Neurosurgeon cleared of $27M malpractice allegations


A jury found neurosurgeon David Boarini, MD, wasn't responsible for a patient's alleged pain and decreased mobility after spine surgery and cleared him of a $27 million malpractice claim, Medscape reported July 26.

Dr. Boarini operated on the patient in 2019 and planned to stabilize slipped vertebrae and remove a damaged disc. The patient said in a lawsuit that she had pain after surgery that radiated to her knee. MRI imaging showed a pedicle screw encroaching on a nerve root, according to the lawsuit. 

However, Dr. Boarini's defense team proved the screw hadn't touched any nerves and the screw was in the epidural space of the spine. Dr. Boarini's team also showed the patient had back pain long before surgery and had it after the screw was removed.

"Dr. Boarini did not cause or contribute to [the patient's] pain because a suboptimally placed pedicle screw that extends zero to 1 millimeter into an open space, that epidural space, that start of the tunnel, the neural foramen, cannot cause harm," LaMar Jost, an attorney for Dr. Boarini, said at the trial. "emoval and replacement of the screw did not change anything, and [the patient] had the same pain before and after Dr. Boarini's surgery from preexisting spine disease and chronic pain syndrome."

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