Articles Tagged with wrongful death lawyer

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.

Recently, in a medical malpractice wrongful death case in Harford County, Maryland, a jury awarded more than $958,000 to the family of a woman who died after receiving “excessive amounts” of pain medication during a hospital stay. According to the lawsuit, the woman’s death resulted from the hospital providing hospice care rather than standard treatment for her infected ulcers.

In February 2010, the decedent, Beverly Ann Gargiulo, was admitted to Upper Chesapeake Health Center seeking treatment for ulcers that reportedly had become infected. The hospital allegedly told Mrs. Gargiulo she would need hospice care but never communicated that information to her family. During her treatment, Mrs. Gargiulo reportedly received large amounts of narcotics, including morphine and oxycodone, in increasing amounts and with increasing frequency. The family claimed in their medical malpractice and wrongful lawsuit that this pain relief medication was more appropriate for a patient about to die than for a person who was expected to be discharged from the hospital. Gargiulo’s family filed suit against the hospital asserting multiple causes of action for medical malpractice. In August, a jury awarded the family $958,258 after it found that the hospital committed medical negligence in its treatment of Gargiulo, and that this negligence resulted in a wrongful death.

I have handled many cases involving overmedication causing serious injuries and even death. These cases require a detailed understanding of medications and dosage levels, which only a medical malpractice lawyer has.

Nine Maryland hospitals face financial penalties for having far too many patients contracting preventable medical conditions such as infections, pneumonia and bed sores. Those hospitals committing medical malpractice are Prince George’s Hospital Center, Doctors Community Hospital, Laurel Regional Hospital, Union Hospital in Cecil County, Montgomery General Hospital, Civista Medical Center in Southern Maryland, Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, Washington Adventist Hospital and University of Maryland Medical Center. The penalties were handed down by the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission, which sets rates that hospitals can charge. The evaluation and penalties are designed to improve patient safety and lower health care costs by linking hospital performance with their payments.

This is an important study because it shows that there is significant malpractice at many of Maryland’s hospitals. It also shows that even some of the best hospitals in the state, such as the University of Maryland Medical Center, still have far to go to improve quality of care and reduce the incidence of medical malpractice and wrongful death. In fact, it is interesting to note that, at the same time that this study came out, members of Congress were trying to further limit the rights of victims of medical malpractice by trying to limit damages to $25,000.

We handle cases like these all of the time in my practice.

A Connecticut jury has awarded more than $1.3 million in a medical malpractice case. In the case, the plaintiff sued her oncologists alleging that they treated her for years for the wrong form of cancer, which led to the removal of part of her intestines and colon.

What makes the case especially unusual is that the case included a claim for damages on behalf of the woman’s longtime partner who had joined the woman in a civil union . In the litigation, a judge threw out the partner’s claims, holding that while the woman had been partners for more than 20 years they were not legally joined at the time of the alleged negligence.

If such a case is brought in Maryland, it will be interesting to see what the result is. Maryland’s wrongful death statute, section 3-904 of the Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland, a copy of which is below, allows claims for by a parent, spouse or child of the deceased person. The claim is for emotional distress and financial loss due to the death of family member. These are the most common type of wrongful death claim, as there is frequently a parent, spouse or child of the deceased alive to pursue such a case. The term “spouse” is not defined in the section where the statute is contained, so one certainly could argue that a person who participates in a lawful civil union ceremony is a “spouse” for purposes of the wrongful death act. If that argument doesn’t work, the Maryland wrongful death act includes a provision to allow for economic losses by certain people if there is no parent, spouse or child of the deceased. Those claims are for people related to the deceased by blood or marriage. Again, it can be argued that “marriage” is not defined, so that could cover a person who participates in a lawful civil union ceremony. It’s only a matter of time before this is tested.

As an experienced Baltimore, Maryland medical malpractice lawyer, I have handled many wrongful death cases on behalf of parents, spouses and children of the deceased.

We handle cases like these all of the time in my practice.


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

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A New York hospital has paid $2.9 million to settle the medical malpractice case of a 6-year-old boy who was killed after he was struck in the head by an oxygen tank during an MRI. The boy was lying in an MRI chamber when the machine’s magnet pulled in a metal tank that a hospital staffer had brought into the MRI’s magnetic field. This is one of a number of recent cases in which people have been severely injured or killed by metal objects that were left in an MRI room.

As an experienced Baltimore, Maryland medical malpractice lawyer, I have successfully handled a large number of medical malpractice cases involving the failure of radiology facilities to follow their own written policies, procedures or guidelines. Cases such as there, in which a doctor, hospital or medical facility fails to follow its own standards, are inexcusable. 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 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

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