Celebrity neurosurgeon Charlie Teo pays ‘significant’ compensation to partially paralyzed patient after brain tumor operation
A controversial neurosurgeon has been forced to pay “higher” compensation following an operation that left a patient partially paralyzed.
Charlie Teo and the Center for Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery Incorporated reached an out-of-court settlement with patient Grant Schultz on Friday following the surgeon’s treatment of an “inoperable” malignant brain tumor.
The settlement included no acknowledgment of liability.
Mr Schultz suffered a seizure at his Queensland home on November 25, 2015 and was taken to Toowoomba Hospital where a mass, later diagnosed as an anaplastic astrocytoma, was discovered in his brain.
Dr Charlie Teo made ‘significant’ payment to patient following controversial treatment for malignant brain tumor (pictured with partner Traci Griffiths)
The 40-year-old was referred to a radiation oncologist and a medical oncologist before learning a month later that the tumor was inoperable.
The NSW Supreme Court heard Mr Schultz sought an alternative opinion from Dr Teo on January 19, 2016.
Dr Teo informed the patient that he was a candidate for resection and that his procedure would give him a greater life expectancy.
The operation took place six days later, on January 25, 2016.
Mr Schultz alleged the surgeon told him to keep radiotherapy or chemotherapy as ongoing treatment “up his sleeve” when the tumor inevitably progressed, the judgment said, but this was disputed by Dr Teo with Justice Cavanagh upholding that there was no documented evidence of the advice given.
The judgment said he had partially recovered and was able to resume his normal life as much as possible after the operation, including returning to work.
Grant Schultz (pictured left, with his wife Julieann Schultz, right) suffered a seizure in November 2015 which led to the discovery of the mass in his brain before his consultations with Dr Teo in January 2016.
However, by February 2020, his condition had deteriorated.
Mr Schultz then underwent further resection of the tumor at Prince of Wales Hospital on March 4, 2020, where he suffered a stroke mid-operation which left him with left-sided hemiparesis.
This left him with no use of his left hand as well as memory problems and cognitive problems.
The judgment said the patient’s main case was that he should have been advised to embark on radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy after the first operation.
“The complainant argued that this was standard practice and that Dr Teo breached his duty of care by failing to provide this advice,” the judgment said.
“The plaintiff claims that his life expectancy would have increased if he had undergone such alternative therapy after the resection.”
Mr. Schultz also alleged that there was no detection of disease progression in 2019.
One of the factors considered in the settlement was Mr. Schultz’s life expectancy, which was estimated at less than a year.