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Tag Archives: medical malpractice

Medical malpractice investigation raises concern about medical board inaction

Concerns have come to light about state medical boards avoiding discipline of doctors who have significant medical malpractice claims against them. Examples have been shown where physicians have even been suspended from hospitals but no report or actions took place within the medical board. Accusations have been made that these oversight boards have avoided taking actions against the medical license of these healthcare practitioners despite serious public safety concerns. Some have noted that these medical boards are most comprised of and controlled by other doctors. Public health activists say that patient safety must be the primary concern. They warn that inaction by the oversight committees and boards may be an issue of negligence that can lead to significant consequences. A doctor who is under investigation for medical negligence or hospital error can go on to commit more mistakes if nothing is done to correct the problem. Safety advocates believe that it is the duty of the boards to inquire as to the seriousness of accusations and potential for future hard. Based on this initial inquiry they can take action to prevent further harm or doctor mistake while a more comprehensive investigation is undertaken. Some instances require retraining of doctors and staff to avoid delayed diagnosis, surgical mistakes and even a wrong diagnosis. Avoidance of taking real action against a potentially negligent doctor can be due to doctors wanting to protect their own, according to some commentators. However, this may lead to a dangerous situation and lack of public trust in the system meant to protect them from medical negligence. You can find out more about this medical malpractice investigation here.

Photo for illustrative purposes only. Photo Credit: Artur Bergman [License]

Should doctors and nurses be protected from COVID-19 medical malpractice lawsuits?

New York – The State of New York instituted a law that attempts to provide immunity to healthcare workers who provide negligent medical care. The ruling was set in place as an emergency effort in order to bring in additional doctors, physician assistants and nurses during the initial response to the coronavirus pandemic. However, critics explain that this initial concept has continued and is a dangerous precedent to set. They note that only ‘gross negligence’ could be claimed in a medical malpractice lawsuit case. This gives healthcare workers free reign to mostly act as they please despite the potential damage and injury that they may cause. It should be noted that everyone appreciates the efforts being undertaken by the healthcare workers during these trying times. However, that should not mean that patient’s rights should be trampled on or that high quality medical care shouldn’t be provided consistently. Accountability within hospitals and doctor’s offices is an essential component of maintaining proper care and preventing medical errors or mistakes. Patient safety advocates claim that the intent of the law is not as important as the protection of patient rights and provision of medical care that is up to the accepted standard of care. Poor or substandard quality of care must be prevented, monitored and dealt with expediently in order to maintain proper healthcare, according to those challenging the law. In fact, a top New York medical malpractice lawyer notes that the validity of the law is actually in question and may need to be challenged. You can read more about this medical malpractice law here.

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Medical malpractice involving medical devices and artificial intelligence

New York – The expanding world of medical devices or machines that use artificial intelligence introduces a new kind of risk of medical malpractice injury for unsuspecting patients. Modern medicine has spent many decades creating and perfecting the use of these devices, such as robotics, computer software and hardware. The hope was to eliminate human doctor error, hospital negligence or fatigue that plagues doctors, nurses and other medical professionals. However, research has shown that these devices and programs are far from foolproof and can actually cause medical mistakes, surgical error or injury and even wrongful death. Sometimes a false sense of security can be instilled in healthcare practitioners who overly rely on the new technology, leading to a delayed treatment due to a delayed diagnosis or even outright missed diagnosis.

Top New York medical malpractice lawyers have researched these issues and have fought hard for these injured patients. They explain that it is important to fully investigate who is responsible for the medical mistake or if any negligence was involved. It is usually necessary to look into the underlying development of the technology in question to determine if it was developed and manufactured according to accepted standards. In addition, there is still an element of human error or neglect if there was subsequent improper maintenance or lack of proper training. You can review more about these types of medical errors here.

Image for illustrative purposes only. Photo Credit: Bonnie Jeffs [License]

Medical malpractice more likely if the doctor is fatigued

Research has now documented something that many have long suspected about medical errors by doctors. The recently presented paper shows that a physician that is burnt out or fatigued is more likely to have reported a serious medical mistake. Experts say that this makes sense in light of what we know about fatigue in healthcare providers, including doctors, nurses, paramedics and technicians. Significant fatigue and burnout can obviously lead to a tired healthcare worker that slow the thinking process. However, the fatigue and burnout can also create irritability and dulled clinical senses, leading to poor concentration and critical decision making. All of these can easily lead to various medical malpractice issues, such as a surgical mistake, wrong medication prescriptions or dosing, and even missed or delayed diagnosis. Patient safety advocates have long demanded that medical professionals maintain proper safety precautions, including ensuring proper sleep habits, maintaining safety protocols and monitoring for and dealing with risk factors for medical errors. Stories of surgical error or other malpractice issues are always a cause to take note and make serious changes to prevent recurrence. It is crucial to speak to an injury lawyer that specializes in medical malpractice lawsuits if you or someone you know suffered from an error due to the actions or inactions of a healthcare professional. This study further describes the association between medical mistakes and doctor fatigue or burnout.

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

Medical malpractice following hospital error 14 years ago may leave woman paralyzed

This is a case of medical malpractice that dates back 14 years, when a woman received an epidural injection before giving birth. Apparently, when the doctor was attempting to inject the woman through an epidural needle, a section of the needle broke off inside of her spine. The doctor and hospital staff either didn’t notice the doctor’s error or tried to cover it up by not telling the patient. A New York medical malpractice lawyer explained that both scenarios would likely be considered medical negligence or fraud. The injury lawyer explains that doctors and nurses are obligated to check their equipment to ensure no instruments are left inside of the patient. Cases of medical equipment being left inside of a person’s body usually occur during surgery. However, delicate pieces of equipment, such as needles, are easily broken. Many patients worry about undergoing medical procedures in fear of mistakes or complications that are not corrected. In pregnancy, this fear increases for fear of the baby’s safety. Luckily the botched procedure didn’t cause a birth injury to the baby. The woman in this case continued to develop pain and complications from the doctor’s mistake. It wasn’t until the woman underwent a scan that doctors discovered the broken needle piece embedded in her spine. Experts are now concerned that the mistake may leave the woman paralyzed. They note that attempting surgery to remove it may lead to the very same problem as leaving it in her body. See this article for additional details about this patient’s epidural injection injury and claims about the doctor and hospital trying to cover up the mistake.

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$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