Paralyzed Castle Rock woman receives $14.9 million in lawsuit against surgery center

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CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — A jury awarded a Castle Rock woman the second-largest medical negligence verdict in Colorado history on Thursday, an attorney said.

Robbin Smith received $14.9 million from The Surgery Center at Lone Tree after an injection caused her to be paralyzed from the waist down because of a spinal cord infarction.

Smith was 57 years old when she received an epidural steroid injection with the drug kenalog in September 2013 while she was a patient at the surgery center.

In 2011, the makers of kenalog received permission to include “Not for epidural use” as a warning on its label.

Smith’s attorney said the jury was shown examples of the bottles with the warning and that Smith and her husband Ed Smith were never informed of the changes before the injections.

Because of her injuries, Robbin Smith must receive around-the-clock assistance for the rest of her life.

“We hope this is a wake-up call for Ambulatory Surgery Centers and the people who run them,” Ed Smith said. “It’s one thing to say that patient safety is your first priority; it’s another thing to actually make it your top priority.”

“I’m grateful to the eight members of our jury in Douglas County who gave up two weeks of their lives to fully and fairly consider the evidence and return of verdict that finally provided justice for our deserving clients,” said the Smith’s attorney, Bruce Braley.

“This verdict won’t restore Robbin’s ability to walk. But it will give Robbin and Ed the chance to make the most of the life they now have.”

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