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$3.3 million is awarded to victim of surgical error

SHARE $3.3 million is awarded to victim of surgical error

TAMPA, Fla. — A jury has awarded $3.3 million to a man whose doctor fused the wrong vertebrae in his neck during surgery.

Sean E. O'Reilly had a herniated disk that was supposed to be replaced by bone from his hip. Instead, a healthy disk below it was removed, witnesses testified.

Attorneys for neurosurgeon William O. DeWeese argued O'Reilly had a congenital disk problem that resulted in his disks being miscounted, according to O'Reilly's attorney, Steve Yerrid.

"The surgery was designed to put him right back to work," Yerrid said. "He can never return to what he used to do."

O'Reilly, a 42-year-old former lineman for Tampa Electric Co., hasn't worked since the first surgery, Yerrid said. The jury also Friday awarded $500,000 to O'Reilly's wife for her losses.