Nurse’s Medication Error Renders Woman Quadriplegic — Hospital Settles for over $4.6 Million

A 40-year-old Thornhill woman was given medication in error, which rendered her quadriplegic – after she had brain surgery in an Toronto, Ontario hospital to correct a previous condition. The plaintiffs recovered over $4.6 million in compensation.

The plaintiff began to suffer severe headaches and underwent a CT brain scan. The scan showed the presence of an aneurysm and that she had suffered a small stroke. The headaches persisted over the next year. During this time period, the woman considered a series of investigations and treatment plans to determine the best course of action to treat her aneurysm. In the course of her investigation, she attended numerous hospitals and met with various doctors across North America.

Approximately a year after discovering the brain aneurysm, a surgical procedure was conducted on the injured plaintiff’s brain. Her surgery was carried out properly. However, a few days after the surgery, complications arose and the injured plaintiff was prescribed a dose of medication to help correct them. Unfortunately, the nurse administering the medication was negligent and did not pay attention to the doctor’s orders. As a result, the plaintiff was given 3 times the dosage of medication that should have been administered. What makes this error even more disturbing is that prior to her surgery, the nurses and doctors were aware that she was highly sensitive to this medication and therefore, extra care should have been undertaken.

Following the medication dosage error, her condition immediately began to deteriorate and she went into a coma. The medication error rendered her quadriplegic and she also suffered from significant brain injury (including suffering from seizures) and depression once she awoke from the coma. As a result of the negligence of the nurse who made the medication error, the injured plaintiff subsequently required 24-hour care, as she was rendered completely dependent on others for all aspects of daily living.

Sommers Roth & Elmaleh Professional Corporation has over 40 years of experience in medical malpractice litigation in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Ontario, and across Canada.

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The above information is not legal advice. Past results of cases and recoveries by our medical malpractice lawyers against hospitals, doctors, midwives, nurses and other healthcare professionals are not necessarily indicative of future results. The amounts recovered and other litigation outcomes will vary according to the facts in individual cases.