Second surgery on spine caused by defective spine hardware, patient sues

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Jul. 19, 2010, 6:31am

MARSHALL-A Texas resident has filed a lawsuit after her doctors had to perform a second surgery on her spine to remove and replace defective hardware.

Accusing the manufacturer of negligence and strict liability, Shelley P. Dobmeier filed suit against Seaspine and Children's Spine Foundation on July 2 in Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

Dobmeier underwent the initial surgical procedure for anterior posterior fusion on July 17, 2008. Her surgery included implantation of spinal hardware used in the fusion of her spine. The second surgery occurred on Oct. 29, 2008, with her doctors removing the "failed and defective hardware."

According to the complaint, Dobmeier states that the hardware was not designed to withstand the torque loads of daily life, support load limits of daily life or withstand the stress and strain associated with the designated location of the screws used for its fixation.

Further, she claims the implant hardware failed to maintain its structural integrity and upon its failure it disintegrated into fragments and therefore failed to perform its intended purpose of fusing the two vertebra it was attached to.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for physical injury, physical impairment, physical pain and suffering, mental and emotional anguish, economic damages, medical expenses and loss of earning capacity, interest and court costs.

Dobmeier is represented by Plano attorneys David A. Schiller and John D. Exline of The Schiller Firm. Jury trial requested.

U.S. District Judge T. John Ward is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10cv00220

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