Saturday, 24 of June of 2017

Tag » error

Misdiagnosis of Neck Injury Leaves Man Permanently Paralyzed

Jurors awarded the man a medical malpractice judgment of $15 million.

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

A Colorado (CO) man who went to the hospital complaining of neck pain and numbness in his arms and legs was told by a doctor that he suffered from a neck strain and was sent home with medications and instructions to rest. In actuality, the man had a herniated disc that was pressing against his spinal cord so severely that emergency surgery was required.

Within hours of leaving Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs, the man became permanently paralyzed from the chest down. After hearing evidence of the doctor’s misdiagnosis and the man’s injury and need for lifelong medical and personal care, jurors awarded the man a medical malpractice judgment of $15 million. The owner of the hospital and the doctor whose mistake that harmed the man were ordered to pay the award.

 

The Virginia Medical Malpractice Lawyer’s Perspective

My medical malpractice attorney colleagues and I practice in Virginia (VA), so it may seem out of character to report and comment on a case from Colorado. What caught my eye, though, was how badly the doctor misdiagnosed the neck injury when first seeing the man who became paralyzed. Diagnosing a herniated disc in the neck or anywhere along the spine can be as simple as taking and examining a few x-rays.

I do not have access to all the medical evidence presented during the medical malpractice trial. Having been involved in similar back injury and misdiagnosis cases, however, I know that showing the doctor was negligent in not ordering and waiting for the results from x-rays and other imaging tests would go a long way toward making the plaintiff’s case.

Potentially Helpful Info

If you or a member of your family has been harmed by a doctor’s misdiagnosis, mistake or negligence, you can begin to learn about your legal rights and options for seeking compensation by downloading this free report.

Have Questions? Check Out Our Firm’s FAQs.

Learn more by reading through this online library of attorneys’ answers to frequently asked questions regarding medical malpractice lawsuits.

EJL

About the Editors: The VA-NC medical malpractice attorneys at Shapiro, 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 Randy Appleton, have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor fewer than 5 percent of outstanding attorneys receive.

 


Family Denied Fair Compensation After Son Has Arm Permanently Paralyzed During Birth

Jurors specified that $20 million was due for pain and suffering, but Maryland law required the judge to automatically reduce that amount to $650,000.

By Rick Shapiro, Birth Injury Attorney in Virginia

When a doctor assisting with the delivery of a boy in Greenbelt, Maryland (MD), twisted and applied undue force on the baby’s neck after the head emerged from the birth canal, the newborn sustained nerve damage that left his left arm permanently paralyzed. The damaged arm is also visibly shorter and less developed than the other one.

Six years after the botched delivery caused the boy the irreversible condition called shoulder dystocia, his parent succeeded in winning a $20.9 million civil jury award. Jurors specified that $20 million of the judgment represented compensation for pain and suffering, but Maryland law required the judge to automatically reduce that amount to $650,000.

The Virginia Birth Injury Attorneys’ Perspective

The family’s medical malpractice attorney, George S. Tolley III, told Maryland Lawyer that lowering the family’s noneconomic damage award was unjust. Because the boy will struggle all his life with an injury a more gentle or attentive doctor could have prevented, reducing the pain and suffering award to comply with an arbitrary cap treats the child unfairly.

I’ve argued elsewhere that caps on personal injury and medical malpractice awards violate plaintiffs’ constitutional rights. On July 31, 2012, the Missouri Supreme Court agreed with that conclusion, ruling that a 2005 state “law violated the right to a jury trial granted by the state constitution by capping noneconomic damages at $350,000 in lawsuits alleging that health care providers were at fault for injuries or deaths.”

Virginia recently raised its cap on noneconomic, pain and suffering awards, and several other states have revised or eliminated limits on jury awards. It may be too late for the boy with the paralyzed arm and his family, but I hope Maryland will soon remove its own unjust, unconstitutional malpractice cap.

Potentially Helpful Info

If you or a family member has been injured, paralyzed or made sick by a surgical error or a doctor’s negligence, you can begin to learn about your legal rights and options for pursing compensation by downloading this free report.

You can read about how lawyers with my Virginia-based personal injury law firm have helped families of children who suffered shoulder dystocia by clicking here.

Have Questions? Check Out our Firm’s FAQs.

You can find an extensive library of attorneys’ answers to frequently asked questions about medical malpractice, birth injury and surgical error cases.

EJL

About the Editors: The VA-NC medical malpractice attorneys at Shapiro, 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 Randy Appleton, have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor fewer than 5 percent of outstanding attorneys receive.


Medical Malpractice Payments Hit All-Time Lows

By Mark Favaloro, Medical Negligence Attorney

A new report by the Public Citizen provides further substantive evidence that the tort reform argument proclaiming that our court system is inundated with frivolous lawsuits is simply false. In fact, medical malpractice payments were at their lowest levels on record by almost any measure in 2011. To learn more, read the story here…

Debunking Tort Reform: New Report Shows Medical Malpractice Payments at Record Lows

About the Editors: The VA-NC medical malpractice attorneys at Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton include medical and surgical malpractice lawyers licensed in both Virginia and Carolina. Our attorneys 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 Randy Appleton, have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor fewer than 5 percent of outstanding attorneys receive.


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.


Complaints About Hip Replacement Devices Soar

Patients' trust is abused by medical device manufacturers whose products hurt people.

By Kevin Duffan, Virginia Medical Malpractice Attorney

My colleague John Cooper reported recently on our firm’s website that the Food and Drug Administration has experienced a surge in the number of complaints about failed hip replacements.  John noted patients’ trust is abused by medical device manufacturers whose products hurt people. The firm has written extensively about defective medical devices and medical malpractice.  Check out our library of online articles.

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.


Did Virginia and Carolina Health Providers Have a Different Standard of Care During Hurricane Irene?

The storm was to blame for killing several people in Virginia and North Carolina, destroying shorefront property, and forcing a hospital to run on generator power.

By Kevin Duffan, Virginia Medical Malpractice Attorney

My colleague John Cooper reported recently on our firm’s website that Hurricane Irene was to blame for killing several people in Virginia and North Carolina, destroying shorefront property, and forcing a hospital to run on generator power.  John raised the question of what the standard of care was for medical providers during the natural disaster. Contact Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton, P.C. to discuss all possible claims if you or a loved one suffered serious injuries or death from an accident that was the fault of a hospital.

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.


Norfolk Man Died Due Poor Medical Care at Virginia Beach Jail, Suit Alleges

By Kevin Duffan, Virginia Medical Malpractice Attorney

My colleague Richard Shapiro reported recently on our firm’s website that a lawsuit filed by survivors alleges that  a man died when Virginia Beach jail medical staff ignored the signs of his life-threatening illness. Richard discussed medical malpractice as professional negligence and invited readers to learn about medical malpractice lawsuits by reviewing one of our case results.

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.


Woman Who Can’t Close Her Eyes Launches Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Against Plastic Surgeon

By Rick Shapiro, Virginia Surgical Error Attorney

When plastic surgery goes wrong the consequences can be serious or even deadly.

But few medical malpractice cases that have led to lawsuits are stranger than that of a woman from New Jersey (NJ) who claims she cannot close her eyes even when she sleep. Now she is suing the plastic surgeon who operated on her, the Daily Mail reported.

Marilyn Leisz, from New Jersey (NJ), said she went to the doctor to have a procedure to correct bumps on her eyelids from a surgery performed by another doctor. She says she was left unable to close her eyes and has launched a medical malpractice lawsuit against the surgeon.

This distressing case illustrates what can happen when plastic surgery apparently goes badly wrong.

There is a misconception out there that plastic surgeons only work for supermodels and celebrities. That is not the case. Many plastic surgeons specialize in reconstructive surgery aimed at helping victims of car crashes, truck wrecks, ATV accidents and burn victims.

As plastic surgery becomes a more popular procedure the numbers of complaints and lawsuits have increased in recent years.

Take, for instance, the case of Dr. Paul Drago, who recently had his license to practice medicine in North Carolina (NC) revoked indefinitely after ten different medical malpractice claims were filed against him. Drago, who is trained to be a ear, nose, and throat doctor, had been performing plastic surgeries on patients, many of which involved permanently disabling surgical errors.

Sometimes a botched plastic surgery or side effects from it can have tragic consequences.  As experienced Virginia (VA) medical malpractice attorneys, we often see the downside of plastic surgery and how seemingly routine procedures can go badly wrong.

Last year we reported on a Virginia wrongful death lawsuit into how the mistreatment of a plastic surgery complication led to the death of a woman from Virginia Beach, VAThe family of the 36-year-old woman who died less than two days after undergoing outpatient cosmetic surgery recently received a wrongful death damage award of $1.95 million when a court in Virginia Beach determined that the surgeon and his clinic staff did not provide adequate follow-up care to the woman.

According to a report in the Virginian-Pilot, the mother of four underwent a breast lift and augmentation, liposuction and other routine plastic surgery procedures on July 30, 2008. She was dead in her home 40 hours later after the staff at Galumbeck Plastic Surgery failed to diagnose, treat or ensure hospital treatment for an adverse reaction or postsurgery infection that affected her breathing and rendered her feverish, dizzy and unable to concentrate.
Plastic surgery malpractice errors can lead to a wide range of serious injuries not to mention emotional damage. They can lead to scarring, infections, deformities, nerve damage, and even permanent disabilities or death. Increasingly they are leading to medical malpractice lawsuits in Virginia.

If you need help with an issue related to plastic surgery or another medical problems call our experienced medical malpractice attorneys.

DM

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm whose attorneys focus on injury and accident law, and have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctor mistakes, 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 o 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 NC, SC, WV, KY, FL and DC. We also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube. Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard and Norfolk Injuryboard as pro bono public information services.


Virginia Beach Man Died After Doctor Failed to Notify Him of Pneumonia Diagnosis

Misdiagnoses can have tragic consequences. At the same time, some mistakes are excusable or unavoidable. The inexplicable actions by numerous doctors in this case include not attempting to reach an accurate diagnosis in the first place (e.g., failing to take x-rays) and then not doing everything possible to get in touch with the sick man so he could receive proper treatment for his ultimately fatally illness.

By John Cooper, Virginia Medical Malpractice Lawyer

A Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA), family recently received a small measure of justice nearly four years after losing a husband, father, son and uncle due to a shocking case of repeated medical malpractice that included misdiagnoses, negligence and errors by multiple private-practice and hospital-based doctors.

The victim’s widow won a $3.5 million verdict against the man’s primary physicians in September 2010, but the money must provide little comfort in light of the circumstances that led to this preventable loss of life.

In late 2006, the 24-year-old man went to his doctor because he was coughing and experiencing chest pain. The physician prescribed a narcotic painkiller but did not take x-rays or diagnosis any lung infection. Over the next week, the man visited other doctors and emergency rooms, eventually receiving the x-rays that allowed health care providers to diagnose pneumonia.

When the man’s first doctor, after even more delay, finally called to tell him he had bacterial pneumonia, the doctor’s staff called the wrong phone number and never placed any follow-up calls. When the man succumbed to his highly treated lung disease, he left behind two young children and a wife.

Fellow malpractice attorney Phil J. Geib helped the man’s survivors win their lawsuit, although the jury verdict was reduced to an award of $1.85 under Virginia’s unfair caps on malpractice penalties.

As this case shows, misdiagnoses can have tragic consequences. At the same time, some mistakes are excusable or unavoidable. The inexplicable actions by numerous doctors in this case include not attempting to reach an accurate diagnosis in the first place (e.g., failing to take x-rays) and then not doing everything possible to get in touch with the sick man so he could receive proper treatment for his ultimately fatally illness.

I am glad to see that those responsible for this medical malpractice and wrongful death were held accountable in court.

EJL

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm whose attorneys focus on injury and accident law, and we have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctor mistakes, 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 and we will return your call promptly. 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 NC, SC, WV, KY, FL and DC. We also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard and Norfolk Injuryboard as pro bono public information services.


Cut and Perforated Bowels or Ureters Can Cause Life-Threatening Injuries

If a surgeon negligently cuts/perforates one of these vital organs, a patient can suffer serious injuries, and may even develop sepsis, a life-threatening condition. Why are cuts/nicks/perforations to organs so dangerous? Because this may lead to an opening that allows the contents of a patient’s bowel and/or stomach to spill out into the patient’s abdomen. It’s awful to visualize such an occurrence, but cut/perforated organs are not uncommon.

By Jim Lewis, VA Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Surgeons who perform medical procedures like hysterectomies or abdominal surgery, must take great care to avoid cutting, nicking or entirely perforating (meaning damaging by cutting) the patient’s bowel, colon or ureter.

If a surgeon negligently cuts or perforates one of these vital organs, a patient can suffer serious injuries, and may even develop sepsis, a life-threatening condition. Why are cuts/nicks/perforations to organs so dangerous? Because this may lead to an opening that allows the contents of a patient’s bowel and/or stomach to spill out into the patient’s abdomen. It’s awful to visualize such an occurrence, but cut/perforated organs are not uncommon.

We recently represented a client in Newport News, Virginia (VA) who suffered a medical malpractice injury by her obstetrician/gynecologist during a hysterectomy. The OB/GYN performed the procedure laparoscopically thereby avoiding having to make a large abdominal incision. The problem with laparoscopy is that the ability to see the operative field is somewhat limited. The OB/GYN negligently cut our client’s ureter during the operation and did not realize he had done so. As our client got sicker, it was determined that her ureter was injured and numerous surgical procedures were required to correct this injury. We were able to show that the OB/GYN could have avoided this medical error injury with a simple, inexpensive test. This led to a $400,000 settlement for our client.

If you or a loved one suffered a cut or perforated organ like a ureter, colon or bowel, consult an attorney right away. In many instances, this type of injury could have been prevented if the surgeon had been more careful.

To learn more about surgical errors, check out this free consumer report listing the top 5 surgical errors that occur far too often:

Don’t Become a Victim: Top 5 Surgical Errors to Be Aware Of Before Surgery

Also, take a moment to review our FAQs about medical malpractice and surgical mistakes:

  • What is the Virginia statute of limitations for personal injury in a medical malpractice case?
  • What is the Virginia Medical Malpractice Cap and What Does It Mean to a Patient Injured by a Medical Mistake?
  • Is there a way to check out my doctor or surgeon before choosing one?

PA

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm whose attorneys focus on injury and accident law, and we have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctor mistakes, 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 and we will return your call promptly. 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 NC, SC, WV, KY, FL and DC. We also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard and Norfolk Injuryboard as pro bono public information services.