When Flower Mound resident Judy “Jessie” Adams visited a pain management physician on March 21, 2019, for an epidural steroid injection, it was with no understanding of how events over the next several hours would forever alter her life.
An accidental nick of a blood vessel during the injection sent her to Texas Health Presbyterian Flower Mound for a neurological emergency – an epidural hematoma. But failures to communicate, coordinate and follow hospital policies turned her trip to the ER into a nightmare of delays. Those delays resulted in permanent paralysis to her lower extremities.
“This case is a timeline case, and what I mean by that is the jury can make a decision on this case just by looking at the timeline,” Lyons told Texas Lawbook. “Our expert said you have a six-hour window from the time of injury until surgery and if you can get it before then, [the patient] improves greatly. But they blew that – she didn’t get into surgery for seven-and-a-half, eight hours.”
Lyons led the team that represented Adams at trial, securing a combined verdict of $10.1 million that included past and future medical expenses and physical impairment, as well as pain and suffering and disfigurement. The trial team also included Lyons & Simmons attorneys Christopher W. Carr, Michael Fechner, and Stephen Higdon.
“This case represents a calamity of delays and institutional failures to follow policies designed for patient safety. Now, Jessie Adams will be forced to live as a paraplegic for the rest of her life – a fate she does not deserve,” said Lyons. “Our hope is this verdict will shine a light on a situation that needs extensive improvement and better leadership, or more people are going to get hurt at this hospital.”
In additional media coverage of the case Lyons described the delays as “unconscionable.”
“Testimony in this case uniformly was this was just an ordinary day, [the hospital staff] wasn’t particularly busy. During the course of the case, we proved to the jury there were 26 separate examples of written policies of the hospital that were not followed for this single patient,” Lyons told Texas Lawyer magazine.
To read more about the $10.1 million verdict Lyons & Simmons secured for Mrs. Adams, read:
Texas Lawbook: Dallas Jury Hits Hospital with $10.1M Verdict in Paralysis Case [Password protected]