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Neck Injury Victim Awarded $2.8 Million

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Franklin County, OHA back and neck injury can be devastating to the injured person, the results from which can carry long-term implications for lifestyle and livelihood. And while one may naturally assume that a back and neck injury is sustained as the result of an accident of some kind, few would contemplate that such an accident could happen at a hospital.

But it can. Case in point is the outcome of a neck injury compensation claim filed by an Ohio man who alleged that excessive force to his neck and body while being treated at the hospital for an unrelated condition caused damage to his cervical spine.

According to The Columbus Dispatch (5/4/13), Michael Dillon alleged he was paralyzed after an employee at Doctors Hospital placed him in a restraint hold while in the emergency room. The plaintiff, age 42, launched a neck injury lawsuit against OhioHealth in June 2010, a year after the alleged incident took place.

The trial, heard by Common Pleas Judge Laurel Beatty, lasted a month. The jury, in a unanimous neck injury compensation verdict, awarded the plaintiff $2.8 million. OhioHealth, the parent company overseeing Doctors Hospital, is expected to appeal the ruling.

The jurors awarded Dillon more than $2 million for past and future medical costs and care, together with $547,000 in damages. The damages, it was reported, will have to be reduced to meet Ohio’s $500,000 cap on damages for medical claims.

The plaintiff had alleged in his back and neck injury lawsuit that the employee responsible for placing Dillon in the restrain was improperly trained. However, the jury rejected the claim, and as a result, no punitive damages were awarded in the case.

“We believe Mr. Dillon’s allegations about what our staff did to restrain him in the ER were inaccurate, and therefore the court’s award is unfair to our clinical staff,” Mark Hopkins, a spokesperson for the hospital group, said in an email to The Columbus Dispatch.

“Although we are sympathetic to Mr. Dillon’s condition, we believe his injuries were self-inflicted and without any negligence on our part.”

The jury award is among the largest monetary awards for medical cases in Franklin County since 1985, according to the report. The largest was a neck injury compensation claim on behalf of an infant who suffered brain damage as the result of a problem with anesthesia prior to surgery. That award, handed down in 2006, was for $17.8 million.

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