A New York County jury recently awarded $1.5 million to a woman who claimed that she suffers permanent dysfunction of her jaw as a result of an anesthesiologist’s error during surgery. The matter stems from an April 2004 procedure in which plaintiff Caridad Cuevas underwent removal of a stone from a salivary gland.
Cuevas claimed that soon thereafter, she developed clicking and popping of her jaw. She contended that eating has become painful and that she must wear a jaw guard whenever she is not eating. Cuevas sued the hospital, St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center, alleging that her injury was a result of an anesthesiologist who was overly forceful during the intubation process. The hospital blamed the surgeon, who was not a hospital employee, but the jury found the anesthesiologist responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries.