Surgeons operate on wrong side of man’s brain, family awarded $2M

The family of an Arkansas man who suffered permanent brain damage from an operation on the wrong side of his brain has been award $2 million, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports.

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In 2004, Cody Metheny underwent brain surgery at age 15 to help reduce the number of seizures he was suffering, according to the Democrat-Gazette. Hours into the surgery at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the surgeon noticed he cut and removed the wrong portion of Metheny’s brain. He then went to operate on the other side.

The state’s Claims Commission determined that Metheny’s family “was never alerted to the error nor given an option to stop the procedure,” according to the Democrat-Gazette. The family did not find out about the mistake until Metheny went in for an unrelated examination 18 months later.  

The commission released an opinion Tuesday stating that the doctors and administrators at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences “were negligent in the surgery” and “failed to follow policies guiding surgeries and the documentation of their outcomes,” the Democrat-Gazette reported.

The $2 million award still needs to be approved by legislators, who could raise or reduce the amount.

Five years ago, a circuit court decision awarded the family $11 million, according to the Democrat-Gazette. The surgeon settled with the family for $1 million. 

The $2 million award will cover the family's cost of having the teen treated for two years after the surgery. Metheny will require constant care for the rest of his life, according to the state commission.

Read more at here.

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