A study published in a peer-reviewed medical journal has analyzed 48 medical malpractice cases involving a condition called durotomy. It is a tear in the spine’s outer membrane, usually made after spinal surgery and capable of forming long-term issues if not recognized and treated right away. New York residents who have suffered from dural tears should know what the study has to say about their chances of receiving compensation.

The authors of the study make it clear that the plaintiffs were half male and half female, that their average age was 55, and that their allegations ranged from delayed diagnosis and treatment to the reopening of dural tears after repairs. Injuries included physical weakness in 60 percent of the victims and conditions like brain damage and paralysis in 20 percent, with some of the victims dying.

Twenty-seven of the 48 claims ended in verdicts favoring the surgeon. This included 80 percent of those cases that did not involve serious neurological conditions like brain damage. The remaining 21 plaintiffs received settlements averaging about $2.8 million. Those who required additional surgery who more likely to win their case; 62 percent of the winning cases involved delayed diagnoses and treatments, and 73 percent involved improper repairs. The authors also noted that male patients were more likely to be compensated for their injuries.

When surgical errors lead to dural tears or fail to repair them, the victims might find it advisable to meet with a medical malpractice attorney to see what options they might have. It will need to be established that the error constituted a failure to exhibit the requisite standard of care, and an attorney will obtain the opinion of one or more independent medical experts in order to do so.