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Mom-to-Be Requires Spinal Stimulator Implant After Slipping on Raw Shrimp on Restaurant Floor

Like most retail establishments, restaurants are responsible for providing a reasonably safe environment for patrons. That includes ensuring their floors are free of hazards people can slip or trip on. Unfortunately, a buffet-style restaurant in Southern California’s failure to maintain clean floors resulted in one woman needing two invasive spinal surgeries. At some point in the evening, a piece of raw shrimp dropped from the buffet line onto the floor. Ideally, attending staff would have seen the slippery hazard and removed it. Sadly, that didn’t happen.

Unbeknownst to the restaurant’s idleness, a young woman in her early 30s named Nancy was out to dinner with her family. Nancy was eight months pregnant with her second child at the time, and the dinner was to celebrate finding out she’d be having a boy. While preparing a plate, Nancy stepped on the raw shrimp, wasting on the ground. She thudded to the ground, injuring her back in the fall. Luckily, the baby was okay. However, as days passed, Nancy felt tingling and numbness in her legs — radiculopathy or pinched nerves caused by her injury from the fall.

Nancy had microdecompression surgery to relieve the pressure on her nerve. While the procedure cured her radiculopathy, Nancy continued to experience localized lower back pain in the months that followed. It prevented her from being the kind of wife and mother she wanted to be and turned her life upside down. Desperate to avoid another surgery, Nancy tried multiple non-invasive therapies to alleviate her pain, to no avail.

Shortly after the fall, Nancy and her family hired an attorney to work up the case. However, after considerable time and multiple missed deadlines passed, they sought new counsel. Luckily, they found Edward Morgan or Downtown LA Law Group. Ed took on the case to bring some justice for Nancy’s life-changing injuries.

As Ed began litigating, Nancy went in for her second back surgery, where she received a spinal cord stimulator implant. Ed contacted the Defense to receive compensation for the operation, as well as for Nancy’s pain and suffering. The Defense scoffed at Ed’s arguments, asserting that there was no way of knowing how the raw shrimp fell on the floor or how long it was there.

Understanding that the only way to help make Nancy more whole was through a jury, Ed prepared for trial. He partnered with nearly half a dozen experts. They included a neurosurgeon who specialized in the spine, the surgeon who implanted the spinal cord stimulator — who was double board certified in anesthesiology and pain management, as well as civil safety engineers and medical billing experts.

Then, Ed contacted DK Global. He wanted a visual aid that brought Nancy’s procedure to life. The goal was to help the jury understand the intrusive nature of her second spinal surgery and to make it as real and authentic as possible. DK Global collaborated directly with Ed and his experts and produced a 3D animation of the spinal cord stimulator implant surgery that he could use as a demonstrative during trial.

The presentation began with a medical animation that depicted Nancy’s spine before the second surgery. A 3D representation of the disc between her L4 and L5 vertebrae showed how a sizeable chunk had been removed during the first microdecompression surgery. Nevertheless, the disc was narrowing and bulging, causing subarticular compression of the nerve roots. The animation was juxtaposed with medical scans to validate their accuracy. Next, the demonstrative transitioned to a description of Nancy’s second surgery. The animation began with a 3D depiction of Nancy lying on an operating table. An incision was made, exposing her lumbar spine. Two needles were inserted into the space between her T12 and L1 vertebrae above the bulging disc. Then, two neurostimulator electrodes were fed through the needles and up her spinal cord to the T7 vertebra. The leads were subsequently anchored and connected to a spinal stimulator device, which was surgically implanted behind Nancy’s left hip. Finally, the video concluded with a photo of Nancy’s surgical scars, revealing the authenticity of the animation and the pain she endured.

Ed went to trial armed with the surgical animation. Once the Defense saw the 3D visual, they understood the case was more serious than they previously thought and the impact the presentation could have on the jury. By the second day of the trial, their tune changed, and the two sides agreed to a favorable confidential settlement for Nancy and her family.

Edward Morgan is a trial attorney at Downtown LA Law Group, representing families and individuals involved in serious personal injury and wrongful death matters. Initially a Defense attorney, Edward was dissatisfied defending large corporations and insurance companies. He decided to fight for the rights of individuals who were wrongfully harmed. Edward was named a Top Attorney by Pasadena Magazine and has been a Super Lawyers Rising Star since 2018.

"I've used some other companies out there. But when I made the switch to DK Global, I think I finally found exactly what I was looking for, which is that authenticity, that lifelike feeling."
Edward Morgan - Downtown LA Law Group
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