Med mal suit claims surgeon took advice of salesman over standards of care

Michelle Massey May 9, 2011, 4:28am

After suffering complications from a lumbar surgery, a Virginia resident has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against a Louisiana surgeon for allegedly taking the recommendation of a salesman instead of complying with an appropriate level of standard of care.

David Hall filed suit against Horn Medical, IGP Medical, Jeffrey G. Wenzel and Louis Provenza, M.D. on May 3 in federal court in New Orleans.

According to the complaint, Hall underwent surgery on Feb. 16, 2009 in which Dr. Provenza inserted Verticor Eclipse Spinal Spheres in Hall's spine. Dr. Provenza did not use bone graft, allograft or synthetic bone graft at the recommendation of defendant Jeffery Wenzel, who distributed and sold the medical device, the suit claims.

Hall states he developed neurologic deficits including right food drop, severe back and leg pain, infection, pulmonary emboli and lower extremity deep vein thrombosis. The device was removed two months after his initial surgery and Hall underwent a lumbar fusion. Hall argues that the spheres are approved by the FDA for use with bone graft and the standard of care required that bone graft be used in conjunction with the spheres.

The defendants are accused of failing to warn about the dangerous and defective propensities of the spheres and failing to correctly advise or warn that a fusion was required in conjunction with the placement of the spheres.

Defendant Dr. Provenza is accused of deviating from the applicable standard of care by not using bone graft with the spheres during surgery on Feb. 16, 2009.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for pain, suffering, mental anguish, permanent disability, loss of life's pleasures, lost wages, impairment of earning capacity, medical bills, interest and court costs.

Hall is represented by Stevan C. Dittman of Gainsburgh, Benjamin, David, Meunier & Warshauer in New Orleans.

U.S. District Judge Sarah S. Vance is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:11-cv-01032

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