Lawsuit against Robert Sickler, M.D. for injuries caused by epidural steroid injection


Dr. Robert Sickler is a Houston-based pain management doctor

August 18, 2013

Painter Law Firm filed a medical malpractice lawsuit on behalf of its client against Robert Sickler, M.D., a Houston-based pain management doctor. The case is pending in the 55th District Court of Harris County, Texas, Cause No. 2013-46679, and arises from the pain management care that Dr. Sickler provided to Stephanie Stephens in February 2012.

In the Fall of 2011, Ms. Stephens, a school teacher, saw Dr. Sickler about back pain. Dr. Sickler recommended transforaminal epidural steroid injections.

The standard of care requires the pain management doctor to inject the pain-relieving steroid medication into the epidural space of the patient's spinal cord. If the doctor does not use the proper, standard techniques, he or she can inject it into the patient's spinal cord itself, a spinal nerve or other structures that can cause devastating disabilities to the patient.

As soon as Ms. Stephens awoke from anesthesia in February 2012, when Dr. Sickler performed a transforaminal epidural steroid injection on the lumbar area of her spine, she knew something was wrong. She could not move or feel her legs. Although some sensation returned, her feet and legs were numb. She has been diagnosed with permanent injury to both of her L5 (lumbar) nerves. These many months later, Ms. Stephens still has difficulty with balance, pain and numbness in her legs and feet, which causes her to fall on occasion. 

Painter Law Firm retained Edson Parker, M.D., who is dual board certified in anesthesiology and pain management, to review the medical records and write a report about the care that Dr. Sickler provided to Ms. Stephens. Dr. Parker found that Dr. Sickler's injection technique caused the injuries, but that the pain management doctor was also negligent for over-sedating his patient during the procedure. When a patient is not over-sedated, he or she can tell the doctor when there is pain, which provides important feedback that prevents injecting the medication into the wrong place, which can have such dire results.

Attorney Robert Painter said, "Texas law requires medical malpractice plaintiffs to serve an expert report on any defendant within 120 days of filing a lawsuit. If a plaintiff fails to do so, the case will be dismissed and the plaintiff will have to pay the other side's attorney's fees." This is another reason why it is so important for people who have been injured by medical malpractice to hire attorneys who have significant experience in handling medical malpractice cases.

If you or someone you care about has been injured because of an injection by a pain management doctor, please contact us for a free consultation at 281-580-8800.

Additional Resources

Original Petition filed on August 8, 2013


Robert Painter

Robert Painter is an attorney and member of Painter Law Firm PLLC.


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