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Personal Injury Verdicts & Awards

$275,000 Verdict For Spinal Accessory Nerve Injury

Verdicts, Settlements & Tactics, November 2003

On May 22, 1997, the Plaintiff, William Lindsley, underwent an excisional right neck lymph node biopsy performed by the Defendant, Edward Batzel, M.D., at Moses Taylor Hospital's Short Procedure Unit. The Plaintiff, William Lindsley, underwent excision of the mass under local anesthesia with intravenous sedation. According to the operative report, the surgery began with incision at 2:40 P.M. and ended at 3:00 P.M. Following surgery, Mr. Lindsley began to experience extreme discomfort and pain in his upper right chest and neck, as well as the shoulder area and back. He also noticed a wasting away or "hole" developing in the right clavicle area.

Subsequently, Mr. Lindsley saw a neurologist who confirmed that during the course of the procedure, Mr. Lindsley's spinal accessory nerve had sustained injury. As a result of this injury, Mr. Lindsley underwent exploration of the right spinal accessory nerve and reanastomosis. Following his nerve repair, Mr. Lindsley underwent extensive physical therapy and rehabilitation. Despite his efforts, Mr. Lindsley was left with a permanent biomechanical dysfunction of his left shoulder. Mr. Lindsley was retired as of the date of his surgery.

Plaintiff maintained that the Defendant, Dr. Batzel, was negligent in his performance of the excisional lymph node biopsy and, additionally, failed to obtain Mr. Lindsley's informed consent prior to performing the procedure. At the time of trial, it was uncontested that Dr Batzel, at no time, prior to the performance of the procedure, advised Mr Lindsley of a risk of injury to his spinal accessory nerve. Dr. Batzel merely advised Mr Lindsley of a generic risk of injury to nerves and/or blood vessels.
Injury: Spinal accessory nerve injury.

Result: $275,000 jury verdict.

The verdict included an award for loss of consortium on behalf of the Plaintiff's spouse. The jury found that Dr. Batzel was negligent in the performance of the procedure and failed to obtain Mr. Lindsley's informed consent.

Plaintiff's Expert Witnesses: John R. Bogdasarian, M D, F.A.C.S. - Otolaryngologist, Plastic Surgery, Boston, Mass.; Robert W. Mauthe, M D, Physiatrist, Quakertown, Pa.; Richard E. Fischbein, M.D., Psychiatrist, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

Defendant's Expert Witnesses: Alan M. Miller, M.D., F.A.C.S., Otolaryngologist, Plastic Surgery, Norristown, Pa.; Wayne E. Dubov, M.D., Physiatrist, Quakertown, Pa.; Matthew Berger, M.D., Psychiatrist, Kingston, Pa.

Plaintiffs' Attorney: Michael J. Kowalski, of HKQ Law, Kingston, PA

Defendant's Attorney: John J. Aponick, Jr., Scranton, PA

Lindsley v Batzel, No 98-CV-2300 (Lackawanna Cty. Ct. of Common Pleas, Pa. June 23, 2003)

PLEASE NOTE: Every case is fact specific, and these results do not guaranty the same results will be obtained in a different case.

About HKQ Law

Hourigan, Kluger & Quinn is considered one of the top civil litigation and commercial law firms that has had the privilege of representing more families in the courtroom than any other NEPA firm. The attorneys at HKQ Law have been honored as Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers, Best Law Firms by US News and World Report, and have received the AV Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbel. HKQ Law was recently recognized for one of the top 20 Verdicts in Pennsylvania.

The firm’s Personal Injury Team, led by Attorney Joe Quinn, Jr., has won some of the largest verdicts and settlements in the region's history. The Personal Injury Team focuses on a wide array of personal injury claims and civil litigation, including medical malpractice, auto and truck accidents, aviation accidents, unsafe vehicles, dangerous or defective products, workplace injuries (worker's compensation), construction site accidents, claim denials by insurance companies, dangerous drugs, defective children's products, nursing home abuse and neglect, and falls due to unsafe conditions (slip and fall).

Attorney Joseph A Quinn, Jr. is one of only 100 attorneys in the United States (and one of only three in Pennsylvania) honored with membership in the Inner Circle of Trial Advocates, and one of only 500 attorneys worldwide chosen to be a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He has been a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer every year since the program began and has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America every year since the publication was established in 1987. Best Lawyers also named him top personal injury attorney for Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. In addition, Best Lawyers, in conjunction with U.S. News & World Report, has designated HKQ a Tier 1 Best Law Firm across multiple categories in Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley.

Since the inception of the firm, the Commercial / Corporate Team led by Attorney Allan Kluger has provided comprehensive, integrated legal services to many of Northeastern and Eastern Pennsylvania's largest corporations, businesses, banks, non-profits and institutions, handling matters involving labor and employment, wills, trusts and estate planning, estate administration, elder law, commercial transactions, residential and commercial real estate, zoning, land use and development, telecommunications, mediations and arbitrations, commercial litigation, title insurance, business planning and business succession, corporate/business structuring, employment discrimination law for employers, banking, creditor’s rights, finance, lender liability defense, covenants not to compete, construction law, mergers and acquisitions and other business matters.

Additional information can be found at or by calling (800) 760-1529.



As Hourigan, Kluger and Quinn addresses the concerns raised by COVID-19, the health and safety of our clients, employees and friends of the firm remain our top priority.

These are very difficult and scary times and we hope that you and your loved ones are safe and symptom free. We recognize that so many of you are understandably anxious about your health, the economic impact of this pandemic and all of the consequences of social isolation.

We also recognize that many of you are anxious about how the coronavirus is impacting the Court systems, our firm and your cases. Although all of our offices are closed, our firm has remained fully operational and we have initiated procedures that allow all of our attorneys and staff to work remotely from their homes. Each of us and our staff will respond to any emails and calls about your cases as quickly as possible.

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