The man, Edward Beloyianis, was just a teenager when he had surgery for the treatment of scoliosis, a condition that causes curvature of the spine. At the time, the procedure was “cosmetic,” but the condition could have eventually started compressing organs.
He went to New York Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia University in Manhattan for treatment. His surgeon, Dr. David P. Roye Jr., implanted two rods and 10 screws.
Unfortunately, four of the screws were misplaced and pressed into Mr. Beloyianis’s spinal cord. When he woke up, he was paralyzed from the waist down. Over the next eight years, he was still able to go to college and graduated magna cum laude. However, in 2010, at the age of 22, he died from complications of paralysis.
Attorneys for the hospital initially told the family that Mr. Beloyianis was paralyzed by a stroke. They also said a CT scan showed no injury to his spinal cord.
However, the family’s attorneys claim there was never any CT scan. Had one been performed, doctors should have seen the misplaced screws and fixed the problem. They told the NY Daily News:
“Had they done the CT scan, they would have seen the screws. But they never did one. They just said they did one.”
The jury awarded $45.6 million to the parents of Mr. Beloyianis, including $5 million for every year of pain and suffering between 2002 and his death in 2010. Both the hospital and his doctor were found responsible.