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Severed Spinal Nerve from Botched Surgery Nets NY Prisoner $118,000

A New York prisoner who suffered a severed spinal accessory nerve during a medical procedure was awarded $118,000.

Mr. Soltis was a New York prisoner in his mid-40s when he underwent an excisional lymph node biopsy. During the surgery, Soltis's spinal accessory nerve was severed, causing his trapezius muscle to atrophy, and chronic pain and stiffness in the left shoulder and neck.

Soltis sued in state court, alleging that the surgeon failed to take adequate precautions to protect the spinal nerve, and that his injury was not a risk of the biopsy. "The court found that the surgeon deviated from accepted medical practice in performing the biopsy." It also found that although Soltis "is permanently impaired, the impairment is not disabling." In February, 1992, Soltis was awarded $118,000 for past pain and suffering. See: Soltis v. New York, NY Ct. of Claims, Case No. 77884 (1992 WL 12043604).

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Related legal case

Soltis v. New York,