TV Personality Awarded $1.4 Million in Malpractice Lawsuit

TV Personality Awarded $1.4 Million in Malpractice Lawsuit

Former Portland news television personality, Ken Ackerman, was awarded $5 million in damages for a surgical error that left him partially paralyzed on his right side, causing him to live with constant pain.

Ackerman visited Dr. Alex West, a neurosurgeon, to treat pain in his neck. West recommended what he called a safe and routine procedure that involved the insertion of a pointed wire into the neck.

During the operation, however, West placed the wire in the wrong place and damaged Ackerman’s spinal cord.

Jonathan Carlson, an intern who assisted West during the surgery, testified that he was able to see on a monitor that the wire was going in the wrong direction, but because the monitor provided a limited view, he said nothing.

The jury found Dr. Alex West negligent but exonerated his intern.

Ackerman’s lawyer, Richard Rogers, said he was happy for his client but also added that “money was never the issue.” According to Rogers, the lawsuit was about making doctors accept responsibility for their mistakes.

The former television personality used to water ski, play basketball, golf, rock-climb, and play tournament-level tennis but now claims he can no longer even type or button his shirt with his right arm.

Ackerman said that through sheer determination and intensive physical therapy, he was able to regains
some of athletic mobility. However, his fine motor skills are reduced, and he still has to deal with constant pain, which he treats with daily medication.

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