Colorado Man Awarded $3 Million in Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

A Colorado man was awarded $3 million after hospital staff failed to recognize a spinal injury, causing him to become permanently paralyzed.

Samuel Chifalo, 66, went to the emergency room at Parkview Medical Center on February 11, 2016, seeking treatment after he fell and struck his face on furniture. He returned to the emergency room the next day suffering from paralysis.

During the 9-day trial David Woodruff and Henry Miniter, both of Denver Trial Lawyers ®, presented evidence that Mr. Chifalo had suffered an injury to his spinal cord when he fell. If treated promptly with neurosurgery, Chifalo’s attorneys said that this spinal injury could have been reversed.

Instead, Parkview Medical Center’s staff discharged Mr. Chifalo prematurely without recognizing his injury. Evidence was presented that emergency department staff should have recognized the severe weakness and lack of motion in Mr. Chifalo’s arms and legs. Nursing staff failed to transmit this information from the paramedics, leading to his premature discharge.

During the trial, Mr. Chifalo’s lawyers argued that the emergency department team at the hospital was negligent in their treatment of Mr. Chifalo.

The jury agreed, awarding Mr. Chifalo nearly $3 million in damages. The award in this case is one of the largest jury verdicts in the history of Pueblo County.

“This case, like all medical malpractice cases, was incredibly sad,” Woodruff said in a statement. “Mr. Chifalo will never fully recover what he lost.” Prior to his injury, Mr. Chifalo was reportedly a retired heavy-equipment operator who enjoyed traveling with his wife to visit their grandchildren.

Source: The Denver Post