FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Kathryn Snapka
606 N. Carancahua Street Suite 1511
Corpus Christi, Texas 78401
361.888.7676 | firstname.lastname@example.org
THE SNAPKA LAW FIRM TOPS TEXAS MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE VERDICTS FOR 2017
Failure to Treat Thiamine Deficiency Results in Record Medical Malpractice Verdict
Corpus Christi, Texas - October 3rd, 2018 - A medical malpractice case involving a bariatric surgery patient who developed a rare neurological disorder resulting from thiamine deficiency has set a landmark verdict in Texas. The Snapka Law firm secured a jury verdict of $14,290,000 in the case of Jo Ann Puente v Jesus Virlar and the Gonzaba medical group et al. This verdict tops the list of medical malpractice verdicts in Texas for 2017 and is also believed to be the largest verdict in the nation involving the disease known as Wernicke’s Encephalopathy.
Wernicke’s Encephalopathy, and the more advanced version of the disease known as Wernicke’s Korsakoff Syndrome, are a direct result of insufficient levels of Thiamine (vitamin B-1) in the body. Bariatric surgery patients are at risk of developing Wernicke’s due to the reduced food intake and nutrient absorption issues related to their surgery. Prolonged vitamin B1 deficiency can lead to devastating neurological disorders and even death if left untreated.
The Snapka case, which was tried in Bexar County, involved a post-bariatric patient who was presented to the hospital with persistent nausea and vomiting. Despite her malnourished state, she was not given thiamine repletion nor was she given any nutrients. She developed Wernicke’s encephalopathy and later Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome resulting in memory loss, quadriparesis and profound brain damage. Jo Ann now requires full time nursing care and will remain in an institution for the rest of her life.
Snapka brought suit against the surgeon, the hospitalist and the hospital acting through its registered dieticians for failing to appreciate her malnourished state and repleting her thiamine, which resulted in the development of Wernicke’s encephalopathy. The hospital and the surgeon settled their portion of the suit for a confidential sum, and the jury returned the record-breaking verdict against the hospitalist. Kathryn Snapka, lead counsel for Jo Ann said “We are pleased that the jury in this case recognized that what happened to Jo Ann was 100% preventable. This verdict will ensure that Jo Ann will be able to receive the specialized care that she now requires”.
Sadly, the failure to understand what can happen when a patient becomes thiamine deficient is all too common. Snapka said that she represents other clients injured as a result of this medical error. “There is simply no excuse for anyone to suffer brain damage after weight loss surgery when the solution is simple, inexpensive and non-toxic”. She says that she is determined to bring to light these thiamine deficiency cases so that the medical care providers and patients are aware of the catastrophic damage that can occur when this simple issue is overlooked.