Education

University of Iowa physicians to pay patient $350,000 following negligence lawsuit

Regent settlements reach $2.8 million this year

University of Iowa Health Care complex, which houses University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, is seen in this photo tak
University of Iowa Health Care complex, which houses University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, is seen in this photo taken on Friday, April 18, 2014, in Iowa City, Iowa. (The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — The state has reached a $350,000 settlement agreement with a University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics patient who sued two years ago after she said hip surgery left her with “femoral nerve palsy” — a sort of nerve dysfunction causing “weakness, numbness, and tingling pain.”

The UI Physicians group will pay the full amount to Erin Jacobson, of Linn County, pending approval from the State Appeal Board. That board, so far this budget year, has agreed to pay from its general fund nearly $2.8 million for settlements or judgments associated with the state Board of Regents, including UI Hospitals and Clinics.

That accounts for the vast majority of its total $2.9 million in general fund-paid settlements this budget year, which began July 1.

Although the State Appeal Board on July 9, 2018, initially denied payment to Jacobson following her allegations of negligence — and the state still denies wrongdoing — officials agreed to resolve the dispute as long as the woman drops her claims against UIHC.

According to her lawsuit, filed after the appeal board’s rejection in 2018, Jacobson on Feb. 9, 2016, underwent a “right total hip arthroplasty.” She experienced postoperative weakness, numbness and tingling and was diagnosed with “femoral nerve palsy as a result of injury caused to her femoral nerve” by the UI doctor’s “improper use of a retractor during the procedure.”

Research published one year ago in the scientific “Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery” found femoral nerve palsy — which it describes as a “serious neurological complication” — can follow total hip arthroplasty, the same procedure Jacobson underwent, if retractors are wrongly positioned.

That State Appeal Board unanimously approved the settlement Monday afternoon.

Comments: (319) 339-3158; vanessa.miller@thegazette.com

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.