Patient claims defective medical device lead to car crash

Michelle Massey Jun. 11, 2010, 4:24am


A woman who had a pain management device surgically implanted is suing the manufacturer, claiming the medical device caused her to black out and crash her car.

Deborah Pardo and her husband, Vincent P. Pardo, filed a suit against Medtronics and Mohamed Elkersh, M.D. April 20 in Tangipahoa Parish District Court. Medtronics removed the case to federal court in New Orleans May 25.

Pardo says she had a neurostimulator surgically implanted in April 2009 to treat occipital nerve pain. Pardo says she was told the medical device would reduce her pain her need for pain medication.

Pardo says four months after that surgery, the stimulator was not working. She says she returned to Dr. Elkersh's clinic in August to discuss the device and the pain which was still very strong.

According to court records, Pardo was met at the clinic by Medtronic representatives who adjusted the neurostimulator. Pardo says the adjustments had no effect.

Dr. Elkersh allegedly became upset during the appointment and told Pardo to find another doctor. Pardo says Dr. Elkersh's partner agreed to provide her a prescription for pain medication. A month later, Pardo returned to see Dr. Elkersh's partner and was given another prescription, which Patrdo claims she did not fill because it was previously ineffective.

By December 2009, Pardo states she was in such severe pain and returned to the clinic but no doctor would see her.

"Ms. Pardo left the office and, on her return home, she blacked out from the pain and crashed her vehicle," the complaint reads.

Pardo argues the neurostimulator was obviously defective because it stopped working four months after it was implanted, despite what she says was Medtronic's guarantee that the device would function for at least a year.

Pardo is seeking damages for medical expenses, permanent scarring, physical pain and suffering, emotional distress and mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, interest and court costs.

Baton Rouge attorney Robert W. Hallack is representing the plaintiff.

U.S. District Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10cv01562

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