Posted On: December 31, 2011

Malpractice Lawsuits are on the rise

Nearly 70 percent of doctors over the age of 50 have been sued according the American Medical Association, reported a study. He went on to say that many of these claims are dismissed but 95 out of 100 doctors will be sued at some point in their career.

These staggering numbers will likely harm doctor’s ability to provide their patience with quality care claimed a representative for the American Medical Association. He added that our country continues to work hard to reduce unnecessary health care costs and these statistics just don’t help.

In a survey conducted by the AMA, it was clear that certain types of doctors or surgeons were much more likely to be sued than others. General Surgeons, OBGYNs men doctors, and practice owners were most likely to be sued, whereas Pediatricians, women doctors, younger doctors and Psychologists were least likely to be sued. Only about 5 percent of doctors are sued per year, a study pointed out.

While more than half of these claims are dismissed, advocates estimate the average defense costs between $22,000 and $100,000.

"Even though the vast majority of claims are dropped or decided in favor of physicians, the understandable fear of meritless lawsuits can influence what specialty of medicine physicians practice, where they practice and when they retire," the advocate added.

In an effort to improve patient care and decrease the number of malpractice lawsuits, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality donated $25 million, which includes grants that should help cover these costs

The survey was funded by the AMA and more than 40 national medical specialty associations including many in Westchester and New York City.

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Posted On: December 29, 2011

Sponge left in Abdomen

According to a reporter, a woman claims to have had a sponge left in her abdomen after surgery. She claims to have gone to her OB/GYN and that her doctor had left something foreign in her abdomen after she did a Caesarean section operation.

The woman claimed medical malpractice against the doctor who performed the operation. She claimed that the obstetrician performed the operation without having the proper medical assistance. She thinks that this is what probably caused the problem of her having to suffer a potential hernia.

The expert agreed that the woman had a viable complaint and that the doctor was negligent. When the woman began to feel pain in the abdomen, she sought medical attention and discovered that the lower part of her left abdomen had a sponge marker. She had to have it removed surgically claims the advocate.

The lawsuit complaint consist of the unreasonable notice that the complainant was afforded and that she was not give adequate medical follow up care after surgery. The complainant is seeking an undisclosed monetary damage. Her medical malpractice action is seeking retribution for her and feels that the doctor should have maintained the appropriate relationship with the patient in order to give her the best advice and best treatment possible in this situation.

The woman, according to the facts, has a chance to receive a settlement award for her pain and suffering; both physically and mentally. Hospitals in Nassau and Suffolk do their best to avoid these situations.

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Posted On: December 26, 2011

The case was appealed on the grounds that the damages were far too low

When this medical malpractice case first went to trial, the doctor was found negligence and the jury awarded $1,500,000, a low amount considering the nature of the birth injuries and the fact the child could never be left alone for the rest of its life. The damage award was based on a 47% negligence ratio assessed against the defendant doctor.

The case was appealed on the grounds that the damages were far too low given the egregious nature of the doctor’s actions, explained the source. The Appellate court agreed that the damages were far too low and directed a new trial to deal with damages only. They had no problem ordering a new trial, as there was ample evidence on record that indicated the residents at the hospital and the on call physician, who subsequently died, were negligent.

The on call physician didn’t supervise any of the treatment provided to the mother in this case and his lack of oversight resulted in severe brain damage to the baby. In other words, there was a direct link between the doctor’s negligence and the baby’s brain damage – referred to as proximate cause.

The Appellate court further found that the initial damage award was too low considering what would be reasonable compensation in light of the severe nature of the baby’s permanent brain damage, said the court. The other argument advanced was that the jury award was low due to juror confusion and ambiguity. The court did not see this as being a valid reason to hand out a low amount when the issue could have been addressed at the lower court level. A similar decision would have been handed down in The Bronx and Westchester County.

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Posted On: December 23, 2011

Baby born with spina bifida sue for wrongful birth

This lawsuit was brought by a couple whose baby had been born with spina bidifa. There suit alleged that the doctors involved the pre-natal care did not tell the mother what the reason was for a blood test offered to her during her pregnancy. She had no idea the test was to determine the risk of her unborn baby having spina bifida.

When this case went to court, the judge indicated that there was plenty of evidence the father suffered from emotional distress and that both the parents were entitled to damages for this as well, said the judge. Further, the court said that if the mother had known about the results of the test prior to birth, her decision would not have been speculation. Medical malpractice seems to be present here.

A video of the baby at birth shown during the trial was quite telling and spoke for itself about the consequences of the mother not knowing about her child’s disease. In other words, there was no prejudice and the video dealt in facts alone. Based on what the jury saw, the court did not feel that the $5 million award was out of line for economic damages and that the $7 million for non-economic damages was fair, reported the source. Hospitals and doctors in Queens and Staten Island are aware of this case.

The true bottom line of this lawsuit is that the doctors did not give the couple all the information they needed to make an informed decision on whether or not to continue with the pregnancy or terminate it. This is medical malpractice.

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Posted On: December 20, 2011

The jury trial found in favor of the plaintiff parents

When their baby was born with spina bifida, aka a congenital neural tube defect, the parents filed a medical malpractice and wrongful birth lawsuit stating that they had not been told about the purpose of a blood test, referred to as the Triple Marker Test or Alphafetoprotein test, offered to them during the pregnancy, which was to determine if the baby had spina bifida. As a consequence of not being told, the mother did not have the blood test, said the source.

The parents felt that by not being told about the reason for the blood test that they were denied the chance to make an informed decision about continuing the pregnancy or not. When their child was born with a defect, both were devastated and filed for economic and non-economic losses, along with a claim for wrongful life. This motion to hear the claim for wrongful life was precluded and only the parent’s claims were heard.

The jury trial found in favor of the plaintiff parents and awarded past and future economic damages totaling $5 million. Another $5 million was handed down in non-economic damages to the mother and a further $2 million to the father, reported the newspapers.

Medical malpractice cases in Nassau and Suffolk Counties involving a set of horrendous mistakes that result in a botched birth with the baby being born with a birth defect are tough and emotionally difficult cases. There is no question that plaintiffs in a situation like this need the experience and expertise of a knowledgeable expert.

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Posted On: December 17, 2011

Child born with cerebral palsy as a result of errors during delivery, indicated the New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer

When it’s time to give birth, the parents are excited and anxious for everything to go well. When they don’t and their child suffers permanent disabilities because of a hypoxic brain injury, a lawsuit usually follows.

In this case, the parents filed a med mal lawsuit against the hospital and the doctor who delivered their baby girl. The claim states that the doctor ruptured membranes in her head and didn’t use the proper resuscitation techniques and then compounded the whole mess by failing to perform a C-section immediately, reported the doctor. As a result of this gruesome series of errors, the baby did not get enough oxygen to her brain and was born with cerebral palsy, unable to hear properly and with learning disabilities.

The parents filed a claim asking the court for compensatory damages for their baby’s suffering, pain, disability, disfigurement and her inability to ever be able to enjoy a normal life, explained the hospital spokesperson.

While it is true that cerebral palsy may happen without the doctor making any medical mistakes, it is equally clear that if the doctor does follow the proper and accepted standards at birth, the child’s brain would not have been deprived of oxygen.

Since the baby “was” deprived of air at the crucial time, the med mal lawsuit may result in compensation for the baby’s disabilities. Fair compensation is not possible without the dedicated and skilled assistance of an expert. This would be true in Manhattan and also in Long Island.

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Posted On: December 14, 2011

Birth injuries may happen either before, during or just after birth

Birth injuries may happen either before, during or just after birth and typically tend to involve oxygen deprivation to the child’s brain. These kinds of birth injuries are usually referred to as hypoxic brain injuries and in most cases, the child’s life will never be normal. Depending on how severe the birth injury is, the child may require medical care for the rest of their lives and never know what living a normal life means, explained the source.

The parents in this case were expecting a normal delivery and weren’t anticipating any difficulties with their baby. They trusted their doctor to do the right thing. Unfortunately, while the doctor was trying to do the right thing, he made three egregious errors that forever changed the baby’s life. He burst the membranes in her head, didn’t resuscitate her properly and didn’t immediately order a C-section.

As a direct result of this doctor’s errors, the baby sustained a hypoxic brain injury and for the rest of her life she and her parents will deal with her inability to hear properly, her learning disabilities and her cerebral palsy, indicated the observer.

For anyone who suspects that their baby has sustained birth injuries, it’s advisable to contact a competent expert and find out what a med mal case involved. They are complicated, convoluted and take a fair length of time to settle or go to court. This is why time is of the essence in speaking to a knowledgeable med mal lawyer right away. If you don’t get your claim filed prior to the Statute of Limitations deadlines, then you will be barred from seeking compensation. This is also true in places like The Bronx and Brooklyn.

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Posted On: December 10, 2011

Woman who suffered permanent brain damage due to medical malpractice receives $23 million

The woman in this medical malpractice case got a rough deal from the get-go, indicated a source. She was only 35-years old and a mother of four children, when she experienced unexplained headaches and other strange symptoms. In July of 2006, she went to the nearest hospital for medical attention.

Testing indicated that she had a non-bleeding aneurysm and a hospital neurosurgeon put coils into it. Unfortunately, the surgical team didn’t notice they had also perforated one of the arteries in her brain. From there on out, things went from bad to worse, explained the observer. For instance, the woman, who had been put on Heparin, a blood thinning medication, started to show signs that she was having a stroke. A nurse noticed the symptoms, but still gave the woman her Heparin.

Unfortunately, the doctors didn’t find out about the problem until it was too late to do anything and the woman’s brain was filled with blood and she had sustained significant brain damage. The complications of this fiasco left her paralyzed on one side and trying to cope with poor vision and a whole host of other medical problems. Her life had been totally changed and would never be the same again, added the investigator.

The negligent nurse settled for $1 million prior to trial and a jury awarded her $23 million to provide for her constant care. The trial took a while to get to court, but that’s usually the case with complex medical malpractice lawsuits. Most cases like this in Manhattan and Long Island require expert witnesses to testify to what standard of care was violated not to mention the fact that there would be months of intensive reading relating to the patient’s medical files.

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Posted On: December 8, 2011

Medical Malpractice filed for breast implants

An observer reported that a woman in Carrollton has taken the initiative to file a federal lawsuit for compensation from the U.S. government. The woman alleged that she was not given the correct size implants that she had ordered for her breast implantation. Her lawsuit states that she had wanted a much larger sized implant.

According to the evidence, the woman has alleged to have traveled miles away from home to have the procedure done. It was at that time that she found out that there was a terrible mistake in what she had ordered compared to what she was getting.

The evidence indicates that the woman’s lawsuit is for $150,000 in which the woman is seeking pain and suffering damages, mental agony as well as her travel costs.

It was after her surgery that the woman decided to file this lawsuit as she was probably given advice by an expert in medical malpractice . The woman is not alone in cases of medical malpractice when it comes to surgical operations with breast implants. The media reported the story and many from the public were shocked that this kind of lawsuit would be permitted especially in a Federal jurisdiction. Cases like this are not uncommon in places like this Nassau and Suffolk.

The woman was adamant in getting the amount in settlement that she claimed for. She believed that she was deserving of every cent because of the emotional damage that it had caused her. She felt betrayed by her doctors and felt that the legal system should prevail in her medical malpractice case.

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Posted On: December 3, 2011

Pregnancy gone wrong, results in birth of stillborn child

This medical malpractice lawsuit was filed on behalf of a woman whose delivery was botched so badly that she delivered a stillborn child. The facts of this case are really heart wrenching.

Jane Doe was pregnant in 2009 and a patient at a local women’s clinic. Doe was diagnosed with gestational diabetes in the last stages of her pregnancy. During week 39 of her pregnancy, she went to the health center concerned about discharges she was having. Her blood sugar level was very high. When her primary care doctor found out about the high blood sugar level, he told medical staff to send her home, tell her to consume more water and put her feet up. The doctor never personally “saw” his patient at that time.

For the next six days, the woman kept having discharges and called the ER many times to discuss her symptoms. She was told to put her feet up and drink more water and that her symptoms were normal, because she was dehydrated.

The woman went into labor shortly thereafter and another doctor handled her treatment. They couldn’t find a fetal heartbeat. An exam revealed her membrane had burst and had left virtually no amniotic fluid. Her primary care doctor was called and he arrived an hour later and confirmed there was no fetal heartbeat. Despite the fact that the mother had a narrow pelvis and was to deliver a stillborn, the doctors chose to proceed with a vaginal delivery.

The labor was brutal and excruciating and the woman gave birth to a 9-pound dead baby. The condition was horrendous as a result of the delivery tactics used by the doctors resulting in medical malpractice. It turns out her primary care physician went on a leave of absence because he was facing three felony charges. This was just a horrid situation for everyone involved and our hearts go out to this traumatized family. Hospitals in Nassau and Suffolk are watchful for these problems.

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