July 15, 2015 — An appeals court has upheld a $2.8 million jury verdict against San Diego-based NuVasive Inc., ruling in favor of a woman who was left in chronic pain after a surgery involving the NeuroVision device.
NBC San Diego reports that the lawsuit was filed by Barbara Kitrosser, a woman who chose to undergo surgery with the NeuroVision device because she says she was told it would prevent nerve damage.
The NeuroVision device is intended to help surgeons who are performing spinal surgery through a patient’s side. This technique poses a risk of damage to nerves in the psoas muscle, which the surgeon must pass through to reach the spine.
Kitrosser says her surgeon, Dr. William Taylor, gave her pamphlets promising that the NeruoVision device would “ensure your nerve safety,” and “has been used successfully in over 60,000 spinal surgeries.”
After Kitrosser’s surgery, she developed severe, chronic back pain and must take pain medication. She also has problems walking, performing normal daily activities, and cannot leave her house easily.
Lawyers for Kitrosser presented evidence that Dr. Taylor had undisclosed financial and business ties with NuVasive. He was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars, including $220,000 annually for developing, testing, and marketing the NeuroVision to other doctors.
In its opinion, the appeals court said the jury found:
“… Taylor’s statements (about the NeuroVision device) were a substantial factor in causing Kitrosser’s harm, and NuVasive agreed and intended that Taylor made such statements.”
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