Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

Doctors who have paid out numerous Florida medical malpractice claims continue to practice, despite a state statute approved by voters more than a decade ago intended to strip such physicians of their medical licenses. That’s according to a recent investigation into state insurance records by a South Florida television news team, NBC-5 in West Palm Beach. medical malpractice attorney West Palm Beach

Our own medical malpractice attorneys in West Palm Beach have encountered physicians in medical negligence claims who had previously lost or settled a number of prior lawsuits asserting they failed to abide the applicable standard of care in the course of medicinal practice, resulting in serious harm to patients.

The reporters discovered hundreds of still-practicing physicians who had paid out in excess of $460 million for Florida medical malpractice lawsuits stemming from the deaths of nearly 1,400 patients over the last 10 years.

This in itself is pretty stunning. However, it’s particularly striking in light of a 2004 Florida constitutional amendment approved by voters called the “three strikes rule.” Continue reading

Florida medical malpractice law needs to change. That’s the stance of the surviving family of a U.S. Marine veteran who died after allegedly receiving negligent medical care following a South Florida motorcycle accident. Despite this, the man’s survivors haven’t been able to file a medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit because of a provision of Florida statute that prevents such claims from being brought by anyone accept for a spouse, minor children or parents of an adult under the age of 25. West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyer

The specific law in question (which our West Palm Beach wrongful death lawyers can explain has been in place for nearly three decades) is F.S. 768.21. Its effect is that if a person dies as a result of suspected medical malpractice, there will be no recourse if the patient was unmarried, over the age of 25 or had no minor children. It is a law ripe for challenge considering the very same acts of negligence that would underlie a medical malpractice injury lawsuit would be grounds for litigation – if the person lives. There are no available avenues for accountability, however, if that same individual dies as a result of medical negligence.

NBC-5 in West Palm Beach reports the patient in question was a 32-year-old man from Port St. Lucie, a veteran with a fiancee who was helping to raise her 3-year-old daughter, whom he planned to adopt. He was involved in a Florida motorcycle accident. He reportedly hit a deep pothole, swerved to avoid striking a friend’s motorcycle and in so doing put his leg down when he crashed, resulting in a broken leg. Continue reading

A missed cancer diagnosis can have serious and irreparable consequences for patients and their families. As South Florida medical malpractice attorneys know, most cancer is identified based on the totality of one’s symptoms combined with results of radiology imaging tests, such as MRIs, CTs and PETs.medical malpractice

Failure to make a correct and timely diagnosis in circumstances wherein one might expect a reasonable, prudent healthcare professional in the same situation to do so may be deemed medical malpractice, particularly when it results in worsened prognosis or necessitates more intensive treatments than would have otherwise been needed.

In pursuing a medical malpractice claim for a missed cancer diagnosis, it’s often the case that more than one defendant can be held liable. Sometimes, that’s because more than one health care professional made a mistake; other times, it is by virtue of the defendant’s relationship with the negligent party that they can be found liable. For instance, plaintiffs can assert vicarious liability against the employer of an individual health care provider who was negligent – even if the employer did nothing wrong. This is based on a liability theory known as respondeat superior, Latin for “let the master answer.” Continue reading

Halberg & Fogg PLLC  South Florida injury law firm partner Ryan Fogg recently won a $3.6 million medical malpractice arbitration award on behalf of a Cocoa Beach man for the wrongful death of his wife, the result of medical malpractice at Cape Canaveral Hospital in Brevard County. The court-approved arbitration award followed four years of litigation, for which our team has been tirelessly committed to obtaining accountability and compensation for our client.West Palm Beach Medical Malpractice Attorney Ryan Fogg

It began with a common ailment: Back pain. Decedent, a 60-year-old woman, sought relief from a doctor, receiving four spinal injections at the facility over the course of three months in spring 2012.

As West Palm Beach medical malpractice attorney Ryan Fogg later explained to Florida Today, decedent was back in the hospital less than two weeks after that last injection – this time in the emergency room, suffering agonizing pain.  Continue reading

A divided Florida Supreme Court ruled that even if a doctor’s mistake isn’t the primary cause of death, Florida medical malpractice laws nonetheless allow that doctor to be liable for his or her part in it if the failure/ misconduct substantially contributed to it – thus reversing an appellate court decision in a doctor’s favor. Dissenting justices didn’t argue with the conclusion by the majority, but instead insisted the court shouldn’t have taken up the case in the first place because it didn’t assert a conflict between two lower courts.

The family has already been awarded $7.5 million from the two surgeons in the case, and this ruling may entitle them to additional damages from another defendant.

Naples medical malpractice lawyer
Naples medical malpractice lawyers know this decision clarifying that a physician’s malpractice need not be the main reason a patient died in order for him/ her to be liable will be welcome news for current and future claimants in medical negligence claims, especially those wherein the primary cause of death is in sharp dispute.

The future of medicine is here! (Well, actually, it’s somewhere else. And in reality, it’s been around for about a decade.) It’s called remote telemedicine, and it is rising in popularity in Florida intensive care units, referred to there as eICUs. Concern among patient safety advocates and St. Lucie medical malpractice lawyers has grown as evidence mounts indicating eICUs aren’t always associated with the “amazing” level of care they promise.St. Lucie medical malpractice attorney

Florida Today recently published an article penned by a representative of Health First hospital system touting its digital monitoring unit as one of the region’s”best-kept healthcare secrets.” The writer gushes that VitalWatch ICU offers “an additional layer of protection” for severely ill patients at four hospitals along the Space Coast, with critical care doctors and nurses at headquarters monitoring ICU patients hundreds of miles away via a secure, live transmission of electronic vital signs and audio/ visual feeds. The benefit for these patients was highest on the overnight shifts, where specialist resources are often spread thin.

The article does not make mention of how many physicians are actually on the floor or whether the system has cut back onsite staffing on its eICU floors. St. Lucie medical malpractice lawyers have concerns the whole system isn’t as fail-safe as the writer indicates.  For an ICU patient, a lapse of even just a few minutes can lead to devastating and possibly fatal consequences.  Continue reading

A surgeon who for 40 years fixed broken hearts as a cardiologist is now in a vegetative state, according to a Palm Beach medical malpractice lawsuit. The claim alleges the doctor’s former employer, JFK Medical Center in Atlantis is liable for a series of medical mistakes – starting with an egregious medication error – that nearly killed the active, energetic 74-year-old. Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyers know this case underscores the fact that if even a distinguished member of this hospital’s own staff is at risk for medical errors, imagine how common they must be for so many of the rest of us.Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyer

Research by patient safety experts at Johns Hopkins in 2016 revealed medical errors are the No. 3 cause of death in the U.S. Unfortunately, most of those incidents go unchecked because health care providers rarely come out and admit they were wrong. It’s up to families and survivors to initiate their own investigation, which is especially tough if they themselves don’t have a medical or legal background. Talking with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer in Palm Beach will help give you a better sense of your options.

A newer study published in the journal Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy found that medication errors by health care providers are a leading cause of death, with the most common type of errors being:

  • Omission of medicine.
  • Wrong dose/ strength of medicine.
  • Wrong kind of medicine.

It’s important if one has any suspicion a loved one may have suffered severe injury or death as a result of a medication error to discuss these concerns with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer in South Florida. Continue reading

The oath taken by health care providers begins, “First, do no harm.” But some doctors get this very, very wrong. medical malpractice attorney

Recently, a Florida car accident victim is accusing her surgeon of committing medical malpractice in West Palm Beach, saying she went into the hospital for spinal surgery, only to awaken from surgery and learn one of her healthy, fully functioning kidneys was removed unnecessarily. South Florida medical malpractice attorneys refer to these as “never events,” because there is no acceptable reason they should ever happen. Yet they do, and all too often.

The National Quality Forum, a non-profit organization comprised of professionals in healthcare, business and policy, lists 28 serious reportable adverse patient events including:

  • Surgery on the wrong body part;
  • Patient elopement/ wandering resulting in serious injury or death;
  • Maternal death or serious injury associated with a low-risk pregnancy while being cared for in a health care setting;
  • Serious patient injury or death associated with a fall while being cared for in a health care facility;
  • Pressure ulcers;
  • Unintended retention of a foreign object in a patient after surgery.

Continue reading

You are likely aware that if a physician or other health care provider is negligent in providing medical care, patients have recourse in the form of a Florida medical malpractice lawsuit.Palm Beach birth injury lawyer

However, unlike typical negligence lawsuits, there are all kinds of special rules. For example, claims must first go through a mediation process. The “standard of care” for doctors is different than what is used in general negligence lawsuits. And then there are some cases where doctors can be totally immune from medical malpractice claims if there services were provided on a volunteer basis via F.S. 766.1115.

Volunteer Docs Enjoy Government Immunity

Essentially, if the doctor’s services are provided via contract to the state’s Department of Health free-of-charge as part of an initiative to ensure indigent patients receive care, those doctors have sovereign immunity protection and can’t be named as a defendant in medical malpractice claim connected to that care. Continue reading

Emergency medical services (EMS) professionals, which include both emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics are often the first responders on scene in the midst of a medical crisis, such as a Florida car accident, heart attack or serious personal injury. When they do their job right, countless lives are saved. However, if EMS negligence occurs, people affected may have grounds to sue the EMS worker and/ or that person’s employer (either a private company, government contractor or the government itself) for liability to pay damages.EMS injury attorney

The principles of EMS are essentially:

  • Early detection;
  • Early reporting;
  • Early response;
  • Good on-scene care;
  • Care in transit;
  • Transfer to definitive care (i.e., a hospital).

The purpose of EMS is to provide immediate medical care in the hopes of prolonging life, as well as providing individuals the means to promptly get definitive care when they need it. But as in so many other professions, events don’t always go as planned.  Continue reading