Articles Tagged with Boston medical malpractice

Modern medicine has conceived many wondrous achievements in recent years.

Heart attacks can now be treated with the use of angioplasty and stents. Medications can be used to prevent patients from experiencing future cardiac events.

More effective treatments have been discovered for chronic conditions like diabetes. Some diseases, such as Hepatitis C, have been presented with cures for the first time ever.

One of the more complex types of Boston personal injury litigation is medical malpractice.  It occurs any time we go to the doctor as a serious illness could be misdiagnosed leading to serious personal injury or even death.  However, many medical malpractice cases result from incidents that occur in a hospital setting.

Boston Medical MalpracticeWhat people may not realize is that when we seek treatment at a hospital, we are in fact trusting our care to many different people – some of whom we may never see – and that there is ample opportunity for circumstances to go horribly wrong. Health care providers frequently found liable for medical malpractice are those who assist women in childbirth. In fact, one Medscape survey in 2015 noted that 85 percent of OB/GYN physicians will be sued for medical malpractice at some point in their careers.

That same survey indicated the most common reasons OB/GYNs are sued are because of:

  • Patient suffering abnormal injury;
  • Failure to diagnose;
  • Failure to treat;
  • Poor documentation of patient instruction/ education;
  • Improperly obtaining/ lack of informed consent;
  • Failure to follow safety procedures;
  • Medication errors.

These mistakes can occur during pregnancy, or at some point during labor or in the course of delivery. The impact of a medical mistake on the mother and child can be devastating and lifelong. However, the amount of time you have to file a claim is not infinite. The statute of limitations limits the amount of time you have to assert a claim.

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In a case from the Washington State Supreme Court, plaintiff went to his doctor on September 1, 2011 because he had a painful lesion located on the bottom of his foot.  The doctor with which he made an appointment was his primary care provider (PCP).doctor

Once his PCP saw the wound on his foot, which was the result of stepping on a sharp object, he referred the plaintiff to a podiatrist. The podiatrist saw the plaintiff that same day and diagnosed him with what he called a pyogenic granuloma.  This is a benign (non cancerous) lesion.  The podiatrist said he could either remove it with surgery or treat it with cryotherapy using liquid nitrogen, as they often do when trying to remove warts from patients. Continue reading

In a recent case from the Supreme Court of California, the case was tried before a jury, and jurors returned what is known as a special verdict. A normal verdict form is simply one that asks if the defendant is liable or not, and if the defendant is liable, then the jury is expected to also decide the amount of damages (financial compensation) that should be awarded to the plaintiff.  If there is no finding of negligence, then there is obviously not a need to return an award of damages.

toolHowever, there can also be special verdict forms that ask jurors to separately decide on different elements of a tort ,such as negligence, because in some cases, additional elements must be established for certain penalties and monetary awards to be triggered.  In this case, the jury returned a special verdict that found defendant was negligent in treating defendant, but that their negligent treatment was not responsible for him becoming a quadriplegic.  Continue reading

In Baptist Ventures, Inc. v. Hoke, a personal injury appeal for the Supreme Court of Alabama, plaintiff was allegedly injured as a result of medical treatment she received from the defendants.  The defendants in this case run an Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) medical practice. Plaintiff was a patient of defendants.

nursesIn April 2011, plaintiff went to defendants’ medical clinic to have a procedure performed.  One day prior to the two-year anniversary of this doctor’s visit, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice lawsuit claiming that the defendants had provided care that fell below the acceptable standard of due care, and as a result of the breach of the duty of care, she was injured. Continue reading

In Boston medical malpractice cases, sometimes the term “never events” gets thrown around. It’s a reference to the types of medical errors that health professionals agree should never happen. And yet, they do. Some examples:doctor5

  • Retained surgical instruments (surgical tools, sponges, etc. being left inside a patient after a procedure);
  • Wrong surgery site (a surgeon performs surgery on the wrong limb, body part, person, etc.);
  • Urinary tract infection from a catheter;
  • Pressure ulcers (Stage III and IV);
  • Falls and trauma;
  • Surgical site infections;
  • Medication error fatalities;
  • Administration of incompatible blood;
  • Air embolisms.

Now, a recent study by Castlight-Leapfrog reveals not only are these events occurring, they are happening with alarming frequency. Although there is always some risk a patient incurs with every type of medical treatment. And just because someone suffers a poor health outcome doesn’t necessarily mean medical malpractice is to blame. However, these “never events” are so egregious for the fact that they are deemed entirely preventable. We know what causes them. We know how to stop them. And hospitals should have procedures and policies in place that are strictly followed by staffers to ensure these kinds of things never happen. Continue reading

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