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Tag Archives: doctor error

Crucial New York State medical malpractice lawsuit bill up for Senate vote

New York – State senators in Albany have long been debating the passing of an important law to support and protect victims of medical malpractice. The bill corrects a true injustice by extending the statute of limitations for when a lawsuit can be filed by a victim after a medical error or misdiagnosis has transpired. Current law starts the clock at the moment the medical mistake occurred while the new bill would start counting from the moment that the victim discovered the error. A hospital mistake or doctor’s error can sometimes be quite obvious at the moment but that is often not the case. A medical malpractice lawyer in Manhattan, NY explains that many patients are unaware of the mistake until a good deal of time has passed – sometimes even several years. This may be due to the victim’s lack of expertise in the area, the slow progression of the effects of the error, and even possible cover-ups by the offending doctor or hospital. Legislators in New York are now again debating the passing of this bill into law. Proponents note that it is necessary to allow the medical malpractice victim and family to discover the missed diagnosis or mistake and still be allowed to sue for damages as well as pain and suffering. They also note that the patient should be allowed to concentrate on seeking proper medical help as soon as possible and not worry about finding the best malpractice attorney at that moment. The bill has been nicknamed Lavern’s Law in memory of a woman who was the victim of a delayed diagnosis that led to her death. Her family has been fighting hard to pass this into law in order to protect future victims and their families. They hope that the new law will stop protecting bad doctors and hospitals and instead force them to slow down and be more precise in their work, creating better healthcare for everyone. Read more about this bill and its effects on victims of medical malpractice here.

Photo for illustrative purposes only. Photo Credit: Herry Lawford [License]

$ 3.4 Million Dollar - Medical Malpractice - Failure to Diagnose

Failure to diagnose an infection in a child’s hips resulted in orthopedic injury with permanent disability. Top Injury Attorneys at Morrison & Wagner helped the injured party receive rightful compensation in the amount of $3,425,000. How common is a failure to diagnose? Approximately 40% of all medical malpractice claims involve a failure to diagnose some kind of condition (data). If you or a loved one experience medical malpractice, contact an experienced injury attorney right away. Read more about other cases of medical malpractice and physician error.

Illustrative Photo Credit: Elisa Self [License]

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Unspotted infection claimed child’s hips, mother alleged (VerdictSearch)

Settlement Amount: $3,425,000

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Court: Kings Supreme, Kings County, New York

Case Type: Medical Malpractice – Childbirth, Failure to Diagnose

Date: July 26, 2006

Plaintiff Attorney(s):
Stuart Wagner; Morrison & Wagner; New York, NY, for Plaintiff, and daughter
Eric H. Morrison; Morrison & Wagner; New York, NY, for Plaintiff, and daughter

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Facts:

On Nov. 24, 2002, the Plaintiff, a pregnant woman in her first trimester of gestation, presented to Maimonides Medical Center, in Brooklyn, experiencing contractions. Several hours later she gave birth to premature twin daughters. The first baby was born with Apgar scores of 9, and 9. (Editor’s note: The Apgar system scores an infant’s physical condition during the first minutes of life. The infant’s heart rate, respiration, muscle tone, stimulated responses, and color are graded zero, one or two. Thus, the maximum total score is 10. A low score indicates that the infant requires immediate, lifesaving attention.)

As a result of her premature birth, the baby was admitted into the hospital’s neonatology unit and was diagnosed with sepsis, growth retardation and prematurity. After more than 30 days in the neonatal intensive-care unit, she was released with a clean bill of health. Thereafter, the baby’s parents noticed that she was not turning like her twin sister was. The baby girl’s pediatrician noticed problems with her hips, and she was referred to a pediatric orthopedist. Upon examination, the orthopedist determined that the baby had no hip joints on both the left and right sides.

The Plaintiff, acting individually and on her daughter’s behalf, sued the hospital and the attending physicians. She alleged that the defendants failed to diagnose the condition and that their failures constituted medical malpractice.

The plaintiff’s expert pediatric orthopedist determined that the internist who examined the baby on her fourth day made the correct diagnosis and noted that the area was “swollen and painful.” They contended that this constituted an orthopedic emergency and warranted an immediate orthopedic consultation. Plaintiffs’ counsel also determined that the consultation would have resulted in a hip aspiration and removal of the bacteria that caused the infection. He further opined that the septic arthritis or osteomyelitis, an inflammation of the bone caused by a pathogenic organism, was not diagnosed and also demonstrated the defendants’ failure to appreciate the infant’s symptoms.

The defendants claimed that they did not depart from the standard of care. Defense counsel argued that the infant was provided timely and directed hip examinations following the intern’s note and that no symptoms justified an orthopedic consultation.

Injury:

Plaintiffs’ counsel claimed that the delayed diagnosis led to an infection that caused the complete deterioration of the little girl’s hip joints, resulting in a permanent disability. The girl, now 4, walks with an altered gait. Although she does not wear a brace, she requires fusion surgery on both hips. The surgery can not be performed until after she reaches puberty, and she also requires revision surgery over the course of her lifetime.

The victim’s vocational life-planning expert determined that she will have profound vocational and occupational consequences and will have difficulty finding meaningful employment.

Plaintiffs’ counsel sought recovery of an unspecified amount of damages for past and future medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

The defense claimed the girl does not need revision surgeries and will be able to lead a normal productive life.

Result:

The parties agreed to a $3,425,000 pretrial settlement. The hospital’s insurer will contribute the entire amount. The attending doctors were stipulated out.

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Judge: Gerard H. Rosenberg

Long Island hospital facing medical malpractice lawsuit in alleged surgical error

New York – A woman went to a well-respected hospital in Long Island for a routine ectopic pregnancy operation but has now filed a medical malpractice lawsuit. She developed life threatening complications while in the hospital that left her with both legs amputated below the knees. The woman and her family say that the problems began when the surgeons pierced her colon during the laproscopic surgery. They explain that this puncture was missed by the hospital due to doctor error. This failure to diagnose, notes the family, led to even more serious complications. The patient then developed sepsis, a deadly infection in her blood, and gangrene necrosis, the death of tissues, in her legs. Doctors and nurses in the hospital detailed how the woman then required several months of hospitalization in the intensive care unit (ICU) with antibiotic treatments and various medications. However, the medical care could not prevent the need for amputating the woman’s feet and legs and several other necessary medical procedures. The victim now exclaims that the alleged hospital mistake have left her unable to care for herself and permanently disabled. She is suing the hospital and its doctors, claiming they were negligent in several areas of their medical care. You can read more about her hospital negligence case here.

Photo by Unknown photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Misdiagnosis of Lyme disease being discussed by New York senator

New York – Many people, including doctors, automatically associate tick bites with Lyme disease, especially when the bite is followed by fever, headache, and body aches or pain. However, current research shows that this can easily lead to a misdiagnosis of the patients true problem. A senator from New York is pushing for more training of doctors and nurses to make them aware of the various tick-borne diseases that are possible beyond just Lyme. Healthcare professionals are trained to diagnose illnesses of all sorts by working through a list of possibilities, known as a differential diagnosis. However, a top New York City medical malpractice attorney explains that some physicians prematurely jump to conclusions, leading to a missed diagnosis or other medical error. A doctor is more likely to correctly diagnose and treat a patient when all appropriate possibilities have been considered. More importantly, the correct diagnostic tests must be ordered by the doctor in order to avoid a medical mistake. The wrong diagnosis will usually lead to the wrong treatment of the patient’s condition and often associated complications. The complications from the wrong medical treatment can be due to side effects from the treatment used, as well as from failure to treat the actual illness. The current legislative effort has the goal of spreading awareness of other possible diagnoses besides Lyme when it comes to tick bites, including Powassan virus and Boriella miyamotoi. The most common treatment of antibiotics with doxycycline does not work on these other diseases, so a doctor error in one of these cases would lead to failure of the treatment. Some healthcare workers and health insurance companies have claimed that efforts such as this may just lead to defensive medicine and higher cost of care. However, patient advocates note that it is the responsibility of doctors and nurses to study their field of medicine more thoroughly and stay up-to-date of the current research and literature. They say that hospitals and national medical societies should carefully create protocols in order to assure that doctors order the right studies in order to avoid misdiagnosis as well as unnecessary medical testing. Proper health care requires diligence and hard work in order to avoid negligence and failure, according to activists. Read more about other tick-borne diseases and the push for more research here.

Photo by Subconsci Productions (http://www.flickr.com/photos/sbconsci/361586876/) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons