May 3, 2017
In May 2017, Gerald R. Toner successfully defended a neurosurgeon in Louisville, Kentucky. The case involved the neurosurgeon’s care of a patient, also a physician, with an L5/S1 herniated disc which progressed to cauda equina syndrome. The patient claimed the surgeon failed to ensure she was operated on emergently. Additionally, the plaintiff criticized the surgeon’s use of a microdiscectomy procedure. Toner countered that the neurosurgeon’s treatment met the standard of care, establishing that the neurosurgeon operated within just hours of the cauda equina syndrome diagnosis. Furthermore, they established that in light of the patient’s prior L4/L5 disc surgery and given the fact that patient’s disc herniation was not central, the use of a minimally invasive microdiscectomy was appropriate. Following a seven day trial, the jury returned its verdict in favor of the neurosurgeon.