The case rested on whether a screw that was placed by Boarini during surgery and that was malpositioned by 1 mm caused the “disabling leg pain” claimed by the patient…medscape.com, Surgeon Beats $27 Million Malpractice Case After Contentious Trial, Alicia Gallegos, July 2023
At the conclusion of a 2-week trial in May, jurors determined that David Boarini, MD, was not responsible for a patient’s alleged pain and decreased mobility following spine surgery.
During trial, Boarini’s defense team proved that the screw was in the epidural space of the spine and had not touched any nerves. The defense showed that the patient had long experienced back pain and had continued to experience pain after another surgeon removed the screw.
The plaintiff first saw Boarini in December 2018 at the Iowa Clinic in Des Moines, where he conservatively treated her for bilateral weakness and pain in her lower extremities, according to court records. She later complained of ongoing pain and that there had been no improvement. Boarini planned a decompression and L 4 – 5 posterior interbody fusion for March 2019. The surgery was intended to stabilize vertebrae that had slipped and to remove a damaged disk.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff complained of severe pain in her left extremity immediately after the surgery. Boarini decided to leave the screw in position after determining that it was not touching any nerves and because the risks of harm from removal outweighed the benefit to the patient, the defense argued.