When former Minnesota auto mechanic Joseph Lakoskey entered North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale in 2012 to treat flu-like symptoms, he never imagined that he would emerge with permanent spinal cord damage and paralysis.
The flu-like symptoms turned out to be a perforated bowel requiring surgery. Lakoskey’s attorney alleged that anesthesiologists working for Anesthesiology P.A. interrupted his pre-surgery treatment for dehydration. This dual physiologic burden, it was argued, led to dangerously low blood pressure and a lowered blood flow to Mr. Lakoskey’s spinal cord, resulting in paralysis.
A Hennepin County jury award, unusual in Minnesota where the top 50 awards in the National Practitioner Data Bank were from out-of-court settlements, awarded Mr. Lakoskey $9.1 million. The plaintiff’s counsel told local press that Lakoskey’s legal team believed that jurors were sympathetic to Lakoskey’s desire to resume physical therapy, improve his mobility, and compensate for having lost his Brooklyn Park auto repair facility.
It was unclear whether Anesthesiology P.A., which provided anesthesia services for North Memorial Medical Center, would appeal the verdict.
Ann Latner, JD, a former criminal defense attorney, is a freelance medical writer in Port Washington, N.Y.