April 23, 2014

Medical Malpractice Involving Steroid Injection

A Kansas jury recently found that a Kansas doctor and pain clinic were guilty of medical malpractice that caused the death of a 40-year-old man, and awarded the Missouri family nearly $3 million. A copy of the article regarding the medical malpractice verdict can be found here.

The medical malpractice suit stems from a series a steroid injections beginning in May 2008. The patient, who suffered chronic lower back pain, visited a Kansas pain clinic in early 2008. In May, one of the physicians who operated the clinic injected medication into the patient’s back. This alleviated his pain for a while, but in December the patient was back in the clinic for a second round of injections. Unfortunately, those injections failed, and the patient returned to the clinic on January 5, 2009. The original treating physician was on vacation, so another operating physician attended to the patient. This physician administered an epidural steroid injection in the patient’s lower back. Soon after, the patient’s pain still had not subsided, and a lump started to appear where the needle had gone in. The medical malpractice suit states that the patient complained that the lump hurt but was told by the clinic that minor swelling at the injection site was normal.

About a week later, the patient went back to the clinic for another injection. According to the medical malpractice suit, at this time the patient told a nurse about the lump and the pain around it. After checking with the physician, the nurse said it was no problem.
After this final injection, the patient’s condition rapidly deteriorated. His family recalls him sitting immobilized on the couch, in intense pain about his legs and back, with a stiff neck and complaining of his head feeling on fire with pain. This had them worried, and on January 21, the patient’s girlfriend drove him to the emergency room after finding him disoriented in his apartment. At the hospital, the patient was diagnosed with meningitis caused by antibiotic-resistant MRSA bacteria. He was told he probably would die or be paralyzed, but the patient pulled through after about ten days. Sadly, however, the infection left the patient with significant spinal injuries. He was left impotent and without control of his bladder or bowels as a result of damaged and chronically inflamed spinal nerves. Additionally, he had great difficulty walking and constantly was in pain.

In December 2010, the patient filed a medical malpractice suit against the pain clinic and its doctors because he found it was impossible for him to work. He wanted to ensure he had the money he would need for future medical care and expenses, as well as help at home. Tragically, the once active and fun 40-year-old took his own life before having his chance to be heard in court.

Epidural steroid injections often can be done in a matter of minutes and in outpatient settings. However, while the procedure may be quick, doctors and nurses must be very careful and precise with the needle and the site of the injection. These injections are relatively safe, but this case goes to show that they sometimes do come with complications. Many medical mistakes involved medical malpractice, and that is when our experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin & White are here to help. Please contact one of our medical malpractice attorneys if you believe you are a victim of negligent medical care.

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April 15, 2014

Parents File Medical Malpractice Lawsuit After Six-Year-Old Son Dies

Tragically, a medical condition or injury sometimes results in death for too many individuals, particularly young children. This is a loss that no parent should have to experience in his or her lifetime. Often, there is nothing that can be done to prevent these tragedies. However, there are occasional incidents in which a child’s death could have been prevented, but wasn’t. In these situations, errors by medical professionals and hospitals are crucial and sometimes may be the bases for medical malpractice lawsuits. Medical malpractice suits function to hold these professionals and hospitals accountable when they fail to meet the appropriate standards of care and injury or death results. Medical malpractice can take many forms, including a misdiagnosis. Recently, this prompted a medical malpractice lawsuit by a Dallas couple whose six-year-old boy died after treatment by an emergency physician at a Texas medical center. A copy of the article regarding the recent medical malpractice case can be found here.

According to the medical malpractice suit, on May 8, the young boy injured his back after running into a pole and falling on the concrete playground at his elementary school. The boy subsequently received treatment from an emergency physician as well as other hospital personnel at the children’s medical center. The medical malpractice complaint alleges that the boy initially complained of back and abdominal pain, and was noticeably pale and in significant pain. The treating physician ordered multiple tests, which revealed the boy had an elevated white blood cell count and was showing signs of constipation.
Ultimately, the boy was given medication for his vomiting and at least one enema before discharging him with a diagnosis of constipation. Four hours after he was discharged, the young boy tragically died.

The autopsy found that the young boy suffered from an abrasion on the left lateral chest wall, a lacerated left kidney with hemorrhage, intestinal hemorrhage, and injuries to his pancreas, stomach, right kidney, and abdomen. The medical malpractice suit alleged that the enema and other medical mistakes masked symptoms of internal trauma and ultimately led to the misdiagnosis. Additionally, the medical malpractice complaint goes on to say that nurses and other medical staff underestimated the seriousness of the boy’s injuries, inadequately examined him, failed to order appropriate testing, misdiagnosed his condition, and made other medical mistakes that ultimately led to the boy’s tragic death. The boy’s family sued the medical center, emergency physician, and the institute at which the physician worked.

This case represents just one example of how medical providers make mistakes. The skilled medical malpractice attorneys at Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin & White are here to assess these claims and provide victims and their families with the support and legal advice to best protect their rights. No patient or parent should have to question the competence of medical care from physicians and hospitals. If you believe you have suffered due to a physician’s medical malpractice, please contact one of our experienced medical malpractice attorneys today.

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April 8, 2014

Cancer Misdiagnosis Leads to $300,000 Verdict

Some of the most common medical malpractice lawsuits involve a provider’s failure to diagnose a patient properly. When patients seek medical help, they trust that their healthcare providers will perform the necessary steps to determine what is causing their symptoms and ultimately provide the proper treatment. Needless to say, patients expect to receive the highest level of care. In this same vein, doctors are expected, and even trained, to make the proper decisions when the time comes to make a diagnosis or recommend the appropriate treatment.

Unfortunately, misdiagnoses happen all too often. A misdiagnosis can lead a patient down the wrong treatment plan or without any treatment plan at all. Failing to properly diagnose a patient prevents doctors and medical staff from providing the proper treatment, which often can lead to further injury or sometimes even death.

In 2009, a healthy and active middle-aged woman in Texas underwent a mastectomy to remove a benign breast tumor. Just one month later, she was given the horrific news that every woman fears: she had stage IV breast cancer. Once she was able to accept this devastating news, she began to give away her belongings, start treatment, and arrange for own home care. The treatment endured for seven long months. As a result of the stress and difficulties associated with the diagnosis and treatment, the patient developed anxiety. In 2011, the patient visited a medical center for treatment of her anxiety. Doctors performed several tests and scans that routinely are administered to cancer patients experiencing anxiety. At that time, they suspected that something was wrong. Subsequent testing at another medical center later confirmed those suspicions: the patient’s previous cancer diagnosis was wrong. The tests revealed that the patient had been cancer-free since her mastectomy earlier in 2009. Fortunately for the patient, the original doctor who made the diagnosis read her PET/CT scan incorrectly.

Unfortunately, however, the patient was forced through numerous rounds of painful and unnecessary treatment, not to mention the wasted dollars on substantial medical expenses, sold personal belongings, and severe emotional suffering. In 2013, the patient filed a medical malpractice suit against the physician who had misdiagnosed her. A Texas jury later awarded her more than $300,000 in damages to compensate for her injuries and pain and suffering. A copy of the article regarding the medical malpractice case can be found here.

This medical malpractice case illustrates the fact that medical negligence can take many forms – whether it be emotionally, physically, or mentally. Regardless of the form, when a misdiagnosis or any sort of medical error or mistake harms an individual, these victims may be entitled to compensation for their injuries. No matter how small the error or resulting injury may be, these medical mistakes cannot be overlooked. Our experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin & White successfully have represented dozens of patients and families who have suffered injury or loss as a result of a physician’s medical negligence. We are committed to patients in the most difficult of cases, and are here to help you if you believe you are the victim of medical malpractice.

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April 1, 2014

Family Wins $4.8 Million in Medical Malpractice Suit Involving Misdiagnosis of Myocarditis

A Massachusetts jury recently has found that a doctor at a hospital in Boston was guilty of medical malpractice that caused the sudden death of a 23-year-old man, and awarded the family $4.8 million in the medical malpractice case.

Apparently, the patient visited the emergency room on August 14, 2006, with symptoms of a cough, fever, and chest pains. After a very brief visit with a physician at the hospital, the patient was diagnosed with bronchitis and discharged shortly thereafter. The physician prescribed antibiotics and painkillers and suggested he get plenty of rest. Sadly, early the next morning, the patient was found dead in his bed. A copy of the article regarding the medical malpractice case can be found here.

Medical examiners subsequently identified the patient’s cause of death as myocarditis, a virus that affects the heart muscle through infection and inflammation. An electrocardiogram would have revealed this condition. However, and despite the fact that an electrocardiogram is routine for patients complaining of chest pains, the physician did not order that test. The medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that the patient’s condition was preventable, had his physician spent the appropriate time caring for the patient.

Earlier this month, a Boston jury found the physician was negligent in his care and treatment of the patient, and that this was a substantial contributing factor in his death. The jury heard five days’ worth of evidence and ultimately concluded that the physician’s lack of attention to the patient contributed to the patient’s tragic death. The jury awarded $2.925 million to the patient’s mother as compensation for the loss of her son, and with interest that amount increased to $4.8 million.

When an individual suffers injury or even death as a result of the negligent actions of another person, those medical professionals who are responsible must be held accountable. The failure to diagnose the true and correct condition of a patient is a basis for a medical malpractice suit in Maryland and in other states. A doctor must follow appropriate standards of medical care in order to diagnose and treat a patient properly. When they do not, serious consequences can result, leaving patients and their families in tragic situations. This case is just one example of why a physician’s accuracy of a patient’s diagnosis is critical.

Not all misdiagnoses amount to medical malpractice – that is where the experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin & White come in to help. Medical malpractice cases are complex and require experienced attorneys who pay significant attention to detail in order to give victims the compensation they deserve. Our medical malpractice attorneys have handled dozens of similar cases and have helped victims obtain adequate compensation. No family should have to experience what this one Boston family went through, but when they do it is important to hold those accountable responsible.

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March 25, 2014

New York Man Awarded $9.1 Million in Medical Malpractice Suit

A person who is injured expects to receive adequate care and treatment from doctors and medical staff. Patients certainly do not expect that they will walk out of a hospital or doctor’s office in a worse condition than when they arrived. Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened in a recent medical malpractice case in New York. A copy of the article regarding the recent medical malpractice verdict can be found here.

Almost ten years ago, a New York man slipped on some steps as he made his way into work as a public safety dispatcher, breaking one of his ankles. He subsequently sought treatment for his injury from a doctor at an orthopedic practice. Later, he began experiencing significant pain on the side of his foot near his little toe. This intense pain prompted him to seek treatment from another doctor. From 2005 to 2009, a surgeon at a knee center began performing surgeries on his little toe in hopes of alleviating the patient’s pain. Eventually, however, the surgeon amputated the patient’s little toe.

Sometime after this amputation, the patient developed an infection, and the doctor was forced to amputate the fourth toe. The patient’s pain persisted, and in July 2009 the knee surgeon amputated the leg just below the knee. Once again, the patient developed another post-surgical infection which required the amputation of the remaining leg above the knee. After these surgeries in 2009, the patient no longer was able to work. In all, the patient underwent twelve surgeries from various doctors in New York. Following all of these surgeries, the patient filed a medical malpractice suit against his treating doctors and surgeons.

After a trial that lasted 15 days, the jury in the medical malpractice case delivered a verdict in favor of the patient and awarded him $9.1 million. He was awarded $2 million for past pain and suffering, $4 million for future pain and suffering, and $2.8 million for past and future medical expenses and loss of wages. The jury also awarded $350,000 to the patient’s former wife for loss of services.

Certainly the original fall and injury were difficult and painful enough for this patient and his family. Unfortunately, it turned terrible when the medical care by surgeons caused further injuries and multiple additional surgeries. No patient expects to find themselves involved in a medical malpractice suit against doctors who are specially trained to help individuals. But when medical mistakes occur, and you are injured as a result, it is important to take action. By doing so, medical malpractice victims not only may be compensated for their injuries, but they also can help prevent similar unfortunate experiences and medical mistakes from happening to other patients and their families.

From hospital errors to surgical mistakes, medical malpractice happens all too often and can leave patients seriously injured. With the assistance of an experienced medical malpractice attorney, you may receive the compensation you highly deserve for injuries.

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March 10, 2014

Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Accuses Cardiac Surgeon of Leaving Procedure Early

Some busy surgeons are known to leave the operating room before the surgery is completed, leaving less-experienced doctors to finish. This can result in terrible consequences.

Recently, a 72-year-old man and his wife filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against a cardiac surgeon and a hospital alleging that the man’s surgeon left his open heart surgical procedure early. The patient, once active and in good health, has been bedridden in a vegetative state since the operation he underwent nearly two years ago. A copy of the article regarding the medical malpractice case can be found here.

According to the medical malpractice suit, the patient visited a prominent medical center for the repair of an ascending aortic aneurysm. A prestigious cardiac surgeon was scheduled to perform the surgery on April 2, 2012. Rather than finishing the procedure properly, the medical malpractice suit alleges that the surgeon left the operating room before the patient was stabilized and instructed a physician’s assistant to close the patient’s chest. Upon the surgeon’s exit, however, the patient’s health took a turn for the worse: his heart stopped beating as oxygen and blood rapidly escaped his body. The medical malpractice suit claims the surgeon raced back to the operating room to manually massage the patient’s heart, but it was too late – the damage already had been done. Subsequent investigations surrounding the alleged medical malpractice also revealed that the physician’s assistant who was instructed to remain in the operating room was not qualified to complete the procedure.

The medical malpractice suit alleges that the surgeon’s negligence in failing to complete the procedure caused multiple serious complications. Today, the patient remains on life support and has significant medical expenses as a result of the physician’s negligence.
Additionally, the cardiac surgeon’s decision to leave the operating room during surgery early violated clear hospital policies that prevent a surgeon from leaving a surgical procedure before the patient is in stable condition.

The medical malpractice suit notes that the cardiac surgeon was one of the busiest heart surgeons in California prior to this operation gone seriously wrong. While this may be humbling, it also threatens the safety and well-being of patients. When doctors are booked up and being pulled in several directions at once they sometimes may be unable to devote their full attention and resources to the patients they treat. Unfortunately, this may have been the case for this patient and his family, and now they are forced to cope with the tragic consequences.

Choosing a health care professional, especially a cardiac surgeon, can be a daunting task. Most of the time, all goes as planned and patients benefit from the care they receive from their treating professionals. However, even the most qualified and experienced surgeons can make mistakes that leave patients like this man seriously injured.

The upside to this case is that it hopefully provides surgeons and all medical professionals with a valuable lesson: to take their time and treat each and every patient with the appropriate care they deserve. The experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin & White can help you determine if you have been a victim of medical malpractice. We have successfully represented thousands of patients and their families who have been injured as a result of a physician’s or surgeon’s negligence.

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February 28, 2014

Medical Malpractice and Birth Injuries

Over the years, I have successfully handled a number of medical malpractice birth injury cases. The birth of a child should be an exciting and happy occasion for all parents. Especially for new parents, labor and delivery can be scary and intimidating, and that is why parents trust their doctors and nurses to perform to the best of their abilities and provide excellent medical care. This means putting their own lives and their child’s life in the hands of medical staff and trusting that everyone will be happy and healthy. Sadly, the doctors and nurses who are responsible for delivering babies sometimes can endanger the health and safety of both baby and mom through mistakes and inattention. These injuries happen far too often and can result in irreparable harm to the baby prior to and during delivery. Birth injuries can have significant consequences on a child’s health and future, and on a family who must cope with the financial hardships of raising a child with a severe disability or condition.

Recently, according to a Chester County, Pennsylvania jury, two nurses were found to be negligent in a medical malpractice lawsuit lodged by a mother on behalf of her infant daughter. The jury concluded that the little girl suffered brain damage at birth because nurses at a Pennsylvania hospital failed to alert doctors about changes in the baby’s condition prior to delivery. A copy of the article regarding the medical malpractice suite can be found here.

After being admitted in early labor at a Pennsylvania hospital, the mother was placed on a fetal heart monitor designed to monitor the baby’s heart rate for any dangerous changes throughout the labor and delivery. The lawsuit alleged that about two hours after the mother was admitted, two attending nurses noticed that the baby’s heart rate had dropped significantly, from about 150 beats per minute, to about 60 beats per minute. Although this condition persisted, the nurses failed to alert the mother’s physician in a timely manner, and nearly fifteen minutes passed before the physician saw that the child’s heart rate had dropped significantly. Due to an additional delay in preparing anesthesia for an emergency Cesarean section, the baby was not delivered until about thirty minutes later. According to the family’s attorney and medical experts who testified, it was likely that the heart rate dropped because oxygen flow to the baby’s brain had been blocked by a kink in her umbilical cord.

Today, the girl, now four years old, suffers from spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. She experiences spasms in her legs and arms, has difficulty controlling her neck, has significant speech impairments, and has trouble walking.
After a two-week trial, jurors found the two nurses were negligent when they did not call for help quickly enough after noticing that the baby’s heart rate had dropped, and awarded $32.8 million to the girl and her family. This large verdict includes $31 million for future medical expenses, $1 million for past and future non-economic damages, and $800,000 for future lost earning capacity. Thankfully, this award will compensate the family and allow them to provide the specialized services and treatments the little girl will require for the rest of her life.

This type of case is a sad reminder that life-changing medical mistakes can happen. Birth injuries especially can have significant, long-term consequences on a child’s health, and our experienced medical malpractice attorneys can help you pursue the compensation you deserve from those responsible.

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February 21, 2014

Patient Who Suffered a Heart Attack Files Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Against Physician

As a medical malpractice lawyer, I have successfully handled a number of cases involving failure to timely diagnose and treat heart attacks. As more of America’s baby boomers are reaching the retirement age, more are suffering from medical conditions that require adequate treatment and care by competent physicians and medical staff. Individuals rely on these medical professionals to act properly and render the appropriate care to reduce the chances that a significant medical problem occurs.

A physician’s first and most crucial step in helping a patient suffering from any type of medical problem is a proper diagnosis. Once a proper diagnosis is made, the physician and medical staff can determine the appropriate steps to take to ensure the patient receives the necessary and adequate treatment and care for their condition. Unfortunately, when a doctor fails to diagnose and treat a patient properly, the patient can suffer serious and sometimes permanent injuries.

Recently, this was the case for a Louisiana man who has filed a medical malpractice suit against his doctor. The patient’s medical malpractice claim alleges that his physician’s failure to take the proper steps following discovery of severe heart conditions led to the patient suffering a heart attack and, as a result, becoming permanently disabled.
In the fall of 2009, the patient began experiencing problems with angina and numbness in his hands. He subsequently sought treatment from his physician, who recommended an angiogram and heart catheterization. The physician also advised the patient that if he determined stents would be necessary those procedures would occur at this time. On November 6, 2009, the patient underwent the heart catheterization procedure for two blockages in his arteries.

In his medical malpractice lawsuit, the patient alleged that his physician discovered a health condition that warranted implantation of the stents; however, no stents were placed during the procedure. Less than three weeks later, the patient was rushed to the emergency room when he suffered a heart attack. At this time, a stent finally was inserted to help control the damage. Unfortunately, the heart attack already had caused significant heart damage and physicians informed the patient that he would be permanently disabled. The patient claims in his medical malpractice suit that had the stent been implanted at the time of his physician’s earlier exam and procedure he could have avoided this medical disaster.

The plaintiff’s lawsuit also accused the physician of medical malpractice for failing to take adequate precautions and for failing to refer the patient to a vascular surgeon for treatment of the patient’s cardiovascular disease. A copy of the article regarding the medical malpractice lawsuit can be found here.

This case is just one of many that serves as a reminder for patients and their families that medical mistakes do happen when doctors fail to do their job correctly. Being diagnosed with any sort of medical condition is traumatic and difficult enough as it is. Patients should not have to live knowing the additional fact that their physician could have taken precautionary steps to prevent a serious medical consequence. Patients who have been injured as a result of a physician’s negligence, such as a failure to diagnose a medical condition, must understand their rights to compensation so these life-altering consequences do not happen to others.

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February 19, 2014

Maternal Deaths Due To Medical Malpractice

Over the years, I have represented a number of families who have suffered catastrophic consequences of childbirth. A recent news report discusses two cases that very similar to cases that I have successful handled.

In the recent matters, a Massachusetts hospital launched an internal review following the tragic deaths of two young mothers during childbirth. One mother died in mid-January, leaving four children, including her newborn baby girl, after suffering an amniotic fluid embolism. The other mother died just one month earlier after giving birth to her first child, a healthy baby boy, due to complications from a Caesarean section. The Massachusetts Department of Health also is investigating these deaths as part of a standard protocol. A copy of the article regarding the investigation can be found here.

Amniotic fluid embolism is a terrible complication of pregnancy and childbirth. When an amniotic fluid embolism occurs, fluid from the mother’s amniotic sac enters the mother’s circulatory system carrying fetal debris which can migrate throughout the mother’s organs, sending the mother into serious bodily shock. When this occurs, the results can be extreme for both the mother and the unborn baby. Several risk factors may help to predict amniotic fluid embolisms before they occur, including sudden and traumatic labor, advanced maternal age, placental abruption, and delivery using forceps or vacuum extraction. The failure to anticipate and protect a patient who may have one or more of these risk factors may constitute medical malpractice.

Similarly, delivery via Caesarean section carries risks as well. Sometimes, a Caesarean section may be necessary to preserve the health and safety of both the mother and the baby. In this situation, a physician may be liable for medical malpractice for failing to timely perform a Caesarean section.
The Massachusetts hospital has taken the position that the women’s deaths were both unpredictable and unpreventable and also unrelated, stating that the medical team responded to both cases swiftly and aggressively and did everything possible. The hospital’s internal review is being conducted in the form of a peer review committee comprised of a group of physicians. This committee reviews the patient’s care to determine whether or not it was appropriate under the circumstances.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 650 women die each year as a result of delivery or complications from delivery. Despite rapid advances in medicine, the pregnancy-related mortality rate has more than doubled in the last 30 years.

Maternal deaths related to childbirth are rare. Even with today’s medical knowledge and techniques, however, mistakes happen. When a doctor, nurse or a hospital act negligently or carelessly, serious birth injuries can occur and sometimes even result in death of the mother, the child or both. When these mistakes occur, the negligent healthcare providers must be held accountable for their actions so other families are not forced into a similar and tragic situation. Although the results of the investigations in Massachusetts are unknown at this time, two young fathers are grieving over the sudden loss of their wives and learning to cope with the reality of raising two children alone. Medical negligence or not, no family should have to endure this type of tragedy.

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February 3, 2014

Doctor’s Negligence Leda to Patient’s Leg Amputation

Nearly twenty years ago, a patient in Missouri underwent a hysterectomy with lymph node dissection. Shortly after this procedure, she developed lymphedema, or swelling of the legs. This condition required her to undergo physical therapy and medical monitoring for more than a decade. Several years after she was released from monitoring, the patient began experiencing pain in her left leg and foot again. She proceeded to consult several doctors about the pain, and eventually saw an orthopedic surgeon. The patient described her symptoms as numbness, tingling and redness in her foot. The orthopedic surgeon diagnosed her with lymphedema again and other related neurological issues, and recommended she follow up with her neurologist.

The patient followed instructions and underwent several neurological studies and continued to see numerous physicians regarding her condition. However, after about one year, the pain did not subside and she visited the hospital again. At this time, she was diagnosed with phlegmasia cerulean dolens, a severe form of deep vein thrombosis – commonly known as a severe blood clot in her leg. Due to this condition, and the length of time that had passed without treatment, the patient’s left leg required amputation from above the knee down several days after this diagnosis.

The patient initiated a medical malpractice suit against the orthopedic surgeon for failing to diagnose or treat the condition, and for failing to refer her to a vascular surgeon who may have been able to treat the blood clot. Specifically, the medical malpractice complaint alleged that a doctor who saw the bluing and other conditions around the patient’s foot, coupled with her severe pain and decreased ability to move her foot, should have referred her to a specialist for further evaluation. By failing to do so, the patient argued, the orthopedic surgeon was negligent and did not exercise the degree of care ordinarily used by a member of the profession under these circumstances.

The orthopedic surgeon moved for summary judgment on the basis that the patient failed to provide expert testimony to show that the orthopedic surgeon deviated from the proper standard of medical care. The Missouri trial court granted the physician’s motion, and the patient appealed. Ultimately, the Missouri Court of Appeals reversed the grant of summary judgment against the patient after finding that the expert’s testimony was sufficient to establish that the orthopedic surgeon’s failure to refer the patient to a vascular specialist violated the standard of care, was negligent, and caused the patient to lose her left leg. The medical malpractice case was remanded, and now the patient will have her day in court. A copy of the Appeal regarding the medical malpractice case can be found here.

When patients seek medical attention, they expect to receive treatment that meets the appropriate standard of care in the profession. However, a physician’s medical negligence sometimes results in unfortunate injuries to patients. When this is the case, patients and their families deserve medical malpractice attorneys who will confidently represent their best interests and seek the compensation to which they are entitled. Our experienced medical malpractice attorneys successfully have handled dozens of cases where a doctor’s act, or failure to act, has caused the patient’s injury.

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January 31, 2014

Birth Injury Lawsuit Results in $6.5 Million Settlement

The parents of a child born with severe brain damage at a military hospital in Fort Hood, Texas recently settled their medical malpractice lawsuit against the United States government for $6.5 million. The medical malpractice lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin, alleged physicians ignored evidence that the mother’s contractions were over-stimulated by the excessive use of oxytocin, which caused severe distress in the baby and forced the mother to deliver by emergency Cesarean-section. A copy of the article regarding the medical malpractice case can be found here.

According to allegations made in the medical malpractice suit, the mother’s pregnancy had been normal until near the end of her term. At about 37 weeks, the baby’s growth slowed down, and the obstetricians opted to induce labor on September 11. While in labor, hospital staff frequently turned off the oxytocin after fetal monitoring showed decelerations in the baby’s heart rate. However, hospital doctors continued to resume the oxytocin doses, even after monitoring showed the baby was in distress. After being forced through a long labor, the baby suffered hypoxia, or oxygen deprivation to the brain, during the delivery process. As a result, the newborn suffered severe brain damage, which caused cerebral palsy and other lasting physical injuries.

The baby, now five years old, cannot walk or talk and requires extensive care to survive, including being fed through a feeding tube. According to the medical malpractice attorneys handling the case, when fetal monitoring shows signs of distress in the baby, medical standards of care dictate halting oxytocin and delivering the baby by C-section. In this heartbreaking case, however, the mother argued that the hospital staff negligently ignored these warnings signs and their lack of intervention directly contributed to the newborn’s birth injury. The large settlement will assist with the baby’s care, but it certainly will not give him the healthy life he and his parents deserve.

Parents often are scared, overwhelmed and vulnerable when they enter the labor and delivery departments of hospitals. As a result, they place a great deal of trust and confidence with the medical professionals responsible for the proper and safe delivery and care of both the mother and arriving newborn. In many cases, everything goes well during the labor and delivery process, and both mom and baby are happy and healthy. For some, however, a physician’s missed warning sign can lead to tragedy. This case demonstrates just one example of events that can happen in any labor and delivery room in any hospital.

Birth trauma is a very serious and lifelong injury. The cost of caring for a child injured in a birth trauma incident is significant and often places a substantial burden on parents, caregivers and families. Not only is the emotional hardship of raising a child and learning how best to provide for them taxing, many families also struggle with treatment costs and special care required for children injured as a result of medical malpractice. Medical malpractice suits involving birth trauma or injury require careful investigation into the medical mistakes tied to patient injury, and our medical malpractice attorneys have decades of experience with these cases. Our medical malpractice firm is committed to holding negligent physicians and hospitals responsible for their mistakes so that other families do not endure the same hardships.

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January 22, 2014

Dentist’s Negligence Causes Severe Brain Damage, Death to Three-Year-Old Girl

When you hear the words “medical malpractice,” what is the first thought that comes to mind? For most people, it probably is that a hospital or physician made a serious medical mistake. However, medical malpractice does not just cover physicians and their medical team, but dentists, too. And sometimes dentists can make tragic mistakes.

Just a few weeks ago, the family of a three-year-old girl filed a medical malpractice suit against their daughter’s dentist after a routine root canal procedure caused her to sustain permanent and severe brain damage and eventually die in hospice a month later. A copy of the article regarding the case can be found here.

Last November, the mother took her daughter to a pediatric dentist in their native town of Kailua, Hawaii. Although only three years old, the young girl needed several fillings and root canals. On December 3rd, the young girl returned for her procedure. At that time, her dentist administered a strong mix of five different sedatives and anesthesia. However, the girl’s vitals were not monitored afterward; rather she was left unattended for more than 25 minutes. This medical negligence caused the young girl to go into cardiac arrest and ultimately lapse into a non-responsive state. Additionally, because the dental staff was not prepared for it, the young girl did not receive immediate CPR and had to be rushed to a neighboring pediatric practice for emergency assistance.

The medical malpractice lawsuit alleges that as a consequence of the improper medication, incorrect dosage and delayed CPR, the young girl suffered irreversible and severe brain damage and remained in a “persistent vegetative state” for several weeks following her root canal procedure. Sadly, she remained in hospice care for a short time before eventually being taken off life support after doctors believed she would not recover from her significant injuries. The dental records obtained in connection with the medical malpractice lawsuit reveal that only three notes were made regarding the young girl’s vital signs during her dental procedure.

Whether it is a simple and routine dental exam or a complicated procedure involving anesthesia and other medications, all dental procedures carry a risk for injuries. Like any healthcare provider, dentists and their dental staff are held to a standard of care and carry a responsibility to ensure the health and safety of a patient. With this comes a duty to give adequate and proper consideration of how administered drugs interact with each other and how these drugs likely will interact with the specific individual.

This case serves as an important reminder that even the most seemingly routine procedures can carry fatal risks that may amount to medical negligence. While sometimes overlooked, dental anesthesia malpractice is common, and victims of such negligence have the right to receive fair and reasonable compensation for the harms suffered. If you believe your dentist has made a serious anesthesia mistake and you or a loved one has suffered a severe personal injury or even death, please contact one of our experienced medical malpractice attorneys regarding your possible claim.

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