Spinal surgery unnecessary, malpractice suit claims

Kelly Holleran Mar. 2, 2011, 9:00am

Because of repeated spinal surgeries, a Hardin County woman claims she has sustained severe infections and been forced to endure excruciating pain.

None of the pain the woman experienced would have been necessary had her doctor properly treated her, according to recently filed court documents.

Janice McDaniel, and her husband, William, filed a lawsuit Feb. 25 in Jefferson County District Court against Lauren Shrontz, executrix of the estate of Dr. Carl E. Shrontz.

The suit claims McDaniel was admitted to Memorial Hermann Baptist Beaumont Hospital on Dec. 19, 2008, where she was treated by Dr. Shrontz. The doctor told her she had suffered a complete disk collapse of certain segments of her spine, according to the original complaint.

Because of Dr. Shrontz's diagnosis, McDaniel elected to undergo a multilevel lumbar fusion surgery with implantation of hardware -- a surgery she alleges should not have been performed. Because of the unnecessary surgery, McDaniel had to undergo repeated hospitalizations and surgery because of infections that cropped up, the suit states.

After the surgeries, McDaniel visited a board-certified neurosurgeon, who told her that she had not suffered from a complete collapse of portions of her spine, the complaint says. In fact, most of McDaniel's injuries are associated with her diabetes and prior wound infections from spine surgeries Dr. Shrontz performed, the McDaniels claim.

McDaniel claims she lost earnings and her earning capacity; experienced physical pain, mental anguish and physical impairment; and lost her consortium, according to the complaint.

In their complaint, the McDaniels are seeking actual profits, plus pre- and post-judgment interest at the maximum rate, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Jay Harvey of Winckler and Harvey in Austin will be representing them.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. E189-459

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