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In the state of LA, I think the statute of limitation for a botched surgery is 2 years. If so, my question will be invalid, so?

Jeanerette, LA |

I underwent a total lumbar fusion on 12/27/06, performed by Dr. Christopher Cenac in Houma, LA. I was in a boating accident 3 years prior to the surgery date. I flew to the front of the boat when we hit a submerged log and began having problems with sciatica. He performed an 8 hour surgery on me, putting 40 staples in my back. At my first visit post-op visit, in Jan., I could hardly move, but he said my x-rays looked great. See you in a month. When I complained of the intense pain, he ignored me. My last appointment on 8/25/08, hardly able to walk, and in tears, he told me you were just too young to have such an invasive surgery. I obtained my records several months ago, and it is well documented on 8/25/08: Assessment: FAILED LUMBAR BACK FUSION.

I have Flatback Syn,; can't walk

Attorney Answers 5

Posted

Sorry, but any claim you might have had has expired. In Louisiana, a claim must be filed within one year of the act of malpractice, or within one year of your discovery of the malpractice - but no more than three years from the act of malpractice. Since your surgery was on 12/27/06, you would have had, at most, until 12/27/09 to file a claim regarding your surgery. Even should you maintain, however, that the act of malpractice was not the surgery itself, but some alleged failure to follow through with appropriate post-operative care, you would have had to file a claim within three years of your last appointment, or by 8/25/11. Since it appears that you have not filed a claim, I am afraid that it is too late to do so at this time. Your best bet is to seek the advice of another competent spine surgeon, who may be able to help you. Good luck.

David Cook is a Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice Attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Louisiana. This response is not intended to be legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is intended to provide general information about the question presented; but since the question often fails to include significant and important facts that, if known, might significantly change the response, it is strongly recommended that the questioner promptly confer with an attorney in his or her own state in order to ensure that appropriate legal advice is timely received. DAVID S. COOK A PROFESSIONAL LAW CORPORATION POST OFFICE BOX 53394 LAFAYETTE, LOUISIANA 70505-3394 TELEPHONE: (337) 234-4155 CELL: (337) 288-6743 FAX: (337) 234-2937 EMAIL: davidscook@bellsouth.net

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Posted

From the date of the surgery until the last visit with him, he continued to tell me I was doing fine. I finally obtained his records and realized he had written on his last report when I saw him on 8/25/08--FAILED LUMBAR SPINAL SURGERY. The condition I have now is called Flatback Syndrome and patients who undergo botched surgeries as I did, don't begin to experience the progressive symptoms for several years. This man knew he had fused my lumbar spine as if he was fusing a yardstick. This leaves the spine unable to move comfortably, and causes a multitude of other problems. I had to have a hip replacement 4 years after the surgery, plus 3 other surgeries that are textbook symptoms of the results of what this dr. did to me. I thought no matter how much time had passed, it was his responsibility to stop lying to me and telling me everything looked great, when he had written the diagnosis: FAILED LUMBAR SPINAL FUSION. However, maybe even though I can hardly walk or do any of the things I loved and enjoyed, maybe I'm lucky. Three months after doing my surgery, he killed a patient in the first half hour of surgery. He was doing the same procedure on her that he had done on me and I'll never understand how this man is still practicing, but he cut right through her aorta and she bled to death within minutes. That wasn't horrible and sad enough, but he did it again to another patient a few months later! I just want to expose dr.'s like this and see that the statute of limitations should be different depending on each case.

Asker

Posted

I have requested an appointment with this surgeon that destroyed my life. Do I have the right to question him as to why he told me at every appointment that everything looked great and I was doing fine? When I finally requested my records recently and I see the written diagnosis Failed Lumbar Spinal Fusion, wasn't it my right to be told by this man instead of having to find it out after it's too late to do anything about it? Please just let me know if I have the legal right to make an appointment with him and ask for an explanation?

David Sherman Cook

David Sherman Cook

Posted

You may certainly call and request an appointment, but the doctor does not have a legal obligation to see you. Even if he should agree to see you, you may ask him questions, but he does not have the legal obligation to answer them in that setting. As to your failed fusion, this COULD be a result of malpractice, but it could also have happened in the absence of malpractice. Spinal fusion is a very challenging procedure. Sometimes, even when a surgeon does everything right, a bad outcome still results. There are many variables, including your pre-surgical condition, the type and extent of surgery, the post-operative management you received, your post-surgical activities, and your weight, diet and habits (such as smoking). Since you have apparently lost confidence in Dr. Cenac, and since I see nothing good coming out of a confrontation of him in his office, I would suggest, as I did before, that you seek the advice of another competent spine surgeon, who may be able to help you. If you are still curious as to whether Dr. Cenac's care was appropriate, you may bring your records to your new doctor for his review and opinion. But, as noted previously, it is still too late to bring a claim. Good luck.

Posted

Double check me, but your time has expired. Sorry and good luck.

Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney client relationship has been formed or should be inferred. Please speak with a local and qualified attorney. I truly wish you and those close to you all the best. Jeff www.nyelderinjurylaw.com

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Jeff is correct.

My name is Stephen R. Cohen and have practiced since 1974. I practice in Los Angeles and Orange County, CA. These answers do not create an attorney client relationship. My answers may offend I believe in telling the truth, I use common sense as well as the law. Other state's laws may differ.. There are a lot of really good attorneys on this site, I will do limited appearances which are preparation of court documents it is , less expensive. However generally I believe an attorney is better than none.

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I believe you are out of time.

In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship. You are not to rely upon my note above in any way, but insted need to sit down with counsel and share all relevant facts before receiving fully-informed legal advice. If you want to be completely sure of your rights, you must sit down with an experienced criminal defense attorney to be fully aware of your rights.

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Posted

You are likely sol for the sol

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