Jury Awards $9 Million in Surgical Malpractice Case

A Minnesota jury has awarded a local man $9.1 million for spinal cord damage and paralysis that occurred during surgery.

Joseph Lakoskey alleged that an anesthesiologist left him dangerously dehydrated before surgery at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale to repair a perforated bowel, the Star Tribune reported Saturday. Lakoskey, now 51 and living in Minneapolis, went to the hospital with flu-like symptoms and received fluids for dehydration until doctors found his injury and recommended surgery. But his attorney argued during the trial earlier this month that his treatment for dehydration was halted while he was started on anesthesia an hour before surgery, which caused his blood pressure to drop and his spinal cord to get inadequate blood flow.

Media reports indicate that this jury award is the third largest in the state since 1990. The other malpractice cases involved a $22 million settlement for inadequate monitoring by a nurse in 2000, and an $11 million settlement involving a catastrophic birth injury to a baby.