Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

The Hollander Law Firm, one of the most trusted injury law firms in South Florida, has taken on a challenging and legally complex case that has garnered the interest of Courtroom View Network, a legal news and analysis source founded by Michael Breyer, son of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.gregg hollander

We represent the plaintiff in Silkworth v. Boca Raton Regional Hospital, where the key question is causation. Specifically, what – or who – caused plaintiff’s paralyzing spinal cord injury in June 2012? Defendants assert the injury was the cause of a violent car accident, wherein plaintiff was seated in the back seat of a taxi. However, our claim is that while the plaintiff’s injuries at the time of the crash were indeed serious, it was the negligence of health care professionals who treated her that resulted in her paralysis.

Emergency health care workers are specially trained to be extremely cautious in their initial assessment of someone with spinal trauma. The standard of care almost universally dictates that when there is a clinical concern of a possible spinal injury, workers must immobilize the patient. That is, if there is any indication whatsoever that there could be a spinal cord injury, medical personal must immobilize. Generally speaking, proper immobilization will not hurt a patient who is not suffering a spinal injury. However, if a patient with a spinal injury is not immediately and properly  immobilized, it could cause profound and irreversible damage.  Continue reading

An expert witness in a wrongful death lawsuit was not properly vetted by the trial court before making key assertions about decedent’s cause of death, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently ruled. That means the plaintiff, who alleged her teen daughter died due to medical malpractice, will get another chance to make her case at trial.doctor

In Florida, there is no licensing or professional training one has to obtain in order to qualify as an expert witness. However, just having general knowledge isn’t enough either. Courts have established that individuals may be competent to provide expert witness testimony in a subject if they are qualified by knowledge, skill, experience, training or education. Other considerations could include continuing education, fellowships and professional affiliations. The competency and qualifications of an expert witness are to be determined by the trial judge, and unless one can show there was a clear error in the judge’s discretion, that determination won’t be reversed.

The case of Hall v. Flannery involves the tragic death of a 17-year-old girl. When she was just 5-months-old, she was dropped and suffered a skull fracture. That fracture expanded over time and a cyst later formed. The fracture and cyst weren’t problematic for her until she turned 17. She suffered a blow to the head and, as a result, lost consciousness and later reported blurred vision and dizziness. CT and MRI scans revealed the full extent of the fracture and cyst. Continue reading

A South Florida cardiologist is seeking to recover damages for devastating injuries he reportedly suffered during a botched electroshock therapy session. According to Courtroom View Network, plaintiff in Dadi v. Sharma is asking defendant psychiatrist to pay $27 million in damages. electricity

During opening statements, as broadcast gavel-to-gavel by CVN, plaintiff’s medical malpractice attorneys explained how he was a nuclear cardiologist. He fluently spoke five languages. Now, as a result of the substandard care he received from defendant, he is unable to even practice medicine. He is unable to remember the movie he last watched, let alone read and comprehend a medical journal.

Plaintiff’s attorney described his brain injury as both severe and profound.  Continue reading

Opening arguments had been slated to begin in the case of Page v. Moses Taylor Hospital, a medical malpractice action in suburban New York following the death of two unborn twin girls in utero after their mother suffered from pre-eclampsia. pregnancy1

This dangerous condition occurs usually 20 weeks into gestation, and is characterized by high blood pressure. Even a slightly high blood pressure can be an indication, and if left untreated, the condition can be fatal to both the unborn child and the mother. The only cure is immediate delivery of the baby. In this case, that cure came too late. According to court records, a seizure suffered by the mother caused the placenta to become detached from the womb. The girls were stillborn at nearly 34 weeks and the mother, then 29, was forced to undergo an emergency hysterectomy to stop the hemhorraging, meaning she can never have any more children.

Leading up to the trial date, the judge made a number of rulings that favored the plaintiff, including allowing an expert witness to testify about the pain experienced by the twin fetuses as they died in their mother’s womb. This was an essential element of the case that would have furthered her compensation for pain and suffering. The judge also ruled that despite protests from the defense, a preeclamptic stillbirth has a valid emotional effect on the mother. The defense had tried to argue in a motion in limine that any evidence of emotional distress should not be allowed to be presented to jurors.  Continue reading

A liposuction surgery went horribly wrong, according to the husband of the patient who died less than a week after undergoing the knife.surgeon

Now, the Idaho Supreme Court in Ballard v. Kerr has affirmed plaintiff’s nearly $4 million damage award, though the court did order a reassessment of attorney fees. This ruling came after defendant, Silk Touch, rose 21 issues upon appeal. Those included the sufficiency of evidence supporting the verdict, the fact the lower court allowed jurors to submit questions to witnesses and allegedly improper comments on evidence during trial. The court rejected all but the attorney fee issue.

Defendant in this case is a medical spa that performs cosmetic surgery procedures. Defendant doctors is a trained anesthesiologist. Initially, the spa only offered mildly invasive cosmetic procedures, such as Botox treatments, dermal fillers and laser hair removal. However, the company branched out and started offering liposuction and fat transfers beginning in 2007. (A fat transfer involves taking fatty tissue from one area of the body and transferring it elsewhere.)  Continue reading

“Retained surgical sponge” is the technical term used when a surgeon accidentally leaves a gauze-like sponge inside a patient after a surgical procedure. doctorpatientrelationship

It’s called a “never event” because it’s one of those things that is totally preventable and therefore never supposed to happen. And yet, these types of medical errors are noted all the time. The actual true incidence of retained surgical items – including sponges – isn’t known. However, there are two large-scale studies that put it somewhere between 1 in 5,500 operations and 1 in 6,975. That may not sound like much, but there are millions of surgical procedures conducted annually, and the average liability in these cases is about $473,022, according to the Risk Management Foundation of the Harvard Medical Institutions, Inc.

In the recent case of Cefaratti v. Aranow, the issue was whether a woman who suffered injury as a result of a retained surgical sponge that was left inside her following a gastric bypass surgery. The issue was whether she could pursue legal action against the allegedly negligent doctor, from whom she also received follow-up treatment once the sponge was discovered years later, despite it seeming apparent the statute of limitations for medical negligence had passed.  Continue reading

Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say medical errors should officially rank as the No. 3 cause of death in the United States. It reportedly claims more than 250,000 American lives annually, just behind heart disease and cancer, which each kill roughly 600,000 people a year.nurses

And yet, respiratory disease, which causes approximately 150,000 deaths per year has claimed the third spot ranking. The researchers sent a letter to the CDC to tack on medical mistakes to its yearly list of death causes. Researchers also called on local agencies to change the way medical error  cases are listed on death certificates. That way, the government could more easily keep track of the issue.

Medical mistakes run the gamut. They could be complications during surgery that aren’t recognized. They could be incorrect doses of medication. They could be overlooked doses of medication or the wrong medication. It could be an obvious diagnosis that a doctor simply failed to see. Continue reading

A nursing home medication error that proved fatal for a resident in Minnesota is now going to be costly for the facility. State authorities have cited the center for neglect after the resident, who suffered from severe cognitive disabilities, died of the effects of being given 10 times the normal prescribed dose of morphine. medicaldoctor

Staff at the facility, an acute-care hospital with a nursing home attached, failed to accurately transcribe the man’s medication from the doctor’s written orders.

Within less than two hours of receiving that injected dose of morphine, patient had died.

State investigators concluded the center did not have adequate policies in place to make sure medications were transcribed accurately and administered correctly.  Continue reading

The Florida Supreme Court has agreed this summer to hear an appeal on an appellate decision finding medical malpractice non-economic damage caps unconstitutional. hospital2

If that sounds a bit familiar, you may be recalling the 2014 case of Estate of McCall v. U.S., in which the state high court ruled that limits on non-economic damages in wrongful death cases arising from act of medical negligence was unconstitutional.

Now in North Broward Hospital District v. Kalitan, the question is whether this also applies to personal injury cases arising from acts of medical negligence. If the court affirms the appellate court, as many legal scholars speculate it will, it would be a huge victory for victims of medical malpractice in Florida. It will mean they can receive the full amount awarded by a jury – the amount to which they are entitled – instead of being blocked by an arbitrary cap on damages.  Continue reading

If you are injured or a loved one died as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may have a legitimate claim for damages. However, you must be mindful of the fact that you only have so long to pursue it. baby2

How much time you have depends on:

  • The kind of claim your filing;
  • The identify of the defendant;
  • If you discovered the injury or its source some time after it happened.

If the claim is being filed in a state court in Florida, you generally have four years to file. However, in that same court, if your claim is for medical malpractice or wrongful death, you have two years.

If your claim is one against the federal government (or an organization that relies on federal money), you likely only have two years, regardless of the type of claim.

There may be some exceptions or grounds on which to “toll” or extend the time limits, but you will need to make a very strong argument.  Continue reading