Plaintiff suffers hemiparesis after revision back surgery. $1.7M. Ventura County.


Cervical herniation occurs during lumbar surgery; delay in surgical treatment is said to cause hemiparesis.

The Case

  • Case Name: Tannia Delapaz v. Roe Orthopedic Surgeon
  • Court and Case Number: Ventura County Superior Court / 56-2015-00467870-CU-MM-VTA
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Thursday, December 19, 2019
  • Date Action was Filed: Thursday, May 14, 2015
  • Type of Case: Medical Malpractice
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Henry Walsh
  • Plaintiffs:
    Tannia Delapaz, 39.
  • Defendants:
    Roe Orthopedic Surgeon
    Roe Orthopedic Surgeon's Spinal Center
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $1,728,016
  • Net Verdict or Award: $2,149,016
  • Economic Damages:


  • Non-Economic Damages:


  • Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Approximately $421,000 additional to plaintiff in CCP 998.

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Levitt Leichenger & Aberle LLP by Daniel A. Spitzer and David B. Leichenger, Beverly Hills.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Reback McAndrews Blessey by Thomas McAndrews, Manhattan Beach.

    Taylor DeMarco LLP by N. Denise Taylor, Los Angeles.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Sylvain Palmer, M.D., neurosurgery, Mission Viejo.

    Michael Gold, M.D., neurology.

    David Patterson, M.D., physiatry, Pomona.

    Judy Ho, Ph.D., neuropsychology.

  • Defendant's Medical Expert(s):

    Lawrence Shuer, M.D., neurosurgery, Stanford.

    Andrew Woo, M.D., neurology, Santa Monica.

    Suzy Kim, M.D., physiatry.

    Kyle Boone, Ph.D., neuropsychology, Torrance.

  • Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):

    David Fractor, Ph.D., economics.

    Anne Barnes, RN, life care planning.

    Enrique Vega, vocational rehabilitation. 

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    Plaintiff went in for a revision lumbar microdiscectomy. While patient was under general anesthesia, her C5-C6 became herniated. Defendant surgeon did not perform decompression for almost four days.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    That defendant surgeon violated the standard of care by not performing decompression surgery on plaintiff's cervical spine within 24 hours, resulting in significant residuals.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    That the requirement to operate was not emergent, so the delay was acceptable; that it would have made no difference if she was operated on sooner (causation); that much of the injury was pre-existing due to a prior lumbar condition, and that plaintiff was fabricating her symptoms for attention and acceptance. 

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Left-side hemiparesis.

Demands and Offers

  • Plaintiff §998 Demand: $1,000,000

Additional Notes

Defendant made no offers.