Articles Tagged with maryland lawyer

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 jury in Massachusetts has awarded a husband and wife $1.6 million in a malpractice case against a doctgor over the death of their son on a college basketball court. The young man, a Senior in college at Eastern Connecticut State University, collapsed during a game due to a congenital heart defect called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The family claimed that the doctor, who had examined the young man and found him eligible to play, missed the heart condition.

As an experienced Maryland and Washington, D.C. attorney who handles many medical malpractice and other catastrophic injury cases, I have successfully handled many death cases and even a number of cases involving hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This is a condition that can be easily diagnosed. To see some of the cases I have handled, click here.


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

A bill currently is being considered by the Maryland legislature would expand a law that protect a doctors from his apology being used against him in court in a medical malpractice case. Currently, Maryland law states that an apology or statement of regret by a doctor is inadmissible in a medical malpractice trial. That statute, which is found in Section 10-920 of the Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland, encourages doctors to apologize for an error. In my opinion, it is a good law that encourages a doctor to be honest with a patient.

But a new bill has been proposed to expand the current law so that other things the doctor says along with the apology or statement of regret also would be inadmissible. This does not make sense. We shouldn’t have to exclude statements from evidence to encourage our doctors to be honest with us. Moreover, the effect of this proposed law would be to prohibit from evidence what could be the only evidence of what happened. For example, suppose a patient becomes paralyzed during back surgery and the operative report and all of the other records surrounding the procedure are silent as to what happened (this is exactly what happened in a recent case of mine). Then, suppose the doctor comes into the patient’s room after the surgery and says “I’m really sorry that you are paralyzed (currently this would be inadmissible) and I feel really bad about what happened (also currently inadmissible), but during the surgery I dropped an instrument on then spinal cord by accident because I was really tired from being out the night before with my medical school buddies at a reunion; I just wanted you to know what happened.” The proposed law would make that last part of the doctor’s confession inadmissible. That is absurd.

In my opinion, the much better approach would be to enact a law that requires our doctors to tell us what happened when there is an adverse outcome that is significant. This would serve the public much better than a law that shields the truth from evidence.

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

An Alabama jury has awarded $20 million in a medical malpractice case in which a woman died after receiving negligent anesthesia care. The woman, a wife and mother of two, died in 2006 after receiving anesthesia during exploratory surgery. The woman, who had been suffering from severe abdominal pain, aspirated bile from her stomach into her lungs, causing aspiration pneumonia. The family claimed that the defendant doctors did not examine the woman’s abdomen or look at her medical records before the exploratory surgery, which would have revealed her risk factors for breathing fluid into her lungs.

As an experienced Baltimore, Maryland medical malpractice lawyer, I have handled a number of medical malpractice cases, including some involving the negligent administration of anesthesia. In one case, a woman died from improper monitoring during anesthesia. In another case, a patient died of aspiration pneumonia during the days after surgery. These are tragic cases. They can easily be prevented with just even the minimum care and attention. To see some of the cases I have handled, click here.

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

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