Articles Tagged with maryland attorney

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.

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.

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.

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.

A New York jury in a medical malpractice recently found that a pediatric endocrinologist was guilty of medical negligence that caused the wrongful death of a six-year-old girl, and awarded the mother an $8 million verdict. Sadly, the girl died shortly after a non-board certified pediatric endocrinologist misdiagnosed her diabetes.

This defendant doctor was recommended by the girl’s pediatrician, who thought she may have had diabetes. After administering a blood test, the specialist jumped to the conclusion that the girl had pre-Type 2 diabetes; she prescribed a regimen of weight loss and exercise. Following this initial misdiagnosis, the specialist failed to order a blood test at a second visit, and the girl became gravely ill about a month later. When the girl’s blood sugar eventually was tested at the ER, it was found to be five times higher than the normal limits. Unfortunately, all she really needed was insulin, but because her doctor misdiagnosed her with Type 2 diabetes, instead of Type 1 diabetes, she ended up not getting the insulin she needed and died.

At trial, doctors said there were other signs that the girl had Type 1 diabetes and asserted that the doctor’s negligence in failing to administer the girl insulin caused the girl’s wrongful death. One diabetes expert testified that when a six-year-old has diabetes, there is a 99.99 percent chance it is Type 1. This is crucial, as Type 1 require insulin; Type 2 normally can be treated with diet and exercise.

Over the last few days, news reports have surfaced that a gynecologist / obstetrician who worked for Johns Hopkins, Dr. Nikita Levy, was improperly taking photographs and videos of patients.

Apparently, a co-worked reported Dr. Levy to a supervisor at Hopkins on 2/4/13 which resulted in Dr. Levy being fired by Hopkins on 2/8/13 and Hopkins notifying the police.

The police subsequently searched Dr. Levy’s home and found a large amount of “evidence.” Presumably, this means that they found many photos and videos of his patients. After retaining a local lawyer, Dr. Levy committed suicide.

In late June, one of the largest medical malpractice verdicts in Maryland was handed down by a Baltimore City jury against Johns Hopkins Hospital along with Johns Hopkins Health Systems Corp. The jury awarded the family of a child born with cerebral palsy and seizure disorder $55 Million.

The case stems from what was expected to be an emergency Caesarean section, but various medical mistakes and doctor errors resulted in a wait of more than two hours. The child was born with permanent and severe mental and physical disabilities as a result of loss of oxygen to the brain during the wait. Johns Hopkins Hospital continues to dispute any doctor error or medical malpractice and indicated that they will appeal the verdict.

The $55 Million verdict included a $25 Million award for future medical expenses based upon a life-care plan, $4 Million for future lost wages, and $26 Million for non-economic damages including thing such as pain and suffering. Although the award will be reduced as a result of Maryland’s medical malpractice cap on damages, the actual award will still be around $30 Million.

A Minnesota jury has awarded more than $1.25 million to the family of a 21 month old boy who died due to an infected (gangrenous) appendix that a doctor failed to diagnose and treat. The family claimed that the boy was misdiagnosed on two separate occasions over four days, including the day before he died.

The family alleged that when the doctor examined the boy’s abdomen, the boy cried louder than ever, but the doctor told the boy’s father that the boy’s appendix was fine. Thus, the doctor did not order an ultrasound or CT scan which would have diagnosed the problem. The doctor then diagnosed gastroenteritis. Evidence presented at trial established that the doctor scheduled pediatric patients in 10-minute increments. Thus, the family claimed that he was too busy to give each patient the attention they needed and deserved.

The doctor’s diagnosis of influenza was made over the phone and the family was discouraged from bringing the child into the clinic to be seen. That day, the doctor’s appointment schedule showed that 45 children were scheduled to be seen, and that the doctor was behind schedule.

A Kentucky jury has award $4.6 million to a couple in a medical malpractice case. The couple claimed that a urologist performed a negligent medical procedure on the husband causing permanent personal injuries. The verdict included $3,750,000 to the husband for pain and suffering, $117,612 for medical expenses and $750,000 to the wife.

As an experienced Baltimore, Maryland medical malpractice lawyer, I handle cases like these all of the time in my practice. One involved negligent anesthesia during urological procedures, while another involved the failure to recognize a spinal cord tumor that was causing incontinence. This is an extremely large verdict for such a case. While the newspaper article didn’t identify the particular injury, it must have been severe.

Contact Andrew G. Slutkin with further questions or inquiries at 410-385-2786

A jury in a medical malpractice case returned a jury verdict of $9.9 million last week to a Kentucky woman who suffered severe injuries and damages after routine heart surgery. The woman had surgery on her mitral valve in her heart in April 2006. The surgery took less than an hour and was successful. However, during the sugery, the surgeon allegedly misplaced the cannula, or hose, for a machine that pumps blood during the surgery. The woman claimed during the trial that the misplacement caused too much blood and oxygen to be pumped to her right hand and too little to her brain and spinal cord, causing her to no longer be able to walk due to paraplegia and to suffer mild to moderate brain damage.

The jury awarded the woman $455,229.06 in past medical experiences, $4,426,408.72 for future medical bills, $482,538 in lost wages and $4.5 million for pain and suffering. The total verdict was $9,864,175.78. The jury found that the anesthesiologist was responsible for 23 percent of the fault, and the perfusionist, the person who operates the heart-lung machine, was responsible for 41 percent of fault. Since the hospital defendant had already settled with the patient and did not participate in the trial, the verdict only will affect the surgeon. The jury assigned 31 percent of fault to the surgeon, or $3,057,894.49 of the total damages sought. Unless overturned during post-trial motions or on appeal, that portion of the verdict will be paid by the surgeon’s insurance company.

It is highly unusual for routine heart surgery to result in injuries like this. I have successfully handled a number of medical negligence cases in Baltimore and other counties in Maryland involving a failure to properly perform surgery, causing severe injuries and damages. Some of these medical malpractice cases have involved brain surgery, shoulder surgery, lung surgery, heart surgery, gallbladder surgery, colon surgery, etc. Its always tragic when a person suffers life-long injuries due to someone else’s medical mistake.

A South Carolina hospital and doctor have agreed to pay more than $1.2 million to settle a medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of a woman who died after she failed to receive a physician-ordered blood test. Apparently, the woman had surgery and was later discharged. Two days after the discharge, she went to the emergency room of the defendant hospital complaining of numbness in her left leg. The medical negligence lawsuit claimed that a doctor ordered a blood test that was not done. The woman subsequently went into a coma and died.

I have successfully handled a number of medical malpractice and wrongful death cases in Baltimore and other counties in Maryland involving a failure to follow-through with a doctor’s orders. One of the cases I handled involved a failure to timely give blood that was ordered by a doctor. As a result, the patient bled out and died. These cases are always tragic because the problem was recognized by the doctor, but the staff just did not follow the order.


Contact Andrew G. Slutkin with further questions or inquiries at 410-385-2786

The family of a New York woman who died of a breast tumor in 2004 has been awarded more than $9 million in a medical malpractice case. The jury found that a surgeon failed to properly diagnose the mother of two, allowing her breast tumor to grow and kill her.

I have successfully handled a number of medical malpractice / medical negligence / medical error cases in Baltimore and other counties in Maryland involving a failure to timely diagnose and treat breast cancer and other cancers. Some of the cases I have handled involved a failure to properly read mammograms (negligent reading of mammograms). Other cases have involved a failure to properly read pathology such as tissue samples on slides from a biopsy.

I have even handled a case involving negligent failure to properly treat cancer, in a medical malpractice case against Kaiser. In that particular case, a woman (who happened to be a judge) was properly diagnosed with lymphoma. She eventually started chemotherapy, which lowered the ability of her immune system to fight infection. After the chemo, but while her immune system still was weakened, she developed a rash from her chemotherapy, for which her doctor negligently prescribed steroids. The problem with prescribing the steroids was that steroids tend to further reduce the immune system’s ability to fight infection and, because they act as strong anti-inflammatories, they reduce fever and make you feel better when you are sick, thereby masking infection. Unfortunately, no one ever told this to the patient, so she did not take precautions against infection (which she had been doing while on chemo). Not surprisingly, she developed an infection and never knew it. Her blood work showed it, but the doctor did not tell her about it. Sadly, one night, she became overwhelmed with meningitis and died before being able to summon help. The jury in that case awarded $2.5M to the woman’s estate and her son.

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