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Judge Awards Paraplegic $16 Million For Botched Surgery

Dec 1, 2004 | AP A Lake County judge has awarded $16 million to a 46-year-old Gary woman who claimed that a misdiagnosis and botched surgery left her a paraplegic.

Karen Dehart sued after a Merrillville doctor allegedly misdiagnosed her back tumor and a neurosurgeon at another hospital cut out part of her spinal cord instead of the tumor in 1996. The surgery left her legs permanently paralyzed.

Her attorney says the award may be a record for injuries suffered as a result of medical malpractice in Indiana. Dehart, however, will only receive a fraction of the $16 million amount because Indiana's medical malpractice law imposes a cap on awards.

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