Monday, 15 of October of 2018

Tag » North Carolina

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.


$5M Malpractice Jury Verdict in Norfolk Spinal Cord Injury Case Reduced to $1.85M Due to VA Damages Cap

The man needed surgery to correct a sunken breastbone condition. The doctor gave him a thoracic epidural catheter, and the procedure allegedly caused permanent damage to the man’s spinal cord.

By Jim Lewis, Norfolk Medical Malpractice Lawyer

A Norfolk, Virginia (VA), jury awarded $5 million to a 20-year-old man and his parents in their suit against an anesthesiologist and the Norfolk Children’s Specialty Group, according to court records and published news reports. The amount was reduced to $1.85 million because of an unfair and arbitrary cap imposed by Virginia law on medical malpractice lawsuits.

Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters, known for pediatric care, is located in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina.  Patients actually travel there from the Outer Banks, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Virginia Beach and beyond for special pediatric care.  The young man went to this Norfolk hospital for the surgery because of its strong reputation, only to suffer a needless spinal cord and paralysis due to anesthesiology malpractice.

According to the lawsuit, the man needed surgery to correct a sunken breastbone condition. The doctor gave him a thoracic epidural catheter, and the procedure allegedly caused permanent damage to the man’s spinal cord.

After the operation, the man could not move or feel his legs and feet due to paralysis. He regained his ability to walk but continued to have pain and difficulty controlling bodily functions.  The defense for the doctor and hospital claimed the doctor and Children’s Specialty Group did not deviate from the proper standards of medical care.  As Virginia Beach-Norfolk medical malpractice attorneys, we are saddened to see a reputable hospital make a negligent surgical mistake like this.  It’s also tragic that the doctor and hospital forced the victim to go through a public trial to get justice and we note it’s far in excess of the unfair VA medical malpractice “cap” which forced the judge to reduce the 5 Million dollar verdict the jury returned to only 1.85 Million.  Attorney for the victim Lisa O’Donnell did a tremendous job helping the victim and his family.

To learn more about Virginia medical malpractice and doctor mistakes, check out our Frequently Asked Questions devoted to the subject. Our VA medical malpractice lawyers wrote a free consumer report providing a list of tips for victims who were hurt by a doctor’s carelessness. Feel free to download it here.


Medical Malpractice Damages Cap Considered in North Carolina (NC)

Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, said GOP colleagues will file a bill this week to limit noneconomic damages in malpractice cases and divide such trials into two parts for questions of liability and monetary damages.

By Randy Appleton, North Carolina Medical Malpractice Attorney

North Carolina lawmakers are seeking to bring in a medical malpractice cap in the state like the one in Virginia. The new Republican majority is attempting to advance a policy that has been talked about for years in the state: Medical malpractice reform that they claim would bring down costs for doctors and other businesses, CNBC reported.

Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, said GOP colleagues will file a bill this week to limit noneconomic damages in malpractice cases and divide such trials into two parts for questions of liability and monetary damages.

The NC Medical Society, which represents 12,000 licensed physicians, or about 70 percent of the state’s practicing doctors, praised the Legislature for being willing to take up medical liability issues.

But North Carolina Advocates for Justice, the state’s leading trial lawyer lobbying group, said malpractice premiums and lawsuits are down and caps have been found to be unlawful in some states. The Georgia Supreme Court ruled unanimously last year that a $350,000 cap on noneconomic damages was unconstitutional.

In contrast, Virginia (VA) has a medical malpractice cap that’s been frozen at $2 million for the last two years. Although the cap is likely to be raised by $50,000 a year beginning in 2012, our firm has argued it’s an arbitrary law that gives special treatment to healthcare companies at the expense of the victims.

In Virginia, if a physician or a nurse causes a permanent injury and your spouse can never work again as a result, for example, the most he or she can ever receive is $2 million dollars because of the cap, even if an economist estimates that over their work-life expectancy, your husband or wife would have made $5 million dollars.

Notwithstanding the limitations of the cap our attorneys are committed to fighting for the highest awards possible for those who have been injured by acts of medical malpractice. In 2007, one of our own attorneys, James Lewis was recognized by Virginia Lawyers Weekly for obtaining one of the state’s largest verdicts that year. Jim’s case involved a medical malpractice claim for injuries inflicted upon the plaintiff, an infant, during a difficulty delivery. The delivery resulted in permanent injury to the plaintiff’s shoulder and arm. A Virginia Beach Circuit Court jury awarded $1.75 million, the medical malpractice cap at the time of the injury to the plaintiff and an additional $137,224 to the plaintiff’s mother.

DM

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.


Let’s Put the Seniors in Jail, and the Criminals in a Nursing Home.

Our elderly are being neglected to the point of death, abused, and humiliated in many nursing homes by the hands of those who are paid to protect them. Do convicted criminals have more rights and protection than our seniors? Find out more.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm which focuses on injury and accident law and our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases, which includes hospital/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 so give us a call at 1-800-752-0042. If you can’t get through due to high call volume, please leave a message and we will return your call promptly. Also be sure to check out our free special reports on the Top 10 Tips from a Medical Malpractice Insider and the top 5 surgical errors you must know about. Our primary office in based in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA) and we also have a North Carolina (NC) law office.  Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY, FL and DC. Our injury attorneys also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard and Norfolk Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service.


Defensive Medicine, Fact or Fiction?

 By Jim Lewis, Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Virginia

 

Another study has been published that seems to tout the rise of defensive medicine.  But what is the real issue here?

If doctors are overloading patients with unnecessary tests to avoid possible malpractice claims, and driving up the cost of medical care as a result, wouldn’t that be called insurance fraud, instead of defensive medicine?  The reality is that doctors are ordering sophisticated tests and procedures to diagnose complex illnesses, in which case, it is medically necessary and there is no “defensive medicine” at work.

Basically, some doctors may order unnecessary tests for many different reasons.  But, studies show that so-called “defensive medicine” is not a widespread incident. 

How can ordering a sophisticated test that validly avoids preventable diseases, be considered “defensive medicine?”  If your loved one was sick you would want as many tests done as possible until a diagnosis was made.  Defensive medicine is just another buzz word that doctors and insurance companies throw out there to convince the general public that tort reform, legal changes designed to make it more difficult for injured victims to sue those responsible, are needed.

So why would anyone want to limit the rights of a victim?  The people at fault do.  Negligent doctors and insurance companies have created the myth of defensive medicine as a way to convince the public and lawmakers that malpractice suits make health care costly and unaffordable. 

They then try to pass laws to limit the ability of patients who are victims of medical errors to hold doctors and hospitals accountable for their mistakes.  They expect people to believe that “defensive medicine” will go away, if they are not held responsible for their mistakes.  These changes would greatly affect Virginia medical malpractice lawyers, Virginia doctors, and those in Virginia who have suffered from medical malpractice and are seeking compensation.

A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report released October 9, 2009, found that there is no evidence of defensive medicine in private managed care systems. 
The CBO report notes that “Imposing limits on [the right to sue for damages] might be expected to have a negative impact on health outcomes.” CBO cites a study that finds that restricting the right to seek compensation for malpractice would lead to a .2 percent increase in the nation’s overall death rate. That means an additional 48,000 Americans killed and more than 400,000 injured by medical malpractice over the next ten years.

The facts are clear. Limiting or severely restricting the ability to file a claim in court for medical malpractice denies justice to injured individuals while benefiting big corporations’ balance sheets.

CA

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm which focuses on injury and accident law and our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases, which includes hospital/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 so give us a call at 1-800-752-0042. If you can’t get through due to high call volume, please leave a message and we will return your call promptly. Also be sure to check out our free special reports on the Top 10 Tips from a Medical Malpractice Insider and the top 5 surgical errors you must know about. Our primary office in based in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA) and we also have a North Carolina (NC) law office.  Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY, FL and DC. Our injury attorneys also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard and Norfolk Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service.


Study Shows When Doctors Admit to Mistakes, Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Decrease

By Jim Lewis, Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Virginia

Recently, while having lunch with a friend. I was told his son was having unexplained fevers and sickness. He took him to a number of specialists and the only thing the doctors could figure out was that the boy had extreme allergies. All the other tests came back negative.

I sympathized with his frustration, but thought about how sometimes, as patients, we expect doctors to be superhuman robots, incapable of making mistakes. The truth is that doctors are human and capable of making mistakes just like us. But when they make a mistake, it can be a matter of life or death, as opposed to, let’ say, a botched finance report. This doesn’t mean doctors should have a free pass when they make an error, especially if it was due to negligence and preventable.

The National Academy of Sciences estimates there are approximately 98,000 medical malpractice deaths each year.  Hearst Newspapers released a study indicating roughly 200,000 people die each year due to preventable medical mistakes. This loss of life is unacceptable and the doctors, nurses, and physicians who caused these medical errors need to be held accountable.

What many doctors may not realize is that a simply apology can go a long way. In fact, a new study reports that doctors who admit making medical mistakes are actually sued less. As strange as it seems, the study showed that most good doctors say that admitting a mistake and apologizing to patients is the ethical thing to do. Patients appreciated the doctor being humble enough to say he was wrong. Patients were able to concentrate on their health as they moved on with treatment.

Some doctors worry if they admit fault, they could expose themselves to a medical malpractice lawsuit. These are the same doctors that falsify tests, lie to the patients’ families and deny wrongdoing even in the face of glaring evidence. It is these doctors the public needs to be wary of. If doctors try to hide their mistakes, then lawsuits may be the only way to bring attention to their poor performance and questionable track record.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm which focuses on injury and accident law and our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases, which includes hospital/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 so give us a call at 1-800-752-0042. If you can’t get through due to high call volume, please leave a message and we will return your call promptly. Also be sure to check out our free special reports on the Top 10 Tips from a Medical Malpractice Insider and the top 5 surgical errors you must know about. Our primary office in based in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA) and we also have a North Carolina (NC) law office.  Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY, FL and DC. Our injury attorneys also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard and Norfolk Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service.

CA