Tovar v. Crouse, et al

by Heygood Orr and Pearson

Heygood, Orr & Pearson represented the plaintiff in this medical negligence case against Dr. Crouse, Sierra Medical Center and others. The case was filed in the 327th District Court of El Paso County, Texas, Cause No. 2003-960.

The case involved plaintiff Lilia Tovar, who in 1985, was taken to the hospital after suffering several severe seizures. A CT scan of her head was performed revealing a brain tumor that had to be removed. Several days later, she underwent surgery to remove the tumor. In 1995, Plaintiff had another seizure which caused her to present to the emergency room at Sierra Medical Center.

Unbeknownst to Plaintiff, the tumor had returned. In connection with this emergency room visit and 5 additional visits for various symptoms from 1995 to 2002, Plaintiff’s tumor was either not diagnosed or Plaintiff was not told about the tumor. Additionally, the neurologist who was supposed to be following Ms. Tovar was Dr. Crouse. Although he followed her until 1987, he did not see her again until 1994 and 1995. During neither of these visits did he diagnose the tumor which had returned. Plaintiff Tovar contended that the hospital Sierra Medical Center, the neurologist Dr. Crouse, the radiologist Dr. Guhtenecht, and the emergency room physicians Dr. Fitz, Dr. Montelongo, Dr. Ibarra and Dr. Navar were negligent in failing to diagnose and treat the tumor.

Finally, this tumor was discovered by Ms. Tovar’s family physician in July of 2002 and Ms. Tovar promptly had surgery to remove it on August 7, 2002 by Dr. David Masel. Unfortunately, because of the substantial delay in the diagnosis of the tumor, Ms. Tovar has been left partiallly paralyzed along with numerous other mental and physical disabilities. After prolonged litigation, the claims against all defendants were settled for confidential amounts.