Med-mal over alleged unnecessary spinal surgery set for January trial

By David Yates | Jun 28, 2012


A medical malpractice claim alleging a Hardin County woman sustained severe infections because of repeated spinal surgeries is set for a winter 2013 trial.

As previously reported, Janice McDaniel, and her husband, William, filed a lawsuit Feb. 25, 2011, in Jefferson County District Court against Lauren Shrontz, executrix of the estate of Dr. Carl E. Shrontz.

Court records show that on June 4 an agreed docket control order was entered in the case, setting the litigation for trial sometime in January.

According to the suit, 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.

Due to 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.

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 & Harvey LLP in Austin represents them.

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

Case No. E189-459

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