Four years ago a Little Rock teen received surgery on the wrong side of his brain. Monday his parents got their day in court.
The surgery happened at Arkansas' Children's Hospital and it's the hospital's insurance company being sued.
Early on doctors documented Cody Metheny's social, learning and physical disabilities. In 2004 to stop 15-year-old Cody's epileptic seizures, his parents Pamela and Kenny Metheny brought him to Arkansas' Children's Hospital to have a lesion on the right side of his brain removed.
Instead, during the surgery the surgeon realized he operated on the left side of his brain. The family's lawyer Phillip Duncan says the mistake will cause Cody a lifetime of suffering.
"He's never going to be able to have an independent life," says Duncan.
The Metheny family is suing Medical Assurance Company Arkansas' Children's insurance provider, claiming a break down in the communication among the surgery team.
"In brain surgery you should mark and take time out and identify which side of the brain you're going to be operating on" says Duncan.
Monday in its opening argument the defense acknowledged the surgery mishap, but disagreed about its implications and who's responsible.
Defense lawyer William Griffin claims the mistake didn't damage Cody. Griffin went on to point out the acting neurosurgeon Badih Adada was actually a UAMS employee performing the surgery on the ACH campus.
Finally the defense plans to prove Metheny’s disabilities were the same before and after the surgery using his achievements at Parkview High school will prove it.
They claim his grades were comparable and he even served as football manager and volunteer school fire marshal after the surgery. Metheny's team plans to show his life will forever be changed by a mistake made at Arkansas Children's Hospital.
"It’s progressive so he's not going to get better he's going to get worse and he's in a pretty bad way," explains Duncan.
In an earlier case, the Metheny family settled their claim against the surgeon who performed the operation for an undisclosed amount of money. Now they say it’s about holding the entire team responsible.