Lopez v. United States, No. 15-1169 (10th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff Leonard Lopez appealed after a bench trial on his medical negligence claims. Lopez underwent lower back surgery at the Veterans Administration Medical Center of Denver, Colorado (VA Hospital), in order to alleviate longstanding sciatic pain. Immediately following surgery, however, Lopez began experiencing excruciating pain in his left foot. Lopez has since been diagnosed with neuropathic pain syndrome. Lopez filed suit against the United States pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act alleging, in pertinent part, that: (1) Dr. Samuel Waller was negligent in performing the surgery; and (2) that the hospital was negligent in credentialing and privileging Dr. Glenn Kindt, the supervising physician involved in the surgery. At the conclusion of the trial the district court found in favor of the government on both claims. After review, the Tenth Circuit affirmed the district court’s judgment in favor of the United States on Lopez’s claim of medical negligence involving Waller, but reversed the district court’s judgment on the negligent credentialing and privileging claim. The case was remanded with directions to dismiss that claim for lack of jurisdiction.