Woman's suit claims doctor botched spinal cord injection

Kelly Holleran Aug. 27, 2012, 8:00am

A woman claims she sustained a severe spinal cord injury after a doctor gave her an injection into the wrong place in her back.

Sherry Kay Stinnett filed a lawsuit Aug. 6 in Jefferson County District Court against Spine Associates of Houston, Spine Associates of Texas, Francis Spine Associates, Dr. James A. Cain and Dr. Richard Francis. Stinnett's husband, Barney, is also a plaintiff.

The complaint states that Stinnett arrived at Spine Associates in Beaumont for an operation during which Dr. Cain was supposed to have implanted a bilateral C3-4 transforaminal epidural steroid injection. However, the complaint alleges Dr. Cain performed a translaminar injection at C5-6 instead.

"Immediately after the procedure, Mrs. Stinnett exhibited an extremely alarming and very concerning presentation of not being able to move any of her extremities," the suit states. "Over the course of several hours, she exhibited some improvement in her symptoms on the right side of her body, but still had profound defects on the left, which have remained to this day, and in reasonable medical probability, are permanent and from which she will suffer for the remainder of her life."

Following the operation, Dr. Cain phoned Dr. Francis for advice. During the consultation, the two doctors decided to release Stinnett home. The suit alleges the doctors instead should have immediately transferred her to a spinal cord trauma unit.

In addition to the permanent defects seen on her left side, Stinnett claims she suffered physical pain and mental anguish and incurred medical costs because of Dr. Cain's actions. She also claims she suffered from physical incapacity, a loss in her earnings and physical disfigurement, according to the complaint.

Barney Stinnett claims he lost his wife's consortium because of the incident.

In their complaint, the Stinnetts seek an unspecified judgment, plus pre- and post-judgment interest, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Craig Lewis and John J. Brothers of The Lewis Law Firm in Houston will be representing them.

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

Case No. E192-779

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