Walter Melendres and Jeff Martin represented the defendant in the Second Judicial District Court in Bernalillo County, New Mexico. The case involved the timing of diagnosis and treatment for plaintiff’s bilateral facet dislocation at C6/7.

The plaintiff was involved in a rollover crash but was seen walking after the accident and was documented as neurologically intact by nursing upon arrival to the emergency room. Plaintiff alleged that the timing of hospital’s diagnosis, inadequate patient immobilization, and withholding of tong traction caused plaintiff’s quadriplegia.

The defense was proper and attentive medical diagnosis and treatment (steroid administration within 8 hours post-injury and surgical realignment and fusion within 24 hours post injury); the inevitable onset of paralysis from acute trauma to the spinal cord from the unavoidable edematous process secondary to the dislocating vertebra; and contraindication of tong traction due to disc material protruding into the spinal canal.

The case was tried to a jury of twelve persons in November 2006, and there was a defense verdict. Plaintiff’s appeal was dismissed.