I’m the former chairman of the board of Advanced Practice Strategies (APS) and I always find their malpractice defense cases to be fascinating.
APS’ Demonstrative Evidence Group shares case examples from our archives to show how a visual strategy can support the defense effort. We hope that it is of value in your practice as you develop your defense strategies on behalf of health care providers. Please feel free to forward it to colleagues or clients.About Us
APS is a leading provider of demonstrative evidence for the defense of medical malpractice claims. Our team of medical illustrators consults with defense teams to educate the lay jury audience about the complexities of medical care. We do this by developing a visual strategy with expert witnesses including high-quality case-specific medical illustrations, x-ray enhancements, and multimedia presentations. APS receives judgment for the defense in over 94% of the cases we participate in, as compared to the national average of 73%. Additionally insurers who supply us with their trial list enjoy a win rate of up to 97%. To learn more, e-mail us or call 877.APS.4500. APS Litigation Support
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Judgment for the Defense
Chiropractic Adjustment Allegedly Caused Bell’s PalsyA 42-year-old man was in relatively good health until December 2000, when he slipped on a step and developed lower back strain. He was seen by a chiropractor who performed a neck manipulation (rapid rotation of neck) . During the maneuver, he felt a “pop” sensation and developed pain on the left side of his head. He saw the chiropractor again the following day when the chiropractor repeated the maneuver. His pain worsened within thirty minutes and left-sided facial palsy along with left hand weakness and tingling developed. He went to the ER and was treated with medication. Initially, the palsy was severe, but then started to improve by Feb of 2001. He had both MRIs * and MRAs * (pictures of blood vessels inside the body) of the brain which were all said to be normal. He also had an MRI of his cervical spine * that showed left-sided C5/6 disc and osteophyte impingement on C6 left nerve root. In 2002, he underwent a surgical fusion of C5/6 and discectomy, which resulted in significant improvement of his left arm. However, he continued to have issues with his lower back.
Plaintiff claimed that the chiropractic manipulation of his neck caused Bell’s palsy.
The defense experts believed and set out to prove that there was no possible relationship between an adjustment of the cervical spine and Bell’s palsy. The defense experts helped the jury to understand that anatomically, this does not make sense because the facial nerve enters directly into the skull, so it would not be affected by manipulation.