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Jury awards Dix Hills family $45.6 million for man's death years after botched surgery

The parents of Edward Beloyianis of Dix Hills

The parents of Edward Beloyianis of Dix Hills were awarded $45.6 million by a Bronx jury after he was paralyzed during spinal surgery in 2002 and died from complications in 2010, according to court documents released Friday, May 29, 2015. Beloyianis, pictured in 2009, was 14 when he underwent surgery for his scoliosis, which causes abnormal curvature of the spine, at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. Credit: Beloyianis family

A Bronx jury has awarded $45.6 million to the family of a Dix Hills man who died eight years after he was paralyzed in a spinal surgery at a Manhattan hospital.

A jury in State Supreme Court on Friday found both NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and Dr. David Roye, the hospital's director of pediatric orthopedic surgery, equally responsible for the injuries that led to the 2010 death of Edward Beloyianis.

The court awarded $40 million for Beloyianis' pain and suffering and $5.625 million in combined damages to his parents, Michael Beloyianis and Virginia Beaton, records show.

"The parents needed validation because they had been misled for so many years," said Evan Torgan, the family's Manhattan attorney. "They feel that justice was finally served."

Michael Beloyianis, who owns a plumbing, heating and air conditioning business in Greenlawn, did not respond to a request for comment forwarded by his lawyer.

In a statement, hospital officials said, "Our sympathies and thoughts continue to be with the Beloyianis family. NewYork-Presbyterian respects the jury's efforts in this case, but believes the verdict has no basis in law or fact and it will be appealed."

Roye's attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Edward Beloyianis was 14 years old when he went to NewYork Presbyterian Children's Hospital in November 2002 for surgery to correct his scoliosis, an abnormal curvature of the spine. The operation involved inserting screws and rods into his spinal column.

Torgan argued at the 7-month trial that Roye had misplaced four screws, lodging them against Beloyianis' spinal column and causing paralysis.

The family was told Beloyianis had suffered a stroke during surgery and that the hospital performed a CT scan, which found there was no surgical injury to the spinal cord, Torgan said. However, the hospital never ordered a CT scan, the lawyer said.

The jury ruled that Roye and the hospital departed from "accepted medical practice" by not having the scan done and that the decision was a "substantial factor" in causing the paralysis.

Torgan argued that if a scan had been performed, doctors would have seen the screws early on and possibly been able to restore some of Beloyianis' mobility.

Despite the paralysis, Beloyianis enrolled at Farmingdale State College and was studying computer science.

Beloyianis' death in 2010 stemmed from a urinary tract infection that Torgan said was caused by his paralysis. Farmingdale posthumously awarded him a degree in 2011.

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