Medical Malpractice - Articles

Parents Sue for Death of Infant

March 12, 2015

The parents of an infant born with hemophilia have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a doctor and a health center for failing to adequately handle the child's medical issues.

According to David A. Sims, the attorney representing the parents of Elijah Allen Moore, the doctors of Mesa TeamHealth were “not qualified to render proper emergeny medical care. It's cheaper to hire a doctor with a family practice medicine education than it is to hire one with an emergency medicine education.”

Elijah was brought into the emergency room on February 19th and waited nearly seven hours for a cat scan and another hour and a half for the necessary medicine for hemophilia. By the time he was transported to another facility, the bleeding reached Elijah's brain.

The lawsuit names physician Richard Ferguson, Mesa TeamHealth and Corporation Service Company on several charges, including medical negligence and wrongful death.


Woman Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit against Hospital for Infection

March 05, 2015

A Washington state woman filed a lawsuit against a hospital and a medical-device manufacturer for allegedly causing her husband to die from an infection.

Theresa Bigler is seeking unspecified monetary damages for the death of her husband Richard Bigler, who died from pancreatic cancer. According to Bigler's attorney, his death certificate lists E. coli as a contributing factor, which was resistant to drugs.

According to the lawsuit, Olympus America was responsible for making the contaminated scope that led to Bigler's infection, as well as 30 other medical device-related outbreaks at Seattle's Virginia Mason Medical Center between 2012 and 2014.

The lawsuit also alleges that Virginia Mason failed to inform patients of the outbreak once the outbreak was discovered.


Nursing Center Faces Wrongful Death Lawsuit

February 25, 2015

The Family of a man who died under the care of a nursing center in Long Beach, California, is suing the center for wrongful death.

According to the lawsuit, Royal Care Skilled Nursing Center understaffed itself for the sake of raising profits, compromising the competency of its staff and its ability to meet the minimum requirements enforced by law.

The lawsuit also alleges that these cutbacks are what caused the death of Gilbert Guerra Jr., who suffered from sores, infections, dehydration, pneumonia, kidney failure, respiratory distress, weight loss and overmedication while under the care of the nursing center.

“Royal displayed a reckless disregard for the health and safety of their patients,” said Stephen Garcia, a lawyer who is representing the family. “Had the management team care enough to simly conduct a proper pre-employment screening and maintain the legal requirement of staff necessary to care for their patients, Gilbert Guerra Jr. would likely still be alive.”


Man Files Medical Malpractice Lawsuit against New Orleans Health Center

February 24, 2015

A man is suing a health center in New Orleans for allegedly suffering renal failure.

According to the lawsuit filed by William Lee Jones, a nurse failed to check his blood levels after undergoing back surgery and being prescribed an antibiotic called Vancomycin IV.

The nurse assigned to Jones failed to do the proper blood work to check his Vancomycin blood levels.

The lawsuit alleges that Jones was “found to be in acute renal failure from Vancomycin toxicity.”

The lawsuit seeks damages for pain and suffering, mental agony, emotional turmoil, loss of enjoyment of life, medical expenses and permanent disfigurement.


Widow of Bernie Mac Drops Wrongful Death Lawsuit

January 29, 2015

Attorneys for the widow of comedian Bernie Mac have dropped a wrongful death lawsuit against a Chicago dermatologist who treated Mac three weeks before his death in 2008.

The suit was dropped for unspecified reasons, but Cannon Lambert, one of widow Rhonda McCullough's lawyers, said, “We'll be looking at re-filing.”

Mac was diagnosed with pneumonia the same day he had an appointment at the clinic of Dr. Earles. McCullough's lawyers alleged in the suit that the delay of the appointment postponed emergency care at a hospital, leading to his death.

Mike Prangle, a lawyer for Earles, said that his client had no idea that Mac had been diagnosed with pneumonia by another doctor.

“Had Dr. Earles known Bernie had been diagnosed with pneumonia, he would have immediately sent him to the hospital,” Prangle said.


Melissa Rivers Sues for Medical Malpractice on Behalf of Joan Rivers

January 26, 2015

Melissa Rivers filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the clinic that botched Joan Rivers's throat procedure.

The lawsuit targets Yorkville Endoscopy Center in Manhattan, former medical director Dr. Lawrence Cohen, anesthesiologist Robert Koiuta and Dr. Gwen Korovin, who was Rivers's doctor for the procedure involving her ear, nose and throat.

“What ultimately guided me was my unwavering belief that no family should ever have to go through what my mother, [my son] Cooper and I have been through,” Melissa River said in regard to her decision to file the lawsuit. “The level of medical mismanagement, incompetency, disrespect and outrageous behavior is shocking and, frankly, almost incomprehensible.”

Rivers stopped breathing on the table as she was having a vocal chords procedure on August 28, dying one week later at the age of 81.

The suit seeks unspecified damages.


Nursing Home Faces Wrongful Death Lawsuit

January 20, 2015

A family is suing a nursing home in Louisiana on behalf of a man who allegedly died because of an accident.

The suit, filed against St. Joseph of Harahan LLC, accuses St. Joseph for failing to properly take care of Nicholas Dendinger, who entered the home's care after suffering a stroke.

Dendinger was hit on the head by a metal box covering a thermostat that caused a head injury on Nov. 16, 2013, which was not revealed until May 17, 2014 with an MRI. He died Nov. 16, 2013 allegedly because of that injury.

The family of Dendinger seeks damages for physical pain and suffering, medical bills, loss of enjoyment of life and loss of consortium.


Hospital System Faces Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

January 16, 2015

The parents of a boy with cerebral palsy are suing a hospital system in Portland for medical malpractice.

The boy, Luca, was born via a water birth, which the hospital said came with less risk than a traditional birth. Luca suffered a brain injury during the birth.

The parents argue that their child should have been born through C-section, and the lawsuit asks the judge to order the system, Legacy Health System, to stop performing water births in the future.

The suits seeks $23 million for for all medical expenses and $10 million for Luca's pain and suffering.


Woman Who Allegedly Broke Hip Sues Hospital for Medical Malpractice

December 22, 2014

A woman is suing a hospital in Gretna, Louisiana, for allegedly breaking her hip while under its care.

The wrongful death lawsuit, filed by Virginia C. Roppolo, alleges that she fell while under the care of East Jefferson General Hospital, having been hospitalized after being diagnosed as having dementia and considered a fall risk. Roppolo broke her hip as a result of the fall and had to undergo surgery to repair the break.

The lawsuit names Jefferson Parish Hospital Service District No. 2 and East Jefferson General Hospital in the 24th Judicial District Court as defendants.

Roppolo is seeking damages for physical pain and suffering, emotional pain and suffering, permanent damage, physical therapy, occupational therapy, permanent scarring, mental anguish, medical expenses, loss of duration of life and loss of quality of life.


Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed against Doctor and Hospital

December 15, 2014

The family of a man who died of a heart attack after visiting an emergency room is suing the hospital and doctor who treated him in Elmira, New York.

The family seeks monetary damages for the wrongful death of Stephen M. Salyga, who was 55 when he died after visiting the emergency department at Arnot Ogden Medical Center on account of having difficulty breathing.

Dr. Michael Duchynski diagnozed Salyga and prescribed for him an antibiotic. Salyga suffered a heart attack that killed him two days later.

According to Christina Sonsire, the attorney of the family, Duchynski ignored the EKG records that showed Salyga's abormal heart rhythm.


Wrongful Death Lawsuit against University Settled for $1 Million

November 09, 2014

A wrongful death lawsuit against Ohio University has reached a settlement for $1 million for the death of an OU student.

The lawsuit was filed by Joseph Robinson for the death of his daughter Andrea Robinson, who died from bacterial meningitis.

According to the lawsuit, the university failed to alert students of bacterial meningitis existing on the campus and that Andrea Robinson was not given sufficient advice from OU's Hudson Health Center, delaying her trip to the hospital.

The university argued that Andrea did not seek help from OU's Hudson Health Center, therefore negating the establishment of a patient-doctor relationship. Robinson's attorneys disputed that her boyfriend called the health center while she was present, and that her phone records indicated she might have called as well.


Orthepedics Company Settles Lawsuit

November 03, 2014

Stryker Corp, an Orthopedics company, has settled a compensation lawsuit regarding hip implants.

Patients who underwent surgery by Nov. 3 to remove the hip implants will be given a base payment of $300,000, according to plaintiffs' counsel.

Stryker Copr recalled its Rejuvenate and ABG II Modular-Neck Hip Stems in June 2012, stating the implants could cause pain and swelling.

According to Stryker, there are charges recorded of up to $1.425 billion so far related to claims over the implants.


Family of Joan Rivers to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

October 30, 2014

The daughter of Joan Rivers intends on filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the clinic in which her mother went into cardiac arrest.

Melissa Rivers hopes that her lawsuit will lead to stricter regulations at private health clinics.

“In order to fully determine all the facts and circumstances surrounding the death of Joan Rivers, we confirm that our firm has been engaged by Melissa River and her family,” said Ben Rubinowitz, the managing partner of the law firm Gair, Gair, Conason, Steigman, Maloof, Bloom and Rubinowitz, who Melissa hired.

According to the city Medical Examiner's office in New York, Rivers's oxygen supply was cut off while she was undergoing an endoscopy, leading to cardiac arrest.


Woman Sues Florida Hospital for Unnecessary Cancer Surgery

September 03, 2014

A woman filed a lawsuit against Florida Hospital, forcing the release of documents that allegedly reveal a mix-up in the lab, which led to the false diagnosis of cancer in the woman's body.

According to the woman, listed as Jan Doe in the lawsuit, she went to Florida Hospital Winter Park in December for a colonoscopy, but someone mixed her charts with those of a man's charts that showed rectal cancer.

“I really thought I was dying for months,” she said to the Orlando Sentinel.

Doe returned to the hospital Jan. 14 to have part of her rectum removed, though the doctors were unable to pinpoint the cancer in pre-surgery biopsies. According to Doe, her doctor called her on May 4 to tell her she never had cancer to begin with.

“I was euphoric. I felt like a big, heavy shroud had been taken away from me,” she said. “I've still got the phone message. I've put the phone away so I won't lose it.”

Hospital managers apologized deeply when they met with her in August, Doe said, but they refused to release the records about the mistake and how they realized it.


Texas Doctors Sued for Removing Wrong Kidney

June 12, 2014

Two doctors in Texas are facing a $1 million lawsuit for removing a man's healthy kidney instead of the cancerous kidney that was supposed to be removed.

The suit was filed this week in Tarrant County by Glenn Hermes, who underwent an operation at a hospital in Fort Worth last year to have a cancerous kidney removed.

He was informed after surgery that the doctors mistakenly removed his healthy kidney, leaving the tainted one in his body.

A month later, Hermes had to undergo surgery at a Dallas hospital in order to remove the cancerous growth from his remaining kidney.

Hermes is now on dialysis and waiting for a kidney transplant, according to court documents.


Pradaxa Lawsuits Settle for $650 Million

May 29, 2014

Boehringer Ingelheim, the pharmaceutical company that manufactures the blood thinner Pradaxa, announced on Wednesday that it has reached a $650 million settlement in nearly 4,000 state and federal cases filed by U.S. consumers.

The drug Pradaxa was intended as a substitution for warfarin, another blood thinner which posed a higher risk of stroke and systemic embolism in patients who suffer from non-valvular atrial fibrillation.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a Drug Safety Communication about Pradaxa in May 2014 after the release of a Medicare study which revealed that although Pradaxa did pose a lower risk of strokes caused by blood clots, bleeding of the brain, and death than warfarin, it also caused an increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding.

In announcing the settlement, the company did not admit to any wrongdoing and maintained that doctors and patients were advised by Boehringer Ingelheim about any health risks associated with taking Pradaxa.


Court Revives Lawsuit Against VA over Marine's Suicide

April 18, 2014

A federal court has reinstated a lawsuit against the federal government by the family of a Marine who committed suicide after being denied treatment at two Veterans Affairs clinics in Lexington, Kentucky.

On Friday, the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals revived the lawsuit, which was filed by the family of 21-year-old Cameron Anestis against the federal government in 2011. The suit, which sought $22.5 million in damages, had been dismissed by a lower court on the grounds that the federal courts lacked jurisdiction.

According to court documents, Anestis was turned away by two VA hospitals when he sought treatment for severe mental and emotional problems he experienced after returning from a tour of duty in Iraq.

The family alleges that the VA acted negligently when it refused to treat the Marine.


Lawsuit: Surgeon Forgot to Remove Appendix During Appendectomy

April 11, 2014

A New York man has filed a lawsuit claiming he had to undergo two surgeries to remove his appendix after a surgeon allegedly forgot to remove the organ during his first surgery.

The lawsuit, filed by 43-year-old William McCormack of Bronxville, alleges that the surgeon removed a "yellowish mass" from his abdomen during an appendectomy surgery at Lawrence Hospital in the Adirondacks in 2013, but left his appendix intact.

McCormack only learned that he still had his appendix when he returned to the hospital a year later suffering from abdominal pain.

Lawrence Hospital and the surgeon who performed the first appendectomy are named as defendants in the lawsuit.


Consumer Groups Seek to Raise Cap on California Medical Malpractice Damages

March 24, 2014

Consumer advocate groups in California announced this week that they have collected enough signatures for an initiative to be placed on the November ballot to increase the state's cap on medical malpractice damage awards from $250,000 to $1.1 million.

The group Consumer Watchdog, based out of Santa Monica, along with several other consumer advocate groups, gathered 840,000 signatures - much more than the 505,000 required under California law to place an initiative on the ballot.

In addition to raising the malpractice damages cap, the initiative also includes a requirement that doctors undergo random drug testing in an effort to curb prescription medication abuse among medical professionals.

The current $250,000 cap on damages for medical malpractice claims was set over 20 years ago.


California Woman Sues Over Botched Plastic Surgery

March 06, 2014

A California woman has filed a lawsuit against a plastic surgery center and the surgeon who performed a breast reduction and a tummy tuck procedure on her, claiming she was not informed that the surgeon had been recently dismissed from his residency at the University of California.

The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday by Jennifer Finlan against New Image Cosmetic Surgery center, Dr. Sean Darcy and several other doctors. Finlan alleges that she is now blind in both eyes as a result of the botched surgical procedure, which took eight hours to perform instead of the six hours she was told it would take.

According to lawsuit documents, Finlan claims she was told that Darcy had successfully performed nearly 50 procedures like hers, but was not informed that he had been dismissed as a plastic surgery resident at the University of California Irvine medical school due to poor performance and low test scores.

Darcy filed an appeal of the dismissal from his residency on November 19, 2012, the same day he performed Finlan's procedure.


'Patient Dumping' Case Dismissed by Nevada Judge

February 14, 2014

A federal judge in Nevada dismissed a civil lawsuit involving "patient dumping" by a Las Vegas hospital accused of releasing a psychiatric patient and putting him on a bus to Sacramento.

The lawsuit was filed against the state of Nevada by James Flavy Coy Brown and hundreds of other patients who were released from Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas and bussed to cities around the country.

Brown was given a bus ticket to Sacramento upon his release from the institution. He did not have any family, friends or other support networks in Sacramento and was unable to get treatment after he arrived.

An official investigation uncovered that the hospital had bussed nearly 1,500 patients to different cities nationwide over a five-year period.

Plaintiffs claim the hospital's practice of "patient dumping" was a violation of their civil rights, according to court documents.

The class-action suit was dismissed on Thursday by U.S. District Court Judge James C. Mahan, who said that there is no proof that Brown was compelled by the state to get on the bus, only that he was provided with a bus ticket that he could have chosen not to use.

As a result of the investigation, the hospital was stripped of its accreditation.

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