A Cook County woman's lawsuit against a spinal surgeon and medical firms, alleging medical negligence in a dispute surrounding a surgical procedure, has been voluntarily dismissed.

According to Cook County court records, plaintiff Rita Vazquez was granted leave in March 2017 to voluntarily withdraw her lawsuit, with leave to re-file.

Vazquez had filed a lawsuit Sept. 21, 2015, in Cook County Circuit Court against Dr. Michael H. Malek and United Surgical Assistants, also known as United Surgical Assistants Corp., alleging negligence.

According to the complaint, on Sept. 22, 2011, Malek performed cervical spine surgery on Vazquez at Our Lady of the Resurrection Medical Center in Chicago. During the operation, the suit says, Malek supervised personnel from United Surgical Assistants,  and Malek misused surgical retractors during the operation, damaging the plaintiff’s neurological and vascular structures.

As a result, the plaintiff suffered vascular and neurological injuries, pain and emotional distress, according to the lawsuit. These injuries have caused current and future medical expenses and lost wages, the suit says.

Vazquez had sought more than $50,000 in damages and court costs. She was represented by attorney Robert M. Romero, of Naperville.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this article included the name of a medical practice which had been identified by the plaintiff as a defendant in the initial complaint filed in Cook County Circuit Court, but which was ultimately  removed from the list of defendants as the other practice had no affiliation with the primary defendant. The name of that other medical practice has been removed from this revised article.

Cook County Circuit Court case number 2015-L-009636.

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