Spinal Surgery Malpractice Lawsuit Result in $45M Verdict Over Paralyzation, Death

A New York jury has awarded $45.6 million to the family of a man who was paralyzed due to alleged medical malpractice during a spinal surgery when he was a teenager, which ultimately led to his death eight years later.

The wrongful death lawsuit was brought by Michael Beloyianis and Virginia Beaton against New York Presbyterian Children’s Hospital in Manhattan, as well as Dr. David P. Roye, Jr., the director of pediatric orthopedic surgery. The case stemmed from the death of their son, Edward Beloyianis, who died in 2010 due to complications from paralysis he was left with following a spine operation.

According to allegations raised at trial, Beloyianis was paralyzed from the waist down by the misplacement of four screws during spinal surgery in 2002, which were meant to help fix his scoliosis. Following the operation, Beloyianis lived for eight years, went to college and worked in computer repairs until complications from the medical mistake caused his death, the family claimed.

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A Bronx jury agreed, and last week awarded his parents $45.6 million, including $40 million solely for pain and suffering. The jury split responsibility for the medical malpractice claims between the doctor and the hospital.

Originally, according the parents’ complaint, the hospital told the family that Edward, 14 at the time of the operation, had a stroke during the spinal procedure. The hospital also claimed that it conducted a CT scan and found no spinal cord injury linked to the surgery.

However, the plaintiffs claimed that there was never any CT scan performed. The lawsuit claimed that the scan would have found the screws out of position and pressing against his spinal cord. The lawsuit claimed that if the problem had been caught and corrected early enough, it could have allowed Beloyianis to regain some mobility.

The hospital has indicated that it plans to appeal the verdict, maintaining that the jury could not have come to its decision based on the law and the facts of the case.

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