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Tag Archives: medical malpractice

$2.25 Million – Medical Malpractice Claim Due to Delayed Treatment in Hospital

New York – In 2012 a woman delivered a baby in a hospital in Queens, NY. She subsequently suffered a pulmonary embolism and died the next day. The woman’s widowed husband claimed that this was a wrongful death due to the hospital’s failure to treat the problem quickly enough. Medical malpractice lawyers with Morrison & Wagner filed a malpractice lawsuit on the woman’s estate’s behalf. The hospital’s operator agreed to pay a settlement of $2,250,000 to the victims.

Photo for illustrative purposes only. Credit: US Army Africa [License]

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Lawsuit: Doctors’ Inaction allowed embolism’s fatal progress (VerdictSearch by Priya Idiculla)

Settlement: $2,250,000

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Court: Queens Supreme, Queens County, New York

Injury Type(s): death; embolism; pulmonary / respiratory; respiratory arrest

Case Type: Medical Malpractice — Delayed Treatment — Wrongful Death — Survival Damages

Date: February 25, 2016

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

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Facts & Allegations:
On July 10, 2012, plaintiff’s decedent, a 31-year-old part-time nurse, underwent Caesarean delivery of a daughter. The delivery was performed in a hospital in Queens, New York.

During the hours that followed the delivery, the woman developed severe impairment of her respiration. She ultimately suffered an arrest, though she was quickly revived. Doctors suspected that she was suffering a pulmonary embolism, so she underwent intravenous administration of an anticoagulant: Lovenox.

Her condition worsened during the ensuing morning. A doctor ordered surgical thrombolysis, which would have involved mechanical destruction of the embolism, but the woman died before the procedure could be undertaken. The woman’s widower, Plaintiff, claimed that his wife’s death was a result of a failure to timely address her embolism.

The plaintiff and his sister, acting as co-administrators of the deceased woman’s estate, sued the hospital’s operator, New York City Health and Hospitals Corp., and several doctors who were believed to have been involved in the hospital’s treatment of the woman – an internist, hospitalist, 2 obstetricians, a pulmonologist and a cardiologist. The lawsuit alleged that the doctors failed to timely address the woman’s embolism, that the doctors’ failures constituted malpractice, and that New York City Health and Hospitals was vicariously liable for the doctors’ actions.

The estate’s counsel discontinued the claims against the doctors. The matter proceeded against New York City Health and Hospitals.

The estate’s counsel contended that the woman’s embolism could have been resolved via thrombolysis, but that the surgery was not ordered until the woman had experienced five hours of worsening symptoms. He also claimed that 165 additional minutes passed before the hospital completed the woman’s presurgical preparations. While the woman was being transported to the area in which the surgery would have been performed, she suffered a loss of consciousness. She did not regain consciousness.

The estate’s counsel also contended that the woman was not timely administered Lovenox. He contended that earlier administration may have altered the need for thrombolysis.

Defense counsel contended that the woman’s embolism was of an advanced stage that is rarely resolved via thrombolysis, and she also contended that thrombolysis is an extremely risky procedure. She contended that the hospital’s staff appropriately determined that Lovenox was the more efficacious means of addressing the embolism.

Injuries/Damages
The woman suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism. During the hours that preceded her death, she suffered severe impairment of her respiration. She also suffered an arrest, though she was resuscitated.

The woman died on July 11, 2012. She was survived by her husband and two children.

The woman’s estate sought recovery of wrongful-death damages that included her lost earnings, damages for her pain and suffering, and damages for her children’s loss of parental guidance. The lost-earnings claim was not supported by admissible documentation.

Result
The parties negotiated a pretrial settlement. New York City Health and Hospitals, which was self-insured, agreed to pay $2.25 Million.

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Editor’s Note: This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff’s counsel. Defense counsel did not respond to the reporter’s phone calls.

New technology hopes to prevent birth injury

A healthcare instrument manufacturer has recently presented a new kind of scalpel to prevent birth injuries caused by a doctor during childbirth. The makers of this new surgical instrument say that it can prevent common accidental lacerations of the cheek, face and ear of the fetus as well as other body parts. Medical safety experts say that obstetrician doctors or residents often injure the infant while cutting through the mother’s tissues while working quickly to deliver the baby. Hospital errors can occur for various reasons. For example, unskilled physicians or fatigued staff sometimes have difficulty performing caesarean section surgeries under such time pressure. This can lead to permanent disability, wounds or even death of the baby. Patient safety can also be put at risk, leading to injury to the mother during such an intricate operation. The new medical device hopes to reduce the risk or such injuries and wrongful death. They also hope that the new safety blade design will prevent injury to the doctors and nurses involved in the surgery. Worker’s comp injuries involving hospital workers being hurt by needles, scalpels and other sharp instruments is a serious concern. Patient safety advocates explain that many medical safety devices are available to staff but some hospitals refuse to buy them due to high cost. However, they note that the high cost to a victim who suffers a medical malpractice injury must be taken into consideration. Many malpractice lawsuits, especially in cases of fetal injury, can be avoided with proper planning to avoid surgical error or a hospital mistake. Find out more about the new medical safety options here.

Photo for illustrative purposes only. Credit: M C Morgan [License]

$325,000 Mediated Settlement :: Patient Suffered Embolism After Falling From Hospital Chair, Delayed Diagnosis

New York — An 83-year-old resident of a senior case nursing home facility fell out of a hospital chair while admitted for treatment there. He underwent X-rays after the fall in the hospital and was returned to the senior care home. He subsequently returned to the hospital and received a delayed diagnosis of a leg fracture. The man soon died of a pulmonary embolism that his estate contended was due to medical malpractice and negligence. The man’s family sought the legal assistance of Morrison & Wagner, who specialize in wrongful death. They helped mediate a settlement for the family in the amount of $325,000.

Illustrative Photo Credit: rearl [License]

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Suit: Fatal embolism stemmed from late diagnosis of fracture (VerdictSearch)

Mediated Settlement Amount: $325,000

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Court: Bronx Supreme, Bronx County, New York

Injury Type(s): leg-fracture (fracture, tibia); other-death; arterial/vascular – embolism pulmonary/respiratory

Case Type: Nursing Homes – Medical Malpractice – Delayed Diagnosis, Delayed Treatment

Date: October 29, 2010

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

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Facts:

On Aug. 5, 2003, plaintiff’s decedent, 87, was admitted to a hospital in the Bronx. During the ensuing days, he underwent treatment of malnutrition, mild dementia and residual effects of cancer of his prostrate.

On Aug. 12, 2003, the elderly man fell out of one of the hospital’s chairs. X-rays did not reveal a fracture, and the man was ultimately returned to his residence, a senior care center in the Bronx.

The senior care center’s staff subsequently determined that the fall victim was suffering a fracture of his left leg’s tibia. The injured man was returned to the hospital. After 10 days had passed, he suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism. The man’s family claimed that the embolism was a result of a failure to timely diagnose and treat his fracture.

The injury victim’s estate sued the hospital and the senior care nursing home. The estate alleged that the defendants’ employees failed to timely diagnose and treat the elderly man’s fractures. The estate further alleged that the hospital’s staff’s negligence constituted malpractice.

The estate’s counsel claimed that the man’s fracture occurred when he fell out of the chair. He acknowledged that preliminary X-rays did not reveal a fracture, but he claimed that subsequent X-rays did. He contended that the patient was discharged before the subsequent X-rays could be evaluated. He claimed that a medical examiner concluded that the man’s fatal embolism was a result of a failure to promptly address the fracture.

The estate’s counsel also claimed that the senior care center’s staff did not promptly address the fracture’s symptoms: discolored skin and an inversion of the senior man’s right foot.

Injury:

The plaintiff sustained a fracture of his left leg’s tibia. The estate’s counsel claimed that the fracture was not promptly treated, and he contended that the delay allowed the man’s development of a fatal pulmonary embolism.

The deceased man’s estate sought recovery of damages for his past pain and suffering.

Defense counsel contended that the man’s embolism was not a result of his fracture.

Result:

During the month that preceded the scheduled start of the trial, the parties negotiated a settlement, which was finalized via the guidance of Judge Douglas McKeon. The defendants’ insurers agreed to contribute equal payments that totaled $325,000.

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Judge: Douglas E. McKeon

Editor’s Comment: This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff’s and defense counsel.

$1,850,000 Settlement After New York Hospital Missed Diagnosis of Breast Cancer

The doctors missed the breast cancer diagnosis when Marcia Lee first came to the Manhattan hospital for evaluation. She was shocked to discover that not only did she have the cancer, the hospital’s failure to diagnose it earlier left her in a worse condition. She was only 45 years old and determined to fight both the cancer and the injustice. Ms. Lee spoke to a top medical malpractice lawyer in NY who explained her rights. A medical malpractice lawsuit for failure to diagnose cancer was filed against the hospital and its doctors. The defendants subsequently concluded the case against them by giving the misdiagnosis victim a $ 1.85 Million settlement.

Have you, or someone you know, suffered from doctor or hospital negligence? Please let us know – it’s a free consultation! You can also read about additional winning medical malpractice cases here.

Photo by Bill Branson [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

$340,000 Compensation - Surgical Error - Young Woman Suffers Colon Perforation After Routine Surgery

Brooklyn, NY – – Jane Doe was 21 years old when she went for a routine gynecological surgery to remove cysts from her ovaries in February of 2010. However, she had to return to the Brooklyn, New York hospital approximately a week later due to severe pain from a perforation of her bowel. The injury to her large intestine quickly worsened into peritonitis, a dangerous infection in her abdomen and pelvis.

Ms. Doe continued to suffer and required multiple operations to help correct the apparent surgical mistake. She asserted that the hole in her bowel occurred due to doctor negligence and therefore filed a medical malpractice lawsuit. After consulting with a top medical malpractice lawyer, she further contended that the Ob-Gyn surgeon delayed treatment due to failure to diagnose the complication from the operation.

Following negotiation with the defendants, the malpractice victim was given a $340,000 settlement. For further details on this case, please see the full article below.

Illustrative photo by U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Benjamin Stratton [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons 

$ 3 Million - Meningitis Medical Malpractice - Hospital's Failure to Diagnose

Meningitis is a life-threatening condition. It involves an inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis is classified as a medical emergency. When a hospital failed to diagnose a case of Meningitis for a two year old patient, the family turned to New York’s toughest personal injury attorneys. The lawyers successfully proved that the medical negligence caused by hospital error resulted in the girl suffering from hearing loss, mental deficiencies likely due to brain damage and infection. Fortunately, the family was compensated $3,000,000. Read about other failures to diagnose and medical malpractice.

Photo by 4028mdk09 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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Unspotted meningitis caused deafness, child’s mother alleged (VerdictSearch)

Settlement Amount: $3,000,000

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Court: Queens Supreme, Queens County, NY

Injury Type(s): other-meningitis; sensory/speech-hearing; loss of mental/psychological-cognition; impairment

Case Type: Medical Malpractice – Failure to Test, Failure to Diagnose

Date: June 23, 2008

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

Facts:

On Nov. 11, 1999, the plaintiff, a 1-year-old girl, was examined by her pediatrician, Dr. Bum Park. The baby was suffering a persistent fever, and Park determined that the fever was a product of tonsillitis. The baby’s mother was told that she could be reexamined when it became necessary.

During the ensuing hours, the girl’s fever reached 104 degrees Fahrenheit, and she began to vomit. She was transported to the emergency room of Elmhurst [N.Y.] Hospital Center. An X-ray revealed a potentially abnormal density of the little girl’s lungs, and doctors suspected that she could have been developing pneumonia. Thus, she was admitted to the hospital. Doctors also suspected that meningitis could have been developing, but they did not detect any abnormalities of the child’s meninges. She was administered an antibiotic.

During the third day of the baby’s hospitalization, a nurse observed that the child’s neck was stiffening. A test confirmed that the patient was suffering nuchal rigity — stiffness of the nape of the neck. Nuchal rigity is one of three symptoms of meningitis. The girl was also suffering a 102-degree fever. Doctors determined that a spinal tap would be performed if the fever persisted.

The child’s hospitalization ultimately lasted 14 days, and her body’s temperature always equaled or exceeded 100 degrees.

Two days after her discharge, doctors determined that the girl was suffering an acute and total loss of her ability to hear. A CT scan revealed that she was suffering damage of her ears’ cochleas. The child victim’s mother claimed that the damage was a result of untreated meningitis.

The mother, acting as parent and natural guardian, sued Park and Elmhurst Hospital Center’s operator, the New York City Health and Hospitals Corp. The mother alleged that Park and the hospital’s staff failed to diagnose the meningitis. She further alleged that the failures constituted medical malpractice.

Plaintiff’s counsel claimed that the girl’s nuchal rigity indicated that she may have been suffering meningitis. He contended that the symptom should have prompted immediate performance of a spinal tap or some other appropriate test. The plaintiff’s expert neonatologist opined that CT scans revealed that the cochlear damage was a result of ossification that was caused by a bacterial infection.

Park’s records did not clearly indicate the scope of his Nov. 11 examination of the child. He initially contended that the examination may have included performance of tests that detect meningitis, but he ultimately acknowledged that he could not recall having performed such tests. However, Park’s medical expert opined that Park’s treatment did not deviate from accepted standards of care. The expert also opined that the child’s permanent injury was not a product of Park’s actions or inactions.

Park’s counsel moved for summary judgment. The motion was denied, but the appellate division, Second Department, reversed. Thus, the matter proceeded against New York City Health and Hospitals.

New York City Health and Hospitals’ counsel contended that Elmhurst Hospital Center’s staff appropriately treated the patient. He claimed that the baby’s symptoms did not warrant additional treatment.

New York City Health and Hospitals’ also moved for summary judgment. He challenged plaintiff’s counsel’s submission of a supplemental bill of particulars, but his motion was denied.

Injury:

Plaintiff’s counsel claimed that the child victim suffered meningitis that caused damage of her ears’ cochleas. He contended that the damage led to an acute, permanent and total loss of her auditory ability. He noted that the loss occurred during the child’s early formative years, and he claimed that the resultant handicap impaired her cognitive development.

The girl’s mother sought recovery of damages for her daughter’s past and future pain and suffering.

Defense counsel contended that the child’s cochlear damage was a congenital defect.

Result:

The parties negotiated a $3 Million pretrial settlement.

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Judge: David Elliot

Editor’s Comment: This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff’s counsel. Defense counsel did not respond to the reporter’s phone calls.

$ 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

Questions mount regarding safety of medications containing niacin

Medical studies point to dangerous medication side effects of taking niacin but many doctors still prescribe the drug. Hundreds of thousands of patients in the United States are being given prescription Niacin according to recent statistics. Even more take the medicine without prescription, sold as vitamin B-3 over-the-counter in pharmacies, supermarkets and online. However, ongoing research of the prescription drug reveals that there are considerable side effects and possible health dangers in taking it. Some believe that the studies and literature clearly point to increased risk of wrongful death that has been ignored by many doctors and hospitals. The most common brand name of the medication is Niaspan, that is manufactured by a large U.S. drug company. Experts say that the nearly $1 Billion sales of the medicine in the U.S. alone may explain why the potentially hazardous product hasn’t been recalled from the market. There are many individuals and companies that have a lot of invested interest in ignoring the crucial warnings regarding the pills. Some have suggested that it is the responsibility of the drug makers to halt sales of the medication until they have more thoroughly studied its health effects. They contend that it is negligent for manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers to continue selling a product that hasn’t been fully researched and may quite possibly be injuring the public health. People who are taking niacin-related medication should discuss any concerns with their healthcare professional before stopping it. If you or someone you know may have been injured by a medication, you have the right to speak to an injury attorney that specializes in medical malpractice and liability http://morrisonwagner.com/contact/ to discuss your case. Read about the current medical research on niacin here.

Illustrative photo by Ragesoss (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Study shows misdiagnosis occurs regularly in doctor’s offices

A new research article published in a well-respected medical journal shows that doctors misdiagnose about 12 million adults every year in outpatient clinics and private offices. This is in addition to the hospital patients that are misdiagnosed by doctors on a regular basis. Even more concerning, the investigators explain that approximately 50% of the identified medical mistakes have the possibility to cause serious damage or illness, including wrongful death. A medical malpractice lawyer in New York City notes that he has worked with many victims of hospital errors and doctor’s mistakes. These cases of failure to diagnose often leave patients suffering with more severe illness, disability and pain. Even small delays in diagnosis can lead to catastrophic health consequences, such as spreading of a cancer or an infectious disease. These delays or failures can be attributed to many causes, such as inattentiveness by healthcare providers, illegible handwriting, poor continuing education, or even a facility that is trying to cut corners in order to save money. Patient care activists explain that doctor and nursing carelessness is a well-known problem that needs to be addressed more aggressively by private medical offices, public health clinics and hospitals alike. They say that proper oversight, education and full practice protocols are needed to improve the quality and safety of healthcare while preventing repeated medical negligence. See this article for more about the outpatient misdiagnosis study.

Illustrative photo by DoD [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

MRI center on Long Island allows man into suite with metal

New York – An elderly man was allowed to enter the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) room of an imaging center in Medford, New York while carrying a walker made from metal material. The strong magnet in the machine forcefully jerked the walker from his hands, causing him to slip and fall. The victim fell and hit his head, evidently leading to an intracranial hemorrhage and stroke only days later. The head injury and brain damage apparently soon led to the man’s death approximately two months later. The injury victim’s son expressed outrage about the incident and filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against those responsible. The case alleges that negligence on the part of the MRI facility’s staff caused a sequence of events that led to the patient’s wrongful death.

Healthcare experts explain that this type of medical error or accident is a known complication of MRI machines. MRI equipment creates an extremely powerful magnetic force that can pull metal objects across the room with enough speed and strength to cause injuries and death. Many cases have been documented of dangerous objects flying through the air in MRI facilities, including heavy steel oxygen tanks, ambulance stretchers, jewelry, pens or even belts and other articles of clothing. In addition, some medical devices can be a hazard when exposed to an MRI machine’s strong magnet. This can include cardiac pacemakers, aneurysm clips, metal surgical rods and screws, and medication pumps. The dangers of these devices shifting or being dislocated during an MRI must be taken very seriously when doctors and MRI staff select eligible patients. Yet another medical complication linked to MRIs is thermal burns caused by the powerful machines. Due to these dangers of MRI accidents, all establishments are required to maintain strict training and protocols to ensure patient and worker safety. This includes complete explanations to the patient, inspections and checklists to avoid anyone from bringing an unauthorized metal object that could cause an MRI injury into the suite. Some metal is allowed in if it is verified to not be attracted to strong magnets. According to a New York City medical malpractice lawyer, the responsibility to maintain patient and workplace safety remains with the staff and doctors of the MRI company. Read more about how to prevent getting injured during an MRI here.

Photo by English: Lance Cpl. Jonathan G. Wright [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons