From: Wade Roberts (email@example.com)
Sent: Tue 5/13/08 5:29 PM
To: Chief Angeli (firstname.lastname@example.org); Lt. Warchock (email@example.com)
Dear Chief Angeli:
I appreciate your inquiring Sunday as to whether or not I had re-contacted Detective Warchock and our very brief conversation that followed.
As I told you then, Detective Warchock asked me after calling him on Friday, May 9th to give him another call on Monday morning around 10, which I did and he was kind enough, after learning that my wife and I were already in Marquette, to meet with us briefly before lunchtime Monday.
I was disappointed however, by his refusal to accept the first post-surgical X-rays that I have been able to get copies of, as evidence of Crag Coccia’s intent regarding the outcome of my surgical treatment on November 21st, 2000.
Lt. Warchock did explain his reasons for doing so, which have some validity, primarily that he was not yet committed at that time to opening a case officially, at least until after we meet again, tentatively this coming Thursday.
My argument is that an examination and assessment of these post surgical X-ray films, preferably performed by a forensic radiologist, will be the very basis of any case against Craig Coccia and that this report will explain what was done surgically and demonstrate definitively a malicious intent, not simply negligence on the part of Craig Coccia.
These films, dated December 11th, 2000, were done at Helen Joy Newberry Hospital, during the only appointment Dr. Coccia ever scheduled for me outside of Marquette, are the first post surgical films of my cervical spine currently available to me.
My medical record indicates that there were three occasions during and likely immediately after the surgery that X-rays were done, but I have to date only been able to view and obtain a copy of the initial intra-operative X-ray that was done to insure proper identification of the precise location of a metal marker placed to determine at what level of my cervical spine surgery was being performed at.
The X-rays done later during and likely upon completion of the surgery have, to the best of my knowledge, gone missing since at least January of 2001.
The films I wish to submit as evidence demonstrate that a horizontal cut was deliberately made anteriorly into the C-7 vertebrae and subsequent to making this cut, screws were then placed just below this cut that were to temporarily hold the plate in place. The saw tool Craig Coccia used to make this deliberate and extremely skillful cut, nearly taking off the top third of my C-7 vertebrae, had no other purpose in the cervical aspect of this surgery and no business whatsoever being anywhere near my cervical spine.
While Craig Coccia admits stripping the screws he placed into the C-6 vertebrae, which is of course conceivably accidental, he claims as well to have replaced them with “rescue screws” afterward to correct this dangerous defect.
I have personally investigated the difference between the standard screws that were actually used to fasten this plate to my cervical spine and the “rescue screws” Craig Coccia’s procedure report claims he installed after stripping the initial set.
They, the “rescue screws” are of course of a larger thread diameter than the standard screw in order to obtain what is referred to as “purchase” into the bone and hold fast.
The eight screws that today hold my plate in place are identical.
There is no better direct evidence of intent available to prove this case than these X-rays, with the possible exception of those done during and just after the surgery would have been completed, though these films are now either in an alternate file somewhere and remain unavailable to me or have since been destroyed.
With the carefully placed cut in the C-7 vertebrae, that couldn’t have possibly been anything but intentional for reasons mentioned previously, and the C-7 screws placed only a few millimeters from this cut, coupled with the stripped screws in the C-6 vertebrae that were obviously not replaced with rescue screws as reported, it is no small miracle that this construct held, as it was deliberately designed to fail.
The surgery was performed and the plate placed while my cervical spine was under traction, provided by the use of Gardner Wells tongs.
This deliberately shoddy construct was quite reasonably calculated to fail once it had to support the full weight and accompanying stresses of supporting my head during recovery. There is also a matter of damage done to my right lung from the area of the incision that is identifiable in MRI films done post-surgically.
I could elaborate further on the actual reasons Craig Coccia decided to involve the previously healthy C-7/ T-1 level in this surgery in order to build this shoddy construct of my cervical spine, that couldn’t have possibly been expected to hold, but won’t at this time.
The bottom line is that a forensic radiological examination of these films will be essential to proving this case and can provide Lt. Warchock with the direct evidence necessary to demonstrate malicious intent on the part of Craig Coccia.
Refusing to accept and have these films properly examined equates to turning a blind eye.
Without this evidence there is little else to demonstrate any malicious intent, with of course the exception of the false statement Craig Coccia made in a letter to Paul Tomasi, Assistant Counsel to the Attorney General of the State of Michigan, regarding his assessment of the outcome of my first cervical spine surgery.
This surgery was done at the Mayo Clinic in November of 1997 and Craig Coccia’s letter was drafted to augment the State’s case against my claim for Worker’s Compensation.
To revisit the issue of any personal reasons or grievances that Craig Coccia may have had for doing what he did to me, the only problem I know of that I caused for him was the loss of scheduled surgical time when I canceled a surgery that had been scheduled for October 12th, 2000 without sufficient notice to either Marquette General or Northern Neurosurgery to schedule an alternative surgery for Craig Coccia’s time that day in the O.R. at MGH.
We of course never spoke of this, because I didn’t see him again from the time the October 12th, 2000 surgery was being scheduled until after the surgery in question that was performed on November 21st, 2000.
My Worker’s Comp case against the Michigan Department of Corrections/State of Michigan was settled on November 1st, 2000 and it was only then that I felt safe to proceed with the surgery that has since left me “reasonably disabled.”