A 35-year-old Bridgeport mom has been awarded $4.25 million after a Shelton doctor “negligently utilized an anesthesia needle” while trying to give her an epidural, causing permanent injuries that could lead to paralysis down the road, according to the law firm representing her.
The lawsuit dates back to 2009, when Erika Andrade needed anesthesia and an epidural while delivering her third child.
According to her attorneys, Dr. William J. Gasco of Medical Anesthesiology Associates in Shelton had been working for 24 hours straight when he tried to give Andrade the epidural and inserted the needle into the wrong part of her back.
Attorneys for Andrade said she suffers chronic pain, permanent leg damage and other related injuries that could ultimately cause paralysis.
“Anyone working steadily for 24 hours, without sleep, cannot possibly provide peak performance. A doctor going without sleep for 24 hours should know that accidents are more likely to occur. In this case, it is clear that Dr. Gasco should never have attempted the epidural on Erika. He should have known to call in a substitute anesthesiologist,” said attorney David Bernard of Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder in Bridgeport, who provided co-counsel along with Sean McElligott.
The firm said a six-member Bridgeport jury deliberated for two and a half days before deciding on the $4.25 million award.
NBC Connecticut has reached out to Medical Anesthesiology Associates for comment.