Man alleges improperly implanted Medtronic device caused paralysis

By Carol Ostrow | Jun 8, 2015

A Cook County man and his wife have sued a Minnesota medical equipment company and its agent, alleging the man became paralyzed in his lower extremities after a device made by the company was improperly implanted in his body.

Rod Schar and Deborah Schar brought a lawsuit June 2 in Cook County Circuit Court against Michael Barbarone and Medtronic Inc., and naming Simon Ho as a respondent in discovery, on allegations of medical negligence in October 2014.

The complaint says Medtronic designs, manufactures, and sells medical devices, and Barbarone worked for Medtronic as a sales representative. 

The suit states Rod Schar presented to a pain control clinic in Valparaiso, Ind., on Oct. 21, 2014, for a neurostimulator trial procedure, and Barbarone was tasked with overseeing and monitoring the implantation. Ho implanted the stimulator lead implant in Schar's back.

According to the filing, after the procedure, which was performed using local anesthesia in the presence of several medical personnel, Schar was taken to a recovery area, where the device was allegedly programmed by Barbarone.

The grievance alleges, when Schar reported pain, loss of sensation and/or motor function in his legs, Barbarone continued programming the device without notifying any health care provider. The suit states Schar was transported to a hospital via ambulance; underwent emergency surgery the same day; and is now paralyzed in his lower extremities.

The Schars cite the defendants with failure to properly train their staff and alert health care providers of Schar’s status. Citing permanent painful, disabling and disfiguring injuries, the plaintiff's alleged loss of consortium and support. They seek damages of more than $50,000, plus attorneys’ fees and costs. They are represented by Stephen Phillips and Kristina Daujotaite, of the Phillips Law Offices in Chicago. 

Cook County Circuit Court Case No.: 15-L-5559.

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