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MDLinxIowa Neurosurgeon Beats $27 Million Malpractice Suit

Plaintiff claimed a screw misplaced by 1 millimeter during surgery led to severe pain.

In a recent legal battle, Dr. David Boarini, an Iowa neurosurgeon, was exonerated from a $27 million malpractice claim. The case revolved around a surgical procedure performed in 2019, where the plaintiff alleged a misplaced screw led to chronic pain and disability. The defense successfully argued that the plaintiff’s symptoms were unrelated to the surgery, leading to a favorable ruling for Dr. Boarini.

Key Points:

  • Dr. Boarini’s defense argued that the plaintiff’s pain was unrelated to the surgery, citing her history of back pain and other diagnoses.
  • The jury ruled in favor of Dr. Boarini after a two-week trial and 4 hours of deliberation.

Additional Points:

  • Plaintiff lost her job and now uses a walker due to disabling leg pain.
  • The second neurosurgeon who performed revision surgery was unwilling to testify.
  • Dr. Boarini’s team demonstrated that the risk of removing the screw outweighed any benefit.


  • The case underscores the importance of maintaining detailed medical records and understanding patient history, as these factors played a crucial role in Dr. Boarini’s defense.

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“It’s part of our mission to advance, protect, and reward the practice of good medicine—to help hospitals, doctors, and so forth make care better—because it reduces their malpractice risk, but [also because it] makes care better, which is better for everybody.”

Dr. David L. Feldman, MD
Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer
Healthcare Risk Advisors

Chief Medical Officer
The Doctors Company
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