Eliza Walker Nov. 21, 2013, 6:54am

NEW ORLEANS – A New Orleans woman is suing Tulane University Hospital following surgical implantation of a electrode to help with her chronic brain tremors, claiming the surgery instead worsened her tremors.

Sherry O’Brien filed the complaint against University Healthcare System, Tulane University Hospital and Clinic and Dr. Donald Richardson in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court on Sept. 13.

The plaintiff, a 45-year-old woman with a long-standing history of tremors, underwent surgical placement of right deep brain stimulation electrode, performed by Dr. Richardson at Tulane University Hospital on Dec. 2, 2009.

The plaintiff alleges that Dr. Richardson did not adequately inform her of the risks of the surgery, the fact that there were other, more qualified, physicians and facilities where the procedure could be performed with more current equipment and the fact that the surgery could worsen the tremors.

The surgery was performed over an extended period of time without successes, with the electrode left in place for further attempts at a later time, the suit claims. On Dec. 7, Dr. Richardson allegedly noted the tremor had not responded well to surgery, and on Dec. 14 he removed the electrode.

The plaintiff alleges that as a direct result of the surgery, carried out under the direction of Dr. Richardson, her tremors became markedly worse and she is now permanently disabled from employment.

The defendants are accused of negligence in failing to appropriately diagnose claimant prior to the surgeries at issue, failing to appropriately perform the surgery in question, failing to use appropriate equipment, failing to immediately and properly remove the electrode following the initial implant surgery and failing to obtain adequate and informed consent.

The plaintiff seeks an unspecified amount in damages for mental and physical pain and suffering, medical expenses, disability and lost wages.

The plaintiff is represented by Frank A. Silvestri of Silvestri & Massicot LLC of New Orleans.

The case has been assigned to Division D Judge Lloyd J. Medley.

Case no. 2013-08728.

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