. She was diagnosed with cauda equida syndrome, which is a compression of a nerve at the base of the spine, as well as acute disc herniation. Her emergency surgery led to permanent disabilities.
Hill received several settlement offers before the trial, all the way up to $350,000, but that amount would not have been nearly enough to compensate her for the permanent changes to her life that this surgery brought. We could help Hill argue in court that medical negligence was a cause of her pain, and the jury agreed. She was awarded $5.2 million by the jury, which was reduced to $3.12 million because Hill was found to be 40 percent at fault for her injuries.