Nassau County Jury Imposes $5,750,000 Verdict Against Orthopedist For Spinal Injury-Settled At $2M Per High/Low Agreement
On December 28, 2022, a Nassau County jury feeling the holiday spirit found in favor of a 51 year old podiatrist who was injured during an L1-2 lumbar laminectomy procedure performed in July 2018 by orthopedist Fernando Checo, M.D. It was later determined that the plaintiff-podiatrist suffered a dural tear of the spinal cord with a cerebrospinal fluid leak which developed into conus medullaris syndrome and dysesthesia causing bilateral lower extremity weakness. During the course of the subsequent exploratory surgery performed by the orthopedist one month later, the plaintiff suffered a "sacral nerve injury and cauda equina syndrome resulting in fecal incontinence, urinary retention with the need for self catheterization, perianal numbness and erectile dysfunction". The jury awarded a total of $5,750,000 for past/future pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of the quality of life.
Prior to the jury's verdict both sides negotiated a high-low settlement agreement with a high of $2,000,000 which caps plaintiff's recovery at that amount but avoids an appeal. Fortunately, this podiatrist was able to resume his practice. Landy v Checo, 2022 WL 18912975