Wednesday, 13 of December of 2017

Tag » patient

Fire Ignites at Hospital Killing Patient and Injuring 3 Others

By Kevin Duffan, Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Sparks during a defibrillation procedure on a patient at Durham Regional Hospital ignited a fire that killed the man and injured three other people. A hospital spokesperson said the fire was contained to one room. To learn more, read full story here. . .

NC Hospital Fire Caused by Defibrillation, Kills Patient, Injures 3 Others

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 of Boy Permanently Disabled by Drug Pump Malfunction Receives $24.2M Malpractice Award

The family will receive only $8.5 million of that judgment because the medical device manufacturers reached a separate settlement and because of a complicated system of damage caps.

By Mark Favaloro, Surgical Error Victims’ Attorney

When an electronic I.V. drug infusion pump malfunctioned at a Louisiana (LA) outpatient surgery clinic and flooded the body of a 3-year boy with the adrenalin-like medication epinephrine, the child went into cardiac arrest. The resulting lack of blood flow and oxygen to his brain (i.e., hypoxia) left him permanently disabled.

Six years later, the injured boy’s mother won a $24.2 million jury award against the companies that made the infusion pump and the health care facility where the surgical error occurred. NOLA.com has explained, however, that the family will receive only $8.5 million of that judgment because the medical device manufacturers reached a separate settlement for a confidential sum before the medical malpractice trial began. The award will also be reduced because of a complicated system of damage caps put in place by the state government and administered by a group called the Louisiana Patients Compensation Fund.

 

 

The Virginia Medical Malpractice Lawyer’s Perspective

Even though I practice medical malpractice and surgical error law primarily in Virginia (VA), I’m writing about this Louisiana case because it illustrate how complicated holding defective medical equipment manufacturers and negligent hospitals and clinics can be.

This family filed claims against two corporations, a health care facility, the company that sold the malfunctioning machine and the representative who serviced the device and other defendants. Even after confronting and succeeding against each of those parties’ defense lawyers, the family, whose son will require an estimated $20 milling in lifetime medical and personal care, then had to navigate a state system stacked against medical malpractice plaintiffs.

I congratulate the attorneys who battled on behalf of the injured boy and his family.

Potentially Helpful Info

If you or a family member has been harmed by a surgical error, you can begin to learn about your legal rights and options for holding the responsible parties accountable by downloading this free report written by medical malpractice lawyers.

Have Questions? Check out Our Firm’s FAQs.

You can learn more by reading through this online library of attorneys’ answers to frequently asked questions regarding medical malpractice and surgical error 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.

 


Virginia Psychiatric Hospital Settles Wrongful Death Suit for $800,000

Plaintiff Alleged that the Hospital Breached its Standard of Care Which was a Cause of the Decedent’s Suicide

By Jim Lewis, Virginia Medical Malpractice Attorney

My colleague Randy Appleton recently posted a blog on our firm’s Virginia personal injury website about a recent $800,000 settlement reached with a psychiatric hospital after one of its patients committed suicide.  The man’s survivors argued that the standard of care was not met for the patient. These stories are so sad. Our deepest sympathies go out to the family and friends of the man who lost his life.

OEA

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.


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.


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.


Medical Malpractice Damage Cap Increases in Virginia Over Governor’s Initial Veto

What’s even more outrageous is if a jury awards a victim more than $2 million in non-economic damages, the award must be reduced to comply with the damage cap. So, even if a person has future medical bills and lost wages way over the limit , they only get the cap no matter how deserving they are and no matter what the jury says is fair.

By John Cooper, Medical Negligence Lawyer

In a surprising turn of events, the Virginia General Assembly overrode the governor’s veto on a medical malpractice damage cap increase bill. HB1459 mandates a phased-in increase the maximum award from $2 million to $3 million by 2031. The cap rises by $50,000 per year beginning this July.

Seven Republican senators crossed party lines and voted with Democrats to undo Gov. Bob McDonnell’s rejection of the legislation. They deserve praise for accepting a compromise that was worked out over time between the hospitals, doctors, and medical folks on one side and the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association plaintiff’s bar on the other.

In an ideal world, there would be no cap on medical negligence damages. The limits punish helpless victims and benefit insurance companies. What’s even more outrageous is if a jury awards a victim more than $2 million in non-economic damages, the award must be reduced to comply with the damage cap. So, even if a person has future medical bills and lost wages way over the limit , they only get the cap no matter how deserving they are and no matter what the jury says is fair. That makes no sense considering the jury system is the bedrock of our society and should be the final arbiter of what a victim receives in a medical malpractice case.

But we’re faced with the reality of damage caps in Virginia. Fortunately, the medical malpractice damages bill that passed is a step in the right direction.

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.


Overprescribing Narcotics May Cost Norfolk, VA Doctor His License

Beyond apparently ignoring evidence that one or more his patients was a pain pill addict, additional allegations show that Dr. Disamodha Amarasinghe was potentially negligent in taking care of any number of patients.

By Rick Shapiro, Virginia Medical Malpractice Lawyer

The Virginia Board of Medicine has suspended the prescribing privileges of a primary care doctor who, evidence shows, has dangerously and irresponsibly prescribed potentially deadly narcotic painkillers.

According to the March 17, 2011 Virginian-Pilot, investigations into complaints regarding a drug-seeking patient revealed that Dr. Disamodha Amarasinghe of Norfolk, Virginia (VA), continued to prescribe opioid pain patches to the person who had “filled prescriptions for 70 narcotic patches from eight different doctors.” One of the major reasons the physician is facing permanent loss of his license to practice in Virginia is because he made no use of the state’s Prescription Monitoring Program. The web-based database records each time a doctor prescribes, a pharmacist dispenses, and a patient picks up a prescription for a controlled substance such as Vicodin or fentanyl.

The long list of other prescribing malpractice Amarasinghe faces include:

  • Distributing narcotics originally dispensed to other patients to people for whom the medications were not intended.
  • Making diagnoses without doing enough tests.
  • Prescribing painkillers without coordinating treatment with patients’ other doctors.

Beyond apparently ignoring evidence that one or more his patients was a pain pill addict, these additional allegations show that Amarasinghe was potentially negligent in taking care of any number of patients.

Powerful painkillers can be a godsend for those with conditions like late-stage cancer, but those medications are rarely needed by most patients. This is especially true in the case of fentanyl patches, which deliver a drug 100 times more powerful than morphine. Overdosing with fentanyl patches is far too easy, and far too common.

While the Pilot report does not specifically mention fentanyl, it is no stretch of the imagination that the product falls under the rubric “narcotic patches.” I’ve argued for years that fentanyl should only be prescribed to patients who have no other means of pain relief. I cringe whenever I learn that the patches might have been used irresponsibly or indiscriminately.

If a full investigation of Amarasinghe proves that he did prescribe narcotics negligently, he should permanently lose his ability to practice medicine. That result would ensure he could not be in a position to put patients’ lives at risk.

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.


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.


Elderly Woman Killed by Nursing Home Neglect

By Shapiro, Lewis, Appleton and Favaloro, Nursing Home Neglect Attorney

We often place our elder loved ones in adult care facilities when we begin to worry that they cannot properly take care of themselves. You worry about them eating right, getting around, keeping themselves occupied, and taking their medications correctly — and you believe that a nursing home can help them stay healthy, safe, and comfortable. However some nursing homes fail at their job.  Such was the case in Iowa (IA).

A Davenport nursing home has been fined by the state of Iowa in connection with the death of an elderly resident, less than two weeks after she and another resident of the Ridgecrest Village home were injured in a traffic accident on Nov. 19.  Our thoughts go out to the family for the tragic and preventable loss of their loved one.

According to the Des Moines Register, the van stopped suddenly in traffic, throwing the two residents out of their wheelchairs and onto the van floor. One was a fragile 97-year-old woman.  The van driver told investigators that he’d failed to buckle their safety belts, although their chairs were securely attached to the van’s floor.  That’s the same as saying the seats in a car are secured but the people in it are not.

It was terribly negligent for the driver to forget to buckle in the elderly pair.

His only job was to safely transport the two and he failed, miserably.  It is also sad that the Iowa Department of Inspection and Appeals only fined the nursing home $10,000 for death of this elderly woman.

The department reported that the woman’s death 12 days later was attributed to congestive heart failure as a result of a broken leg and blood loss.  So in essence this woman spent the last days of her life suffering from a totally preventable injury.

CA

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.