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Exec Claims Hospital Left Him Quadriplegic

OLATHE, KAN. - Ronald Deffenbaugh, the founder of Kansas City's largest waste removal business, says he was left "a ventilator-dependent quadriplegic" after Shawnee Mission Medical Center let him fall from an X-ray table under anesthesia. The accident came just weeks after Deffenbaugh, 66, sold Deffenbaugh Industries for more than $300 million.

Deffenbaugh sued the hospital in Merriam, Kan., for medical malpractice, in Johnson County Court.

Deffenbaugh founded the company 50 years ago and turned it into one of the biggest waste management companies in the Midwest. He was admitted to Shawnee Mission Medical Center in June 2007 because of a lethargic reaction to pain medication, and a catheter line was ordered to assist with his nutrition.

He claims a radiology technician left him unattended, then found him on the floor with a gash in his forehead and labored breathing. A CT scan revealed a neck fracture that nearly his spinal cord, the suit states.

Deffenbaugh says he has become a "permanent quadriplegic."

See complaint.

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