Woman Wins Suit for $10M After Paralysis

Woman Wins Suit for $10M After Paralysis
Jessie Adams | Image by WFAA

A Flower Mound woman was left paralyzed after a quick procedure allegedly went wrong. She has been awarded roughly $10 million after a Dallas County jury found Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital responsible.

On March 21, 2019, 73-year-old Jessie Adams’ life changed forever when she walked into Premier Interventional Pain Management in Flower Mound for a pain relief procedure. Adams told WFAA that she was receiving an epidural steroid injection to soothe back pain because she and her husband, Richard, were driving to Ohio for a funeral.

After the injection, Adams said she knew something was wrong.

“He gave me the shot, but I couldn’t feel my legs. They were tingling, but I couldn’t feel them,” Adams said. “The pain was so bad in my back.”

According to the lawsuit, the doctor who administered the shot, Dr. Jon Vu, possibly “nicked a blood vessel during the ESI procedure causing Jessie to hemorrhage.”

“Epidural hematoma of the spine creates the extreme risk of spinal cord damage, permanent nerve injury, and paralysis,” the suit explained.

Adams was taken to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital by ambulance and arrived at the emergency room at 4:54 p.m. — an hour and a half after the shot, as mentioned at the trial.

Shortly after being admitted to the hospital, an immediate MRI was ordered so that an emergency laminectomy could be done to relieve the suspected epidural hematoma. However, the hospital allegedly had Adams wait for another hour and a half before the MRI was done.

Recounting the incident, Adams told WFAA, “I thought I was going to die. It was awful. It was hell.”

Adams did not receive surgery until 10 p.m. that night, although her attorney showed that the surgeon who performed the procedure was present at the time she arrived at the ER. He was reportedly delayed because he had not been contacted until he had left and was on his way home.

Adams’ legal team from Lyons and Simmons, LLP argued that needless delay created by the hospital — whose policy is to perform emergency surgery within one hour, according to WFAA — in treating her epidural hematoma caused permanent paralysis.

However, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital laid the blame on the injection performed earlier at the clinic, which allegedly caused the bleeding around Adams’ spine, as well as the clinic’s delayed call for an ambulance.

Ultimately, a Dallas County jury ruled in favor of the plaintiff and decided that Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital was answerable for “willful and wanton” negligence after failing to timely treat the epidural hematoma.

“I thought the paralysis was temporary. But once I realized it was permanent, it was a shock, and it was a huge tremor,” said Adams.

“The hospital just didn’t do its job,” she continued. “We just felt like they didn’t act quickly enough. If they had, maybe I would have been able to stand or could be using a walker. Maybe, I wouldn’t be incontinent. But, now I’m like this.”

As a result of the incident, Adams is left in a wheelchair and paralyzed from the chest down.

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