Dallas Neurosurgeon Faces Life in Prison after Serial Acts of Medical Malpractice
Posted on Friday, February 17, 2017
In a unique case of medical malpractice, a jury indicted Dallas neurosurgeon Christopher Duntsch on numerous counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and subsequently convicted him of causing great bodily harm to an elderly woman. In the court proceedings, prosecutors presented evidence of Duntsch committing serial acts of reckless surgical work and malicious care towards numerous patients who must now cope with irreparable, lifelong debilitation. His victims include Jerry Summers, who Duntsch left a quadriplegic, and Kellie Martin, who bled to death after having her vertebral artery sliced.
In total, Duntsch caused harm to at least 30 victims, many of whom suffered permanent nerve damage and limited mobility because of his malpractice. The specific crime levied against Duntsch in court involved 74 year-old Mary Efurd. Efurd was to undergo a simple procedure that would fuse together two of her vertebrae. However, Efurd instead woke up to severe pain from misplaced hardware in her muscle, severed nerve roots, and misplaced screw holes in her spine. She has now lost independent mobility and is confined to a wheelchair.
Surgeons have spoken out about Duntsch’s incompetence, calling his techniques “poor” and “suboptimal.” Corrective surgeon, Dr. Robert Henderson, even contacted Duntsch’s former medical school under the impression that he was an imposter. Prosecutors argued that Duntsch knew the results of his care were likely to be poor, based on his past of compromising patient safety and a text message he sent to his girlfriend, referring to himself as a “stone cold killer.”
Duntsch now faces life in prison. His case stands out because it is uncommon for a surgeon to be indicted for insufficient care, much less convicted. The prosecution’s description of Duntsch’s “path of pain” leading to Efurd’s injuries—the string of victims before Efurd that were left in his wake—was key to his conviction.
If you have suffered under the deplorable care of an incompetent medical professional, contact the impassioned medical malpractice attorneys at McCutchen & Sexton – The Law Firm to hold the negligent party accountable for the harm they have caused. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our legal team by calling (479) 783-0036 for support in your case.