Federal jury rules against doctor in surgery suit

Thursday, August 3rd 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Tulsa-AP) -- A federal jury has returned a half-a-million dollar verdict against a Tulsa neurosurgeon whose patient was paralyzed on her left side after a 1996 surgery.

Jurors deliberated for two days before finding that Doctor Frank . Letcher was either negligent and-or he failed to obtain proper consent before performing a brain biopsy. Sandra J. Means suffered bleeding in the brain during the biopsy.

Means had claimed that Letcher told her the lesions on her brain ppeared to be cancer and dismissed the possibility of multiple sclerosis. She says Letcher told her a tissue sample from the largest lesion was needed to give an exact diagnosis but didn't explain the risks of the biopsy.

Letcher claims to have fully informed Means of the surgery's risks. Means says later tests have shown she has multiple sclerosis. Letcher's attorney says an appeal is likely.