FROM THE CARROLL COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, EASTERN DISTRICT [NO.
08ECV-12-154] HONORABLE SCOTT JACKSON, JUDGE
Law Firm, by: Tim S. Parker, for appellant.
Malkmus Law Firm LLC, by: Brian D. Malkmus and Debra L.
Gullett, for appellees.
J. GLADWIN, Judge
Natasha Engleman appeals the judgment entered on February 10,
2016, by the Carroll County Circuit Court in favor of
appellees Cindye McCullough, St. John's Clinic, Inc.,
a/k/a Mercy Clinics Springfield Communities, and John Does
1-3 following a jury trial in a nursing-negligence case.
Appellant argues that the trial court erred in giving
Arkansas Model Jury Instruction (AMI) 1501 over the objection
of her counsel and, in effect, instructing the jury to
consider only the testimony of the nurses and not to consider
her testimony concerning the anatomic location where Nurse
McCullough administered the intramuscular-steroid injection
on March 3, 2011. She also argues that the trial court erred
in refusing to give the modified version of AMI 1501 that she
requested and proffered. We affirm.
March 3, 2011, appellant presented to St. John's Clinic
in Berryville, Arkansas, to receive an intramuscular-steroid
injection to treat her allergies. The injection was
administered by Nurse McCullough, a licensed practical nurse
(LPN) employed by St. John's Clinic. Although
appellant's chart reveals no complaints or complications
immediately following the injection, appellant claims that
just after the injection she experienced severe shooting pain
down her leg that worsened over time. She further related
that she was unable to walk out of the clinic and had to
hobble out instead.
grandmother, Karon Richert, was present in the waiting room
to pay for her granddaughter's shot. According to Ms.
Richert, appellant was limping severely when she emerged from
the room where the shot had been administered.
appellant returned to the clinic to see Dr. Craig Milam, he
noted that her left knee was swollen and tender. He
prescribed crutches and a knee brace and ordered a gout test,
which came back negative. Dr. Milam testified that before
March 3, 2011, the date of the injection, appellant had not
complained about her leg.
appellant's severe leg pain and weakness continued and
she developed a foot drop, she consulted informally with a
friend, K.D. Zeit, who is a registered nurse (RN), and began
to wonder whether her sciatic nerve had been injured as a
result of the shot.
subsequently seen at a clinic that referred her for EMG
testing by neurologist Dr. Omar Al Khatib. The first EMG
testing was suggestive, but inconclusive, for sciatic
neuropathy, and the second EMG test results were normal.
research, appellant learned of a California neurosurgeon, Dr.
Aaron Filler, a former director of the Peripheral Nerve
Surgery Program at Cedar Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles,
California. Dr. Filler is one of the inventors of the
neurogram procedure, a specialized MRI procedure developed to
visualize nerves. Appellant traveled to California to see Dr.
Filler who ordered a neurogram study and interpreted the
results. According to Dr. Filler's report, the study
demonstrated an abnormality within her sciatic nerve
consistent with mechanical injury to the sciatic nerve. Dr.
Filler also diagnosed appellant with Reflex Sympathetic
Dystrophy (RSD), or Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS),
and with foot drop.
Filler performed surgery on appellant on August 26, 2011,
during which he explored the area around the nerve and
removed extensive scar tissue that had adhered to the nerve.
Dr. Filler confirmed his earlier neurogram report of injury
to appellant's sciatic nerve consistent with a
needle-injection injury. Dr. Filler also observed adhesions
to appellant's sciatic nerve along with fibrosis and
scarring around the nerve. Appellant returned on June 28,
2013, for a second surgery performed by Dr. Filler to
resection the piriformis muscle of her left hip at the level
of the sciatic-nerve injury.
pain management for RSD or CRPS initially was conducted by
Dr. Cathy Lou and subsequently by Dr. Jason Holt. Their
treatment consisted of narcotic medications and nerve blocks,
both of which failed to resolve appellant's pain.
leg has continued to deteriorate and atrophy. She remains in
severe pain and has not walked unassisted since the incident
and now uses a wheelchair. At the time of her injury,
appellant was twenty-two years old and in excellent health.
She was a dancer, and prior to her injury she ...