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Medical malpractice case results in $2.5M settlement 

By: David Baugher//March 6, 2023

Medical malpractice case results in $2.5M settlement 

By: David Baugher//March 6, 2023

A $2.5 million settlement has concluded the medical malpractice case of a man who claimed injury from late diagnosis of spinal abscesses.  

“No staff had an explanation as to why the orders for the MRIs were discontinued the following day,” said Danny Henderson of Parker Law which represented the plaintiff along with Bert “Skip” Utsey of Clawson Fargnoli Utsey.  

According to a summary of the case from Utsey’s office, imaging of the cervical and thoracic spine were ordered upon arrival of the man at the emergency room but they were delayed “without valid explanation”.  

“Despite the client’s continued neurological decline, no MRIs were obtained until the following Tuesday and only after the plaintiff had lost all sensation in and the ability to move his lower extremities,” said the summary which noted the potential for abscesses was eventually diagnosed by the man’s personal cardiologist during a visit to the hospital.  

The summary said that emergency MRIs confirmed the problem and the patient was treated with spinal decompression and intensive rehabilitation however he was left mostly confined to a power chair with only minimal ability to walk.  

Henderson described his 68-year-old as being active with his business, church and community.  

“Unfortunately, most of that came to a screeching halt when he had this event,” he said.  

Utsey said there were some contentions over the size of the suggested life care plan however there was little dispute over the extent of injury. Some of the argument came over how much those injuries might have been prevented by timely imaging.  

“There is a period of time within which you need to act in order to preserve nerve function and there is some debate in the medical community on what that duration is and how quickly you need to act,” Utsey said in a separate interview. “That was another issue there as to whether intervention at the point in time where we said they should have gotten the MRI and followed up with the necessary surgery could have been done quickly enough to preserve some neurological function that he ultimately lost.” 

Henderson said the treating physician was used as an expert in the plaintiff’s case. 

“We knew that he was going to be a witness,” he said, “so rather than finding an expert in the traditional manner, we decided to go to this doctor who very graciously and thankfully proved to be a very good patient advocate and made an extraordinary witness on deposition.”  

Utsey’s summary said the plaintiff introduced evidence that a better outcome was possible. 

“The neurosurgeon who decompressed the client’s spine testified that, if he had had an opportunity to operate on the plaintiff several days earlier, he believed the plaintiff would be walking today,” it said.  

Under the terms of the settlement, which also covered his spouse’s loss of consortium claim, the names of the parties were kept confidential.


Amount: $2.5 million 

Injuries alleged: Partial confinement to a wheelchair 

Case name: Confidential 

Venue: Confidential 

Case No.: Confidential 

Date of settlement: Confidential 

Most helpful experts: Confidential 

Insurance carrier: Confidential 

Attorneys for plaintiff: Daniel “Danny” Henderson of Parker Law Group, (Ridgeland); Bert “Skip” Utsey of Clawson Fargnoli Utsey, (Charleston) 

Attorney for defendant: Confidential 


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