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Complex Regional Pain Syndrome claim settled for $2.75 Million

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome claim settled for $2.75 Million

Posted By Russ Purvis || 8-Sep-2013

Venue: Buchanan County Circuit Court

Date: July 2013

Plaintiff's Attorney: James Montee, The Montee Law Firm, P.C., St. Joseph, MO

Caption: Confidential

Defense Attorney: Confidential

Insurer: Confidential

Ankle Fracture Develops Into Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

A Buchanan County, Missouri plaintiff has agreed to a confidential settlement of her personal injury lawsuit for $2,750,000. On September 11, 2009, the plaintiff, age 43, was a passenger in a single vehicle accident. The plaintiff and her husband filed a lawsuit shortly thereafter in Buchanan County Circuit Court.

As a result of the accident, the plaintiff suffered a severe left ankle fracture. She underwent multiple surgeries to her ankle, including open reduction external fixation, irrigation and debridement with the placement of a wound vac, and removal of the implanted hardware. Eight months after the accident, plaintiff complained of hypersensitive pain in her left foot and underwent a neurectomy of her peroneal nerve in the left calf. In November 2011, the plaintiff underwent left ankle fusion.

In December 2010, the plaintiff began pain management treatment and underwent multiple invasive procedures for her left ankle pain, sciatic nerve injury and back pain. Her treatment included lumbar facet injections, left ankle sensory nerve blocks, lumbar medial nerve branch blocks, and SI joint injections. As a result of chronic neuropathic pain, the plaintiff underwent surgery in October 2012 for permanent placement of a spinal cord stimulator.

The plaintiff also claimed that as a result of the accident she developed depression and cognitive impairments. Discovery in the lawsuit examined whether these issues were a result of post-concussion syndrome, chronic pain, or entirely inorganic in nature.

To that end, the plaintiff underwent neuropsychological evaluations on three occasions with invalid results and disputed interpretations. The defendants developed a theme that the plaintiff's claims of cognitive impairment were fabricated or at least exaggerated.

An IME by the defendant's neurologist in December 2012 diagnosed the plaintiff with complex regional pain syndrome type II. The plaintiffs' case then focused on this diagnosis as an explanation for the plaintiff's severe complaints of chronic pain, emotional disturbance, and cognitive problems.

Subsequent to the accident, the plaintiff continued her employment as a teacher's aide. However, the plaintiff claimed that as a result of complex regional pain syndrome she would not be able to continue employment in the future and would be totally disabled as a result of the progressive nature of complex regional pain syndrome.

The plaintiffs' past paid medical bills nearly totaled $300,000. In addition, experts on both sides agreed that the future cost to maintain the spinal cord stimulator, pain management, and prescriptions over the plaintiff's lifetime would exceed $100,000. The plaintiffs' economist claimed a loss of household services of $300,000. After mediation, the plaintiff agreed to a confidential settlement of $2,750,000.

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