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Texas Man Sues Hospital over Rehab that Left Him a Quadriplegic

Lawsuit: Hospital, doctors or therapists broke patient’s neck a second time

ABILENE, Texas – A West Texas grandfather has filed a lawsuit against Abilene’s Hendrick Medical Center claiming the hospital and its employees broke his neck during rehabilitation, leaving him paralyzed from the neck down.

According to the lawsuit, Aron Goolsby, then 63, was recovering at Hendrick Medical Center Abilene after an automobile accident in September 2015 injured his spine, causing partial paralysis of his legs.

Mr. Goolsby was expected to make a full recovery through physical and occupational therapy and had good use of his arms and right leg, and partial use of his left leg until late October.

During his rehabilitation at Hendrick, Mr. Goolsby reports that therapists dropped him several times. He also tells of an incident with a device designed to lift him into a standing position. While his upper body was being raised, the cervical collar underneath Mr. Goolsby’s chin was caught on a table, pushing him into a dangerous flexed position, compressing his neck and spinal cord.

“He can no longer stand, sit or feed himself,” said Mr. Goolsby’s attorney, Chris Hamilton of Dallas law firm Hamilton Wingo, LLP. “His life has been tragically changed forever because of this inexcusable neglect.”

According to the lawsuit, an X-ray of Mr. Goolsby’s back on Oct. 22, 2015, was unremarkable and showed improvement from the surgery following his auto accident.
But the following week Mr. Goolsby reported the inability to move his left leg, feed himself or sit up on the edge of the bed as before. A CT scan then revealed a second break and a hyperflexion sprain to his neck.

The exact date of the new injury isn’t known because Mr. Goolsby’s rehab sessions and medical care were grossly under-documented, according to the lawsuit.

“Hendrick breached the standard of care by failing to protect Mr. Goolsby’s spinal cord from injury during rehabilitation,” Mr. Hamilton said. “It’s incredible to me to think that the place that was supposed to care for him ended up doing the greatest harm.”

The case is Aron Wayne Goolsby and Barbara Fay Goolsby vs. Hendrick Medical Center et al., Cause No. Case No. 49871-A in the 42nd Judicial District Court in Taylor County.

The trial lawyers at Hamilton Wingo, LLP, specialize in representing people and companies in high-stakes, complex litigation, on a contingent fee basis. They have obtained more than $100 million in verdicts and settlements for their clients. For more information, visit hamiltonwingo.com.

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Mark Annick