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Suit blames doctor for paralysis

A Spring Hill woman has filed suit against a Hudson doctor who she says botched a surgical procedure that left her a quadriplegic.

The malpractice lawsuit accuses Dr. George Giannakopoulos of being careless and negligent when he performed a surgical procedure on the spine of Claire Impellizzieri, who filed the suit with her family Monday.

On Nov. 4, 1995, the suit says, Impellizzieri visited the emergency room of Columbia Regional Medical Center at Bayonet Point complaining of severe pain in her back and neck.

Four days later, after Giannakopoulos performed a procedure on her spine, Impellizzieri was unable to raise her right leg. On Nov. 12, the doctor performed a second operation, which left Impellizzieri a quadriplegic, the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit says Giannakopoulos failed "to comply with acceptable standards of surgical practice" while performing the second surgical procedure.

Giannakopoulos, Impellizzieri and her attorney did not return calls for comment Wednesday.

The suit, which seeks unspecified damages in excess of $15,000, seeks compensation for the injury, mental pain and suffering, and psychological and emotional damages.

Also named in the suit are Neurosurgical Associates, where the suit said Giannakopoulos was employed, and Columbia Regional Medical Center at Bayonet Point.