A review of the 25 physicians in Florida who had the largest number of medical malpractice payouts as a result of judgments and settlements found that only four of them had lost their license to practice medicine in Florida. Of the four who lost their Florida medical license, three lost their license only after they were charged with billing fraud or drug trafficking – not because of their history of medical malpractice payouts.
And it is not just the Florida Board of Medicine that appears to be failing to protect the public when those it is supposed to be regulating and overseeing repeatedly harm the public: more than half of the physicians in the United States who had their medical privileges restricted or revoked by a hospital between 1990 and 2009 had not been disciplined by their respective state medical boards, according to the public interest group, Public Citizen.
Public Citizen has reported that Florida ranks among the worst state medical boards in terms of disciplinary actions taken against physicians (the other three states are South Carolina, Minnesota, and Wisconsin; the states that have taken the most disciplinary actions against physicians, per physician, in the United States are Alaska, Ohio, and Oklahoma).
CBS News recently highlighted a Florida case involving the death of a 42-year-old mother of two who had been vacationing with her family in Florida in 2009 when she experienced an acute appendicitis. The woman bled to death while still in the hospital two days after her emergency surgery.
Her husband, who is a physician, subsequently reviewed his wife’s medical records from the emergency surgery. He was shocked to learn that his wife’s blood pressure was critically low in the hours following his wife’s surgery yet no one ordered any lab tests or imaging studies to diagnose the problem. The husband filed a Florida medical malpractice lawsuit against the surgeon who performed the emergency surgery, alleging that he was negligent in failing to properly monitor his wife’s medical condition. The Florida medical malpractice case was settled for $250,000, which the amount of the defendant surgeon’s medical malpractice coverage.
CBS News reviewed the defendant surgeon’s history of medical malpractice payouts and discovered that the surgeon has had 11 medical malpractice payouts since 2000 yet the Florida Board of Medicine has never restricted the surgeon’s medical license. The husband was shocked again when he received a letter from the Florida Board of Medicine about one year after his wife’s death, stating that the Florida Board had investigated his wife’s case but found no basis upon which to proceed with a complaint against the surgeon.
Florida provides a portal through which people can search closed medical malpractice claims in which medical malpractice payouts have been made by or on behalf of physicians and other health care providers in Florida.
If you or a loved one may have been injured or suffered other harms as a result of medical negligence in Florida or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a Florida medical malpractice attorney or find a medical malpractice attorney in your state who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
Click here to visit our website or telephone us toll-free at 800-295-3959 to be connected with Florida medical malpractice lawyers or medical malpractice lawyers in your state who may assist you.
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