$1.2 million awarded for spinal cord injury

An Owings Mills woman who sued her doctor because of permanent damage to her
spinal cord has won $1.2 million from a Baltimore County Circuit Court jury.

The jury, which deliberated for about four hours, found Dr. W. Hugh Baugher
negligent in the treatment of Rhonda Kellner.

The lawyer representing Kellner, 54, argued that her injuries could have
been prevented if Baugher had ordered that her neck be tested after she went
to him complaining of wrist pain in November 1999.

"Maybe the doctor will listen the next time a patient has something to tell
him," Kellner said Wednesday.

Baugher, who has offices in Owings Mills and Baltimore, is the orthopedic
physician for the athletic departments at the Johns Hopkins University and
the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Neither Baugher nor his attorney, Warren D. Stephens, returned calls seeking

In court papers, however, Baugher denied that his treatment of Kellner was
negligent, saying it was appropriate and did not cause her injuries.

Kellner said that she felt pain in her neck after wrist surgery and that
Baugher ignored recommendations by a physical therapist and a neurologist
for a magnetic resonance imaging test on her neck