Monday, 24 of September of 2018

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Medical Malpractice Database Reopened to the Public With Restrictions

Under a new data use agreement, publicly available information from the National Practitioner Data Bank cannot be reposted or used in combination with other information to identify a doctor.

By Jim Lewis, Virginia Medical Malpractice Attorney

Our firm recently expressed concerns about the decision of a federal agency to remove a public database that allows citizens to find medical malpractice lawsuits brought against doctors.

It’s only right that the federal Health Resources and Services Administration has now reopened public access to information on malpractice settlements and disciplinary action taken against poor performing doctors, but there are still access concerns.

The database is still not as open as it was in the past. Under a new data use agreement, publicly available information from the National Practitioner Data Bank cannot be reposted or used in combination with other information to identify a doctor, FederalTimes.com reports.

The online public file was removed on September 1, 2011, after a Kansas City Star reporter used information to track down the identity of a doctor with a long record of malpractice cases against him but was never disciplined by the state. Under the new arrangement, if HRSA learns data has been used to identify a doctor, it will ask that the data be returned, according to HRSA Administrator Mary Wakefield.

As experienced Virginia medical malpractice attorneys, my colleagues and I are concerned by any move to prevent individual doctors being identified by patients who could end up as victim. Recently, we noted how for more than a quarter century this data bank used by insurers, medical boards and hospitals to find out if a doctors have been disciplined or had medical malpractice awards against them has been accessible to the public as well as the media. It’s regrettable that in an era of more advanced information technology, patients should end up with less.

Access to medical malpractice lawsuits against doctors could help avoid some of the harrowing cases we deal with. For instance, attorneys with our firm have represented clients such as a 61-year-old Virginia woman in a case heard in the Newport News Circuit Court who lost both of her legs after botched back surgery. The case settled for $1.25 million.

When doctors make mistakes, the consequences can be very serious. It’s only right for the public to know of their past mistakes before opting for surgery.

DM

About the Editors: The VA-NC medical malpractice attorneys at Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton include medical and surgical malpractice lawyers licensed in both Virginia and Carolina. Our medical/hospital malpractice focus on personal injury and accident law and have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctors’ mistakes, as well as nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see our track record of success in medical malpractice lawsuits, and also be sure to read our free medical malpractice reports Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider and Top 5 Surgical Errors. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis have been listed among the Best Lawyers in America since 2008. They, along with fellow attorney John M. Cooper, have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor fewer than 5 percent of outstanding attorneys receive.


Diagnostic Testing Communication Failures Could Be Cause for Malpractice

Not keeping patients fully informed puts their health and lives at risk.

By Randy Appleton, NC Medical Malpractice Attorney

My colleague John Cooper wrote recently on our firm’s Carolina personal injury lawyers’ website that failure to communicate clinical data from diagnostic testing could be a cause for medical negligence. Though doctors may be ordering more tests to ensure full medical care, not communicating test results affects patient safety.

LC

About the Editors: The VA-NC medical malpractice attorneys at  Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton include medical and surgical malpractice lawyers licensed in both Virginia (VA) and Carolina (NC/SC). Our medical/hospital malpractice focus on personal injury and accident law and have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctor mistakes and nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see our medical and doctor malpractice track record of success. Be sure to read our free medical malpractice reports Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider and Top 5 Surgical Errors. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis have been listed among the Best Lawyers in America since 2008. They, along with fellow attorney John M. Cooper, have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor which fewer than 5 percent of outstanding lawyers receive.


Medical Malpractice Award Caps in North Carolina Explained

In the name of so-called tort reform, new laws limit how much victims of malpractice can recover in lawsuits.

By Randy Appleton, NC Medical Malpractice Lawyer

My colleague Richard Shapiro wrote recently on our firm’s Carolina personal injury lawyers’ website about new tort reform laws limiting how much victims of medical malpractice can collect in a medical negligence case in North Carolina (NC).  To learn more about what to you or a loved one can recover in a medical malpractice lawsuit, check out our case results.

LC

About the Editors: The VA-NC medical malpractice attorneys at  Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton include medical and surgical malpractice lawyers licensed in both Virginia (VA) and Carolina (NC/SC). Our medical/hospital malpractice focus on personal injury and accident law and have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctor mistakes and nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see our medical and doctor malpractice track record of success. Be sure to read our free medical malpractice reports Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider and Top 5 Surgical Errors. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis have been listed among the Best Lawyers in America since 2008. They, along with fellow attorney John M. Cooper, have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor which fewer than 5 percent of outstanding lawyers receive.


Woman Sues Maker of Failed Hip Implant

The patients claims Wright Medical Technology marketed Profemur hip replacements it should have was defectively designed.

By Shapiro, Lewis, Appleton and Favaloro, Medical Malpractice Attorney in Virginia

My colleague Jim Lewis has written a new blog post for our firm’s Virginia personal injury lawyers’ website in which he reports that an Arizona (AZ) woman is suing Wright Medical Technology, claiming that the medical deice manufacturer’s Profemur hip implant she received was defective and needed to be removed just three years after it was put in place.

DM

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton is a law firm whose Virginia/Carolina attorneys focus on injury and accident law and have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctor mistakes and nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. Though not every case meets our criteria, we offer free initial consultations. Give us a call at (800) 752-0042. If you can’t get through due to high call volume, leave a message so we can return your call. Also be sure to check out our free special report Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider. Our primary office is in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA), but we also have offices in Hampton, VA, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina (NC). Our lawyers hold licenses in VA, NC, South Carolina (SC), West Virginia (WV), Kentucky (KY), Florida (FL) and Washington, DC. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis were included in the 2011 issue of Best Lawyers in America. They, along with fellow attorney John M. Cooper, were also named 2011 Virginia Super Lawyers for Personal Injury Law, an honor which fewer than 5 percent of outstanding lawyers receive. We also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube. Further, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard blogs as pro bono public information services


Surge in ER Visits Raises Fears Over Carisoprodol

The number of people being treated in emergency rooms for misusing the prescription muscle relaxant almost doubled in five years.

By Jim Lewis,  Medical Malpractice Attorney in Virginia

My colleague Shapiro, Lewis, Appleton and Favaloro has written a new blog post for our firm’s Virginia personal injury lawyers’ website about the dangers of the muscle relaxant carisoprodol. According  to a new report the number of people being treated in emergency rooms for misusing the prescription medication often sold as the brand name drug Soma (Meda Pharmaceuticals) almost doubled in five years.

DM

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton is a law firm whose Virginia/Carolina attorneys focus on injury and accident law and have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctor mistakes and nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. Though not every case meets our criteria, we offer free initial consultations. Give us a call at (800) 752-0042. If you can’t get through due to high call volume, leave a message so we can return your call. Also be sure to check out our free special report Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider. Our primary office is in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA), but we also have offices in Hampton, VA, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina (NC). Our lawyers hold licenses in VA, NC, South Carolina (SC), West Virginia (WV), Kentucky (KY), Florida (FL) and Washington, DC. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis were included in the 2011 issue of Best Lawyers in America. They, along with fellow attorney John M. Cooper, were also named 2011 Virginia Super Lawyers for Personal Injury Law, an honor which fewer than 5 percent of outstanding lawyers receive. We also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube. Further, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard blogs as pro bono public information services.


Birth Control Risks Highlighted in Blood Clot Study

Life-threatening adverse effects from estrogen-based medications are also the focus of a $10 million lawsuit filed by a woman who developed breast cancer after taking Prempro to reduce menopause symptoms.

By John Cooper, Dangerous Drugs Attorney in North Carolina

Findings from a large U.S. Food and Drug Administration study on clotting risks for women taking birth control pills containing the hormones estrogen and drosperinone, as well as a large number of lawsuits from women who developed cancer after taking estrogen-based medication to relieve menopause symptoms, are refocusing attention on the risks from these drug products.

Bayer’s Yaz and Yasmin birth control pills increase women’s risk for a deadly condition called venous thromboembolism. With VTE, a blot clot forms in one part of the body, usually the lower leg, and travels to the heart or veins of the neck. If not detected and detected quickly, VTE can cause fatal heart attacks and strokes.

This CBS News report describes what the FDA found and the risks newer birth control pills pose to women:

The problem appears to be drosperinone. That synthetic hormone raises potassium levels in the bloodstream, and excess potassium increases the likelihood that clots will form. In addition to Yaz and Yasmin the Washington Post identified these drosperinone-containing birth control pills: Bayer’s Beyaz and Safyral, Sandoz’s Syeda and Loryna, Barr Laboratories’ Ocella, Watson Pharmaceuticals’ Zarah, and Teva Pharmaceuticals’ Loryna.

As North Carolina dangerous drug lawyers, my colleagues and I have been following news on Yaz and Yasmin risks closely for several years, and we are working with women in a number of Yaz lawsuits. We have also been attuned to health problems linked to hormone replacement therapies such as Pfizer’s estrogen-based Prempro. Pfizer has reportedly paid a total of $330 million to settle more than 2,200 lawsuits from Prempro users. That does not appear to be the final chapter for the drug product that remains on the market, however. In fact, I just finished acting as co-counsel for the plaintiff in a Prempro case that was heard in the federal court in Norfolk, Virginia (VA). The woman’s breast cancer was linked to her use of the product.

On October 21, 2011, a married couple in New Orleans, Louisiana (LA), filed suit in federal court seeking $10 million in compensation from Pfizer because the woman was diagnosed with breast cancer after having taken Prempro for 8 years. The HRT product has also been linked with increased risks for ovarian cancer and cardiovascular disease. Pfizer, in this lawsuit and the earlier ones, is accused of failing to provide adequate warnings about such side effects.

EJL

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton is a law firm whose Virginia/Carolina attorneys focus on injury and accident law and have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctor mistakes and nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. Though not every case meets our criteria, we offer free initial consultations. Give us a call at (800) 752-0042. If you can’t get through due to high call volume, leave a message so we can return your call. Also be sure to check out our free special report Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider. Our primary office is in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA), but we also have offices in Hampton, VA, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina (NC). Our lawyers hold licenses in VA, NC, South Carolina (SC), West Virginia (WV), Kentucky (KY), Florida (FL) and Washington, DC. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis were included in the 2011 issue of Best Lawyers in America. They, along with fellow attorney John M. Cooper, were also named 2011 Virginia Super Lawyers for Personal Injury Law, an honor which fewer than 5 percent of outstanding lawyers receive. We also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube. Further, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard blogs as pro bono public information services.


Women Sue West Virginia OB/GYN for Implanting Devices Without Consent

Both plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages for mental and physical pain and suffering.

By Jim Lewis, Virginia Medical Malpractice Attorney

My colleague Emily Brannon has reported on our firm’s Virginia personal injury lawyers’ website that a West Virginia (WV), OB/GYN has been sued by two different patients for implanting a medical device without the patients’ knowledge or consent. Both women are seeking compensatory and punitive damages for mental and physical pain and suffering.

LC

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton is a law firm whose Virginia/Carolina attorneys focus on injury and accident law and have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctor mistakes and nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. Though not every case meets our criteria, we offer free initial consultations. Give us a call at (800) 752-0042. If you can’t get through due to high call volume, leave a message so we can return your call. Also be sure to check out our free special report Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider. Our primary office is in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA), but we also have offices in Hampton, VA, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina (NC). Our lawyers hold licenses in VA, NC, South Carolina (SC), West Virginia (WV), Kentucky (KY), Florida (FL) and Washington, DC. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis were included in the 2011 issue of Best Lawyers in America. They, along with fellow attorney John M. Cooper, were also named 2011 Virginia Super Lawyers for Personal Injury Law, an honor which fewer than 5 percent of outstanding lawyers receive. We also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube. Further, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard blogs as pro bono public information services.


Most Doctors Will Face a Malpractice Suit

Surgeons faced more claims than other specialists but did not always pay the most in verdicts or settlements

By Jim Lewis, Virginia Medical Malpractice Attorney

My colleague John Cooper has written on our firm’s Virginia personal injury lawyers’ website that three-quarters of doctors are sued for malpractice at least once during their medical careers. Though surgeons faced more claims than other specialists, they did not always pay the most in verdicts or settlements to injured patients or surviving family members.

LC

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton is a law firm whose Virginia/Carolina attorneys focus on injury and accident law and have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctor mistakes and nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. Though not every case meets our criteria, we offer free initial consultations. Give us a call at (800) 752-0042. If you can’t get through due to high call volume, leave a message so we can return your call. Also be sure to check out our free special report Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider. Our primary office is in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA), but we also have offices in Hampton, VA, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina (NC). Our lawyers hold licenses in VA, NC, South Carolina (SC), West Virginia (WV), Kentucky (KY), Florida (FL) and Washington, DC. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis were included in the 2011 issue of Best Lawyers in America. They, along with fellow attorney John M. Cooper, were also named 2011 Virginia Super Lawyers for Personal Injury Law, an honor which fewer than 5 percent of outstanding lawyers receive. We also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube. Further, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard blogs as pro bono public information services.


Criminal Trials for Doctors Accused of Extreme Negligence Becoming More Common

By Jim Lewis, Virginia Medical Malpractice Attorney

My colleague John Cooper has written a blog post for our firm’s Virginia personal injury lawyers’ website  in which he notes that when a physician’s negligent medical care is extreme, it may be considered criminal. John discusses Michael Jackson’s doctor’s criminal trial as an example of what may be a doctor’s breach of the standard of care.

LC

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton is a law firm whose Virginia/Carolina attorneys focus on injury and accident law and have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctor mistakes and nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. Though not every case meets our criteria, we offer free initial consultations. Give us a call at (800) 752-0042. If you can’t get through due to high call volume, leave a message so we can return your call. Also be sure to check out our free special report Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider. Our primary office is in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA), but we also have offices in Hampton, VA, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina (NC). Our lawyers hold licenses in VA, NC, South Carolina (SC), West Virginia (WV), Kentucky (KY), Florida (FL) and Washington, DC. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis were included in the 2011 issue of Best Lawyers in America. They, along with fellow attorney John M. Cooper, were also named 2011 Virginia Super Lawyers for Personal Injury Law, an honor which fewer than 5 percent of outstanding lawyers receive. We also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube. Further, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard blogs as pro bono public information services.


Doctors Who Perforated Man’s Colon Ordered to Pay Injured Patient $2M in Damages

A Philadelphia jury determined that during separate surgeries, the physicians made errors that caused the man's lower intestine to tear and rupture.

By John Cooper, Surgical Error Attorney in North Carolina

A Pennsylvania (PA) man who twice had his colon perforated because the doctors performing a colonoscopy and a reparative surgery made errors has won a jury verdict in his medical malpractice lawsuit against the physicians and is set to receive damage awards totaling $2 million.  In both instances, the doctors overinflated the victim’s lower intestine, increasing the internal pressure in the man’s bowels so much that the walls of the colon tore and burst.

A perforated colon or cut intestine can be a deadly surgical error. Bacteria and waste matter leaking from the wound can quickly cause an irreversible and fatal infection. Internal bleeding can also put a patient’s life at risk. In the case just concluded in Pennsylvania, the patient had to have 2 feet of his colon and intestine permanently removed.

The plaintiff’s lawyer, Roy DeCaro of Philadelphia, strengthened his case by calling medical and surgical experts to testify that the defendants had not met the standard of care they owed to the patient. As a medical malpractice and surgical error attorney myself, I know how important presenting medical evidence is in such cases. I congratulate DeCaro and hope the award to the injured patient will make his life easier.

EJL

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton is a law firm whose Virginia/Carolina attorneys focus on injury and accident law and have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctor mistakes and nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. Though not every case meets our criteria, we offer free initial consultations. Give us a call at (800) 752-0042. If you can’t get through due to high call volume, leave a message so we can return your call. Also be sure to check out our free special report Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider. Our primary office is in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA), but we also have offices in Hampton, VA, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina (NC). Our lawyers hold licenses in VA, NC, South Carolina (SC), West Virginia (WV), Kentucky (KY), Florida (FL) and Washington, DC. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis were included in the 2011 issue of Best Lawyers in America. They, along with fellow attorney John M. Cooper, were also named 2011 Virginia Super Lawyers for Personal Injury Law, an honor which fewer than 5 percent of outstanding lawyers receive. We also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube. Further, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard blogs as pro bono public information services.