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Indiana Inmate Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death Case Ruled Untimely May 28th, 2015

162017_132140396847214_292624_nIn its decision filed on May 26, 2015, the Court of Appeals of Indiana affirmed the trial court’s granting summary judgment in favor of the defendant health care providers in a medical malpractice wrongful death case filed on behalf of an Indiana prison inmate who died allegedly due to medical malpractice. The Court of Appeals of Indiana held that the inmate’s son, who filed the Indiana medical malpractice lawsuit pro se (without the assistance of an attorney), had failed to file the lawsuit within the two-year statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases in Indiana.

Indiana’s statute of limitations in medical malpractice cases is set forth in Indiana’s Medical Malpractice Act (Indiana Code section 34-18-7-1(b)), which provides that a claim against a health-care professional based upon health care that was provided or should have been provided, must be filed within two years of the alleged act, omission, or neglect. Indiana’s medical malpractice statute of limitations is an occurrence-based statute of limitations: an action for medical malpractice generally must be filed within two years from the date the alleged negligent act occurred rather from the date it was discovered.

There is an exception, however: if the claimant does not discover the alleged medical malpractice and resulting injury, and does not possess the information that would lead a reasonably diligent person to such discovery during the two-year period, the occurrence-based limitation period is unconstitutional as applied. Therefore, it must be determined when the claimant possessed enough information that, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, should have led to the discovery of the alleged medical malpractice and resulting injury. In Indiana, reasonable diligence requires a claimant to inquire into the possibility of a claim within the remaining limitations period, and to institute a claim within that period or forego it.

In the present case, the inmate died on November 4, 2010, allegedly as a result of medical negligence, but the inmate’s son did not file his medical malpractice complaint against an unnamed physician until February 21, 2014, and against an unnamed medical group until September 11, 2014, which dates were after the statute-of-limitations had expired.

The plaintiff argued that his medical malpractice filings were timely because he fell within the discovery exception to the statute of limitations, alleging that the earliest he could have discovered facts to learn of the medical malpractice and resulting injury would have been after his receipt of his father’ death certificate on September 28, 2012, which was within two years of filing his Second Amended Complaint.

The Court of Appeals of Indiana Decision

The Court of Appeals of Indiana stated that the plaintiff had received information from his brother three days after his father’s death that his father had died in the hospital after his spleen ruptured and he bled to death following colon surgery, which should have alerted him to the alleged medical malpractice and resulting injury.

Furthermore, the plaintiff waited thirteen months before contacting the hospital and requesting his father’s medical records. After the hospital told the plaintiff that his request was not on the proper form and sent him the correct one (which requested the last four digits of his father’s Social Security number), the plaintiff waited almost another year before he again attempted to obtain his father’s medical records from the hospital.

Therefore, the Court of Appeals of Indiana held that the plaintiff did not exercise reasonable diligence in pursuing his claim, and the trial court did not err in concluding that his claim was barred by the statute of limitations and in granting summary judgment in favor of the medical malpractice defendants.

Source Myers v. Anonymous Medical Group, et al., Case No. 79A05-1411-CT-525.

If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries or other harms as a result of medical malpractice that occurred in a prison, you should promptly consult with a prison malpractice lawyer in your state who may investigate your prison medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a prison medical malpractice case, if appropriate.

Click here to visit our website or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959 to be connected with prison malpractice attorneys in your state who may assist you.

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Puerto Rico Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Filed For Birth Trauma May 27th, 2015

162017_132140396847214_292624_nThe parents of a baby who suffered trauma during her birth and later died, allegedly as a result of medical negligence that occurred during labor, delivery, and shortly after her birth, have filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the Puerto Rico hospital where the birth took place on July 4, 2013, as well as naming a doctor as a defendant.

The baby died on August 12, 2014, one day after being brought to a hospital emergency room suffering from low oxygen saturation, hypothermia, and bradycardia (low heart rate) that led to her death from septic shock, hypoxia, and respiratory failure, allegedly related to the injuries she sustained during labor and delivery.

The pregnancy had progressed normally until the 39th week, at which time the mother’s blood pressure was 150/90 (her blood pressure readings were normal before then). Her doctor sent her to the defendant hospital on that date (July 3, 2013), due to her elevated blood pressure.

The hospital records indicate that the mother was 70% effaced with 2 to 3 centimeters dilation, minus 3 station, with normal fetal heart rate and the mother’s blood pressure at 120/70, when she was admitted to the hospital (the doctor’s handwritten medical notes were allegedly illegible, according to the Puerto Rico medical malpractice lawsuit, which was a breach of the standard of care because other health care providers would be unable to read his notes when providing care to the woman).

About four hours later, the doctor provided orders over the phone that included giving the woman medications that would require that she be closely monitored, which monitoring allegedly was not performed. The next morning, the fetal heart tracings allegedly were irregular and indicated a pattern of uterine hyperstimulation and tachysytole (excessively frequent uterine contractions) that allegedly would require placing a fetal scalp electrode and intrauterine pressure catheter, which were not done.

An emergency Cesarean section delivery was performed early that afternoon, but the plaintiffs allege in their Puerto Rico medical malpractice claim that the delivery should have been performed earlier. The parents allege that there was continuing medical negligence after the birth, including the failure to timely and properly respond to the newborn’s continuing severe neurological compromise and the failure to properly transfer the baby to another hospital (the baby was transferred to another hospital but the parents allege that the transfer was not properly made).

The baby was not discharged from the hospital to home until January 2, 2014. The baby suffered from a seizure disorder, chronic lung disease, and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. At home, the baby required frequent suctioning, gastrostomy feedings, home monitoring, and medications for her seizure disorder.

Source

If you or a loved one suffered a birth injury in Puerto Rico or in a U.S. state, you should promptly find a Puerto Rico medical malpractice lawyer, or a local medical malpractice lawyer in your U.S. state, who may investigate your birth injury claim for you and represent you in a birth trauma case, if appropriate.

Visit our website to complete and submit a short, secure form, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959, to find birth injury lawyers in Puerto Rico or birth injury lawyers in your U.S. state who may assist you.

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$2.8M Florida Medical Malpractice Verdict For Perforated Colon During Abdominal Surgery May 26th, 2015

162017_132140396847214_292624_nA 73-year-old man won his Florida medical malpractice lawsuit filed against the defendant hospital for the alleged negligence of a surgeon who allegedly perforated his colon during abdominal surgery and failed to discover the perforation and/or to timely respond to his symptoms that indicated a perforated colon.

The Florida medical malpractice jury trial lasted two weeks and concluded at the end of April 2015. The jury deliberated for seven hours over the period of two days before holding the defendant hospital liable for the alleged negligence of the surgeon and nursing staff, and awarding the plaintiff $2.8 million (other defendants had settled for $450,000).

The man had gone to the emergency room in May 2012, complaining of severe abdominal pain. The hospital’s on-call surgeon determined that the man needed gallbladder surgery that was scheduled to be performed laparoscopically the next day.

The plaintiff’s Florida medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that the surgeon failed to realize that he had inadvertently perforated the man’s colon during the surgery, causing him severe pain that required intravenous pain medication for three days during which he had symptoms of a bowel perforation that was not timely or properly diagnosed.

By the time the man was discharged from the hospital, he was suffering from renal failure, heart damage, and dementia. He endured hospitalizations and inpatient rehab stays over the period of six months during which he had to undergo dialysis. He suffered respiratory failure and required a tracheotomy, and spent months on a ventilator. He also required a pacemaker to be inserted, had to have liver abscesses drained, and required multiple revision surgeries for his ileostomy.

Following the jury’s verdict, the plaintiffs’ lawyers stated, “The surgeon and nursing staff treated his symptoms without sufficiently considering why the symptoms existed. On the third day, the man went into septic shock and was near death when he underwent emergency surgery with a second surgeon, who discovered the colon perforation, removed almost two liters of feces and blood from the abdomen, removed a large segment of the colon and created an ileostomy. The ileostomy cannot be reversed, and the man will pass feces into a bag rather than through the normal physical process for the rest of his life.”

“The defendants tried to prove that the perforation did not complete until the third day after surgery and attempted to blame some of the injuries on a military accident that occurred more than 50 years ago. They also tried to blame the brain injury on a fall from a ladder two weeks before the gallbladder surgery.”

The defendant hospital filed a motion for new trial on May 7, 2015.

Source Schabbel, et al. v. Naples HMA, Case No. 2013-CA-001565.

If you or a loved one were injured as a result of a surgical error, surgical mistake, surgical complication, or the negligence of a surgeon in Florida or in another U.S. state, you should promptly consult with a medical malpractice lawyer in your state who may investigate your surgical malpractice claim (medical negligence claim) for you and represent you in a surgical malpractice case, if appropriate.

Click here to visit our website to submit a secure form, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959, to be connected with medical malpractice attorneys who may assist you with your surgical malpractice claim.

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$6.2M Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Verdict For Death Of 2-Year-Old May 25th, 2015

162017_132140396847214_292624_nOn May 20, 2015, a Pennsylvania medical malpractice jury returned a plaintiffs’ verdict in the amount of $6.2 million, after almost four weeks of trial, against the defendants pediatric surgeons, hospital, and health care systems arising out of the death of a two-year-old child in 2009. The plaintiffs’ medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that the defendants failed to timely and adequately respond to the child’s symptoms that were diagnosed as gastroparesis, which required appropriate surgical intervention.

The parents’ Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that their child’s death was unnecessary and preventable had the defendants timely performed surgery instead of discharging the child to the parents’ care with inadequate discharge instructions. The plaintiffs’ medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that the failure to properly intervene with surgery resulted in their daughter suffering a gastric perforation that led to her death.

Source

What Is Gastroparesis?

Gastroparesis is a medical condition where the usual spontaneous powerful motility of the muscles of the stomach fail to function properly (poor motility or no motility), thereby preventing the stomach from properly emptying and leading to interference with normal digestion, abnormal levels of blood sugar, and problems with nutrition. Gastroparesis does not involve an intestinal blockage.

Gastroparesis may be caused by a disruption of nerve signals to the stomach but the exact cause is unknown. Gasotroparesis in a known complication of diabetes and may also occur after some surgical procedures. The risk factors for gastroparesis include diabetes, gastrectomy, systemic sclerosis, and use of anticholinergic medication that block certain nerve signals.

The symptoms of gastroparesis may include abdominal distention, hypoglycemia in people with diabetes, nausea, premature abdominal fullness after meals, unintended weight loss, and vomiting.

Source

No parent should experience the death of a child. When a child’s death is due to medical negligence, the preventable and unnecessary death may be even more painful for parents who feel guilty because they believe that they did not protect their child, even though they were not responsible for the wrongdoing that caused or contributed to their child’s death.

Sometimes, it is difficult to know if a medical provider’s negligence caused or contributed to a child’s death. The services of a medical malpractice lawyer may be necessary in order to investigate the cause of a child’s death following medical care, and to determine whether medical malpractice was the reason for the unexpected death.

If your child died following medical care and it is not clear to you whether your child’s death was avoidable or preventable with proper medical care, you should promptly find a medical malpractice lawyer in your U.S. state who may investigate the cause of your child’s death and whether medical negligence caused or contributed to your child’s death, and to represent you in a medical malpractice claim against the medical providers who failed to comply with the applicable standard of care in caring for your child, if appropriate.

Visit our website to complete and submit a short, secure form, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959, to find medical malpractice attorneys in your state who may assist you.

Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.

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Florida Supreme Court: Medical Malpractice Cap Does Not Apply Retroactively May 24th, 2015

162017_132140396847214_292624_n

In its decision dated May 21, 2015, the Supreme Court of Florida (“Florida Supreme Court”) held that Florida’s cap on noneconomic damages in Florida medical malpractice cases does not apply to a cause of action that arose before the cap became effective on September 15, 2013.

The Florida Supreme Court held that the cause of action in a medical malpractice case accrues at the time the malpractice incident occurs, and a litigant’s substantive and vested rights may not be infringed upon by the retroactive application of a substantive statute, such as Florida’s statutory cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases (“The general rule is that a substantive statute will not operate retrospectively absent clear legislative intent to the contrary, but that a procedural or remedial statute is to operate retrospectively. . . . Even when the Legislature does expressly state that a statute is to have retroactive application, this Court has refused to apply a statute retroactively if the statute impairs vested rights, creates new obligations, or imposes new penalties”).

The Underlying Facts

In 2002, the plaintiff was diagnosed with melanoma and had a cancerous tumor removed from her leg during an outpatient surgical procedure on December 2, 2002. The plaintiff was advised that her cancerous tumor had been completely removed and that tests indicated that no melanoma remained. Nonetheless, she sought a second opinion from the defendant surgical oncologist, who recommended further surgery to make sure that all of the cancer had been removed.

The defendant doctor performed a second surgery on the plaintiff on January 31, 2003 that resulted in post-surgical complications that required hospitalization for an infection, which did not completely resolve until April 2003. The plaintiff suffered permanent swelling, excruciating pain, and permanent limited mobility that prevents her from standing for long periods of time or walking long distances.

The plaintiff and her husband filed their Florida medical malpractice case against the defendant doctor in 2006. The Florida medical malpractice jury found in favor of the plaintiffs and awarded economic damages that totaled $16,104 and noneconomic damages for the wife’s pain and suffering in the amount of $1.45 million, and $50,000 to the husband for his loss of consortium claim.

The defendant doctor moved to reduce the award of noneconomic damages to $500,000, which is the cap (limit) on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases, pursuant to section 766.118(2), Florida Statutes (2003). The trial court denied the defendant’s motion, ruling that retroactive application of section 766.118(2)(a) is constitutionally impermissible. The defendant doctor appealed, and the appellate court reversed the trial court’s judgment and the jury’s award of noneconomic damages, holding that it was constitutionally permissible to retroactively apply section 766.118 in the plaintiffs’ medical malpractice case because the wife had no vested right to a particular damage award and thus suffered no due process violation.

The Florida Supreme Court quashed the lower appellate court’s decision and remanded the case to the trial court with instructions to reinstate the Florida medical malpractice jury’s verdict.

Source Miles, et al. v. Weingrad, M.D., No. SC13-54.

If you or a loved one were injured as a result of medical malpractice in Florida or in another U.S. state, you should promptly consult with a medical malpractice lawyer in Florida, or a medical malpractice lawyer in your state, who may investigate your medical malpractice claim (medical negligence claim) for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.

Click here to visit our website to submit a secure form, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959, to be connected with medical malpractice attorneys who may assist you with your medical malpractice malpractice claim.

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Indiana Nursing Home Resident Died With Objects Down His Throat And Up His Rectum May 23rd, 2015

162017_132140396847214_292624_nOn May 14, 2015, a 72-year-old resident of an Indiana nursing home was found unresponsive in the nursing home dining room and later died at a local hospital. The mentally ill resident was found to have latex gloves shoved down his throat and eyeglasses and a toothbrush jammed up his rectum. The death was reportedly ruled an accidental death but local authorities are investigating the unusual circumstances of his death.

One of the matters being investigated is whether the man, who suffered from polyembolokoilamania (the insertion of foreign objects into one or more bodily orifices), was properly supervised at the nursing home.

The resident evidently stuffed two pairs of latex gloves down his own throat that caused him to choke to death. The nursing home resident also had cardiac problems and suffered from dementia and bipolar disorder. However, there was no evidence that he had been suicidal, which was ruled out as a cause of his death.

Source

Many injury claims against nursing homes involve allegations that the resident who was injured or died was not properly supervised and that the lack of proper supervision led to the resident’s injuries or death.

When the families of new nursing home residents meet with nursing home admission personnel, the nursing home staff will often boast about the high level of care and supervision that their loved ones will receive in the nursing home. Family members are relieved to learn that their loved ones will be well-cared-for, and they reasonably rely on such representations of proper care and supervision when making their decisions regarding which nursing home will become the new home for the vulnerable adults.

Because family members cannot spend all of their time visiting with their loved ones who reside in nursing homes, to make sure that proper and timely care and supervision are provided, they more-often-than-not feel guilty and blame themselves when their family members are harmed while living in a nursing home (“I should never have placed [grandma, grandpa, mom, or dad] in that nursing home”; “I should have been aware that they were not receiving proper care in the nursing home”; “I should have visited more often [even though I have a spouse and children to take care of, and/or I need to work to support my family]”).

When nursing home residents suffer harm due to inadequate care and improper supervision, their families are also victims – they suffer emotional trauma from seeing their loved ones injured, in unnecessary pain, and experiencing unexpected deterioration in their physical and/or mental condition.

If you or a loved one suffered injury or death due to nursing home abuse, nursing home neglect, and/or nursing home negligence in the United States, you should promptly find a nursing home claim lawyer in your U.S. state who may investigate your nursing home claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a nursing home case, if appropriate.

Visit our website to complete and submit a short, secure form, or call us toll-free at 800-295-3959 in the United States, to find nursing home attorneys in your state who may assist you.

Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.

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$7.65M Maine Medical Malpractice Verdict For Missed Cancer Diagnosis May 22nd, 2015

162017_132140396847214_292624_nOn May 19, 2015, a Maine medical malpractice jury found in favor of the husband and wife plaintiffs and against the defendant hospital, determining that the 63-year-old wife was entitled to $5.65 million in damages for her cancer misdiagnosis (the failure to timely diagnose cervical cancer) and that her husband was entitled to $2 million in damages for his loss of consortium claim. The couple had filed their Maine medical malpractice case in 2013 against the defendant hospital that had employed the negligent medical provider.

The plaintiffs’ Maine medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that a technician employed by the hospital negligently misread and failed to identify the woman’s cervical cancer from slides that were prepared to conjunction with the woman’s annual, routine vaginal examinations, from 2008 through 2011 (the woman had complaints regarding pain but the reports regarding the slides stated each time that there was no evidence of malignancy). The plaintiffs alleged that the hospital technician had failed to detect the malignancy observable in the slides and that the woman had early stage cervical cancer in 2008. By 2011, when her cervical cancer was finally diagnosed, it had progressed over time to Stage III. Fortunately for the plaintiffs, the woman’s cancer has been in remission.

After the Maine medical malpractice jury rendered its verdict in favor of the plaintiffs, the defendant hospital issued a statement that it “is obviously disheartened with the jury’s decision, stands by the care provided to our patients, and will review options for next steps with respect to this case. The hospital is pleased that [the woman] reports she is disease-free almost four years from her initial diagnosis and that she continues to receive care at [the defendant hospital].”

Source

The word “cancer” strikes debilitating fear in the hearts of most people who are diagnosed with the disease. It is even more emotionally devastating when someone learns that they have cancer that should have been diagnosed earlier, when it would have been easier to treat, with less invasive treatment, and/or with a greater likelihood of a cure.

The misdiagnosis of cancer, or the late diagnosis of cancer, is often alleged in cancer medical malpractice claims. An important issue in such cases is whether the earlier, correct diagnosis of cancer would have made a significant difference in the outcome for the patient – some cancers are so aggressive and deadly that a cancer diagnosis at an earlier stage would not have resulted in a significantly better outcome for the patient. Other times, a timely diagnosis of cancer would have made all the difference in the world for the patient – the difference between life and death.

If you or a loved one were injured as a result of the misdiagnosis of cancer in Maine or elsewhere in the United States, you should promptly consult with a Maine medical malpractice lawyer, or a medical malpractice lawyer in your U.S. state, who may investigate your cancer misdiagnosis claim for you and represent you in a cancer malpractice case, if appropriate.

Visit our website to submit a short, secure form, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959, to be connected with medical malpractice attorneys in your U.S. state who may assist you.

Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.

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New Analysis Of CMS’ Nursing Home Compare Website Data May 21st, 2015

162017_132140396847214_292624_nThere are over 15,500 nursing homes in the United States that are certified to provide care to Medicare or Medicaid beneficiaries (92% of the nursing homes are certified by both), which provide care for approximately 1.3 million residents every day. Seventy-percent of those nursing homes are for-profit; only twenty-four percent are non-profit. Ninety-five percent of nursing homes are free-standing facilities; only five percent of nursing homes are located within hospitals. The average certified nursing home has 106 beds (almost thirty percent of nursing homes have more than 120 beds).

CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) has been promoting its “Five-Star Quality Rating System” on its “Nursing Home Compare” website since 2008, to help individuals and their families find information regarding care provided by local nursing homes throughout the United States that would assist them in comparing and choosing local nursing home care. The five-star rating system awards five stars to the best performing nursing homes and one star to the lowest performing (the star-ratings are based on three measures, each of which is also based on a five-star rating system: state health inspections reports, staffing ratios (the ratio of nurses to residents that is measured by nurse hours per resident days, adjusted for resident care needs based on resident acuity levels), and quality measures (based on eleven measures from the Minimum Data Set (MDS), which assesses and documents the functional level and health status of residents)). 

Until recently, so many of the nursing homes in the U.S. were rated four or five stars on the Nursing Home Compare website (seventy-eight percent were rated four or five stars in the quality measures category, and fifty-four percent of all nursing homes received overall ratings of four or five stars) that it was difficult for consumers to compare the care provided by nursing homes in their communities. CMS recently modified its method of rating nursing homes, placing more emphasis on deficiencies found by state inspections and less emphasis on self-reported data from nursing homes (CMS increased the number of points required to earn two or more stars for quality measures, changed its scoring method for staffing, and added two new indicators for quality measures that focus on the use of antipsychotic medications for short- and long-term residents). Future proposed changes include calculating staffing ratios based on electronic payroll reporting instead of relying on nursing homes to self-report their staffing ratios.

As a result, many nursing homes have suffered a loss of one or two stars in recent ratings. However, there is ongoing controversy regarding the current ratings methodology, for which CMS has indicated it intends to further tweak the ratings system to make it more reliable.

A recently published analysis by The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (“Kaiser Foundation”) looked at the Nursing Home Compare database that was released in February 2015. The Kaiser Foundation reported the following findings in its “Reading The Stars: Nursing Home Quality Star Ratings, Nationally and by State”:

1) More than one-third of nursing homes certified by Medicare or Medicaid have relatively low overall star ratings of 1 or 2 stars, accounting for 39 percent of all nursing home residents. Conversely, 45 percent of nursing homes have overall ratings of 4 or 5 stars, accounting for 41 percent of all nursing home residents.

2) For-profit nursing homes, which are more prevalent, tend to have lower star ratings than non-profit nursing homes. Smaller nursing homes (with fewer beds) tend to have higher star ratings than larger nursing homes.

3) Ratings tend to be higher for measures that are self-reported (quality measures and staffing levels) than for measures derived from state health inspections.

4) In 11 states, at least 40 percent of nursing homes in the state have relatively low ratings (1 or 2 stars). In 22 states and the District of Columbia, at least 50 percent of the nursing homes in the state have relatively high overall ratings (4 or 5 stars).

5) States that have higher proportions of low-income seniors tend to have lower-rated nursing homes.

Source

If you or a loved one suffered injuries (or worse) due to nursing home abuse, nursing home neglect, and/or nursing home negligence in the United States, you should promptly find a nursing home claim lawyer in your state who may investigate your nursing home claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a nursing home case, if appropriate.

Visit our website to submit a short, secure form, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959, to find nursing home attorneys in your state who may assist you.

Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.

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$23M Florida Medical Malpractice Verdict For Birth Injury May 20th, 2015

162017_132140396847214_292624_nOn April 24, 2015, after a three-week trial, a Florida medical malpractice jury in Charlotte County awarded the plaintiff $23 million for the severe and permanent brain injury suffered by her newborn baby girl, who was born extremely premature. The child suffered cerebral palsy as a result of her birth injury. The jury held the defendant physician (obstetrician) 70% responsible for the baby’s injuries; the defendant hospital was found to be 30% responsible.

The Alleged Underlying Facts

In August 2010, the then 24-year-old plaintiff was 24 weeks pregnant with her first baby when she was diagnosed by her obstetrician with preeclampsia, based on protein in her urine and high blood pressure. The obstetrician referred the plaintiff to a local hospital that was not equipped to deliver babies at less than 33 weeks. The hospital determined that the plaintiff was suffering from severe preeclampsia and that her fetus was small for her gestational age. It was determined that the fetus was at risk for brain injury due to limited blood flow to the fetus.

Despite the serious risk of injury to the fetus, and the defendant hospital’s inability to safely deliver such an extremely premature baby, the defendant hospital failed to transfer the plaintiff to a more appropriate and better equipped hospital and it also failed to provide the plaintiff with corticosteroids to prevent brain injury to the baby due to the high-risk of premature delivery.

When the plaintiff was 26 weeks pregnant, her blood pressure reading was extremely high, she had signs of multi-organ injury, and her fetus had an abnormal heart rate during a hospital visit. An emergency Cesarean section delivery was performed but the baby was born with severe cystic white matter brain injury and severe cerebral palsy, according to the plaintiff’s Florida medical malpractice lawsuit. The child requires skilled nursing care on a full-time basis as a result of the injuries she sustained at birth.

The Florida medical malpractice jury reportedly found that the defendants failed to have in place a system to identify high-risk patients and to transfer such patients to a higher level of care hospital under the circumstances.

The defendant obstetrician and defendant hospital have filed motions for a new trial.

Source

The birth of a baby is supposed to be a joyous occasion, full of hope and dreams for the newborn. The vast majority of births in the United States do not involve birth injuries and do not result in birth injury medical malpractice claims. Where the risk of a life-long serious injury to the baby and/or its mother is known and is significant, it is imperative that the proper level of care be available for the birth and that the medical providers participating in the labor and delivery be well-qualified and experienced in problems or issues that may arise during labor and delivery, which must be resolved appropriately and timely. Otherwise, the most joyous time in someone’s life may become the most painful time in their life, which pain may continue for the lifetime of the injured child.

If you or a loved one suffered a birth injury in Florida or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a Florida medical malpractice lawyer, or a local medical malpractice lawyer in your state, who may investigate your birth injury claim for you and represent you in a birth injury case, if appropriate.

Visit our website to complete and submit a short, secure form, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959, to find birth injury lawyers in Florida or birth injury lawyers in your state who may assist you.

Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.

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$430,000 New York Dental Malpractice Verdict Set Aside On Appeal May 19th, 2015

162017_132140396847214_292624_nBy its decision rendered on May 6, 2015, the Supreme Court of the State of New York Appellate Division: Second Judicial Department (“Appellate Court”) reversed a jury’s verdict in the amount of $430,000 in favor of a dental patient in a New York dental malpractice case, finding that the plaintiff had failed to prove that a piece of a dental instrument went into his lung during his course of treatment by the defendant dentist.

The Alleged Underlying Facts

The plaintiff testified that in mid-2007, while he was undergoing a dental cleaning procedure performed by the defendant dentist, he overheard an exchange between the defendant and her assistant about an instrument needing to be replaced because it had broken. The plaintiff further testified that after the instrument was replaced and the defendant resumed working on him, he felt something stuck in his throat and could not breathe, until the defendant punched him on the back, which dislodged whatever was in his throat, and his regular breathing was restored.

On January 16, 2008, the plaintiff went to the emergency room of a local hospital, complaining of a fever, cough, chest pain, and nasal congestion. A routine chest X ray revealed the presence of a metallic object in the plaintiff’s left lower lung. Further testing determined that the object appeared to be a medical device.

The plaintiff filed his New York dental malpractice case against the defendant dentist, who had been his treating dentist from April 1, 2006 through February 2, 2008, alleging that the defendant had negligently broken the instrument she was using during the dental procedure in mid-2007, causing its metal tip (burr) to fall into his mouth, as a result of which he aspirated the burr into his left lung. Prior to coming under the dental care of the defendant dentist, the plaintiff had last been treated by another dentist on April 14, 2005.

The Appellate Court stated that it was undisputed that allowing a burr to come off in a patient’s mouth and failing to retrieve it, or to immediately take steps to retrieve it, would constitute a departure from accepted dental practice. The Appellate Court stated that the sole issue on appeal was whether the departure occurred while the defendant was treating the plaintiff, or while the plaintiff’s previous dental provider was treating him.

The Appellate Court found that when it considered the plaintiff’s testimony and the conflicting trial evidence, including the plaintiff’s own testimony that at the time he learned of the burr’s presence in his lungs, he had no idea of how it had come to be there, and his failure to mention, until more than one year after he had filed his dental malpractice lawsuit, the incident during his many visits to the pulmonary specialist, who did not appear at trial and with respect to whom the jury was given a missing witness charge, the evidence so preponderated in favor of the defendant that the jury could not have reached the verdict by any fair interpretation of the evidence.

Therefore, the Appellate Court held that the trial court should have granted the defendant’s motion to set aside the verdict on the issue of liability as contrary to the weight of the evidence, and the Appellate Court ordered a new trial on the issues of liability and damages.

Source Liyanage v. Amann, No. 2013-01226.

If you may be the victim of dental malpractice in New York or in another state in the United States, you should promptly consult with a local dental malpractice attorney in New York or in your state who may investigate your dental malpractice claim for you and represent you in a dental malpractice lawsuit, if appropriate.

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