Articles Tagged with medical malpractice lawyer

The Florida Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether a hospital can be held accountable for the negligent treatment by independent-contractor emergency room doctors. Our West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyers will be closely following the developments of this case, and a decision is likely to be handed down sometime next year. West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyers

The case stems from a botched plastic surgery provided at an unlicensed clinic by a man posing as a Venezuelan doctor. The clinic was licensed to give massages, but advertised the services of certified plastic surgeons (which it did not have) to perform buttocks-enhancement injections. A 28-year-old woman was rushed to a local emergency room after suffering complications from the procedure in 2013. She was treated at the hospital’s emergency room and in the intensive care unit, but died within hours. The “doctor” was later arrested and the clinic shuttered, but her estate filed a lawsuit against both the hospital and emergency room doctors for negligence.

The hospital insists it cannot be held liable for treatment provided by the emergency room doctors, as they were independent contractors. Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal agreed in a ruling earlier this year. However, this ruling conflicts with one by Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeals in a similar case.

The Florida Supreme Court has agreed to review the conflict, but has yet to set a date for oral arguments. Continue reading

A state appellate court has urged the Florida Supreme Court to revisit whether a largely-debunked medical malpractice insurance “crisis” still justifies limiting damages in certain medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuits. The request, posed as a question of great public importance, stems from the Fla. 2nd DCA’s reluctant dismissal of a medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit filed by the adult children of a woman who died after a missed diagnosis of lung cancer. Naples medical malpractice lawyer

The case raises constitutional equal protection concerns because the practical effect is that negligent doctors and healthcare providers cannot be held to account if their patient dies with no minor children or surviving spouse. Adult children (over age 25) of medical malpractice victims who die are not entitled to collect non-economic damages. (Non-economic damages are monetary compensation for intangible losses like as pain and suffering, loss of life enjoyment, loss of consortium, etc.)

This all started some 30 years ago, when Florida lawmakers, heavily courted by insurance industry lobbyists, enacted Florida State Statute 768.21 as a means of remedying “skyrocketing insurance costs” that were reportedly causing doctors to decline performing high-risk procedures and flee the state and the profession, forcing the closure of emergency rooms and other healthcare facilities.  In 2000, the Florida Supreme Court cited this law – and the purported “crisis” legislators had used to rationalize it – to prevent the surviving adult children plaintiffs in Mizrahi v. North Miami Medical Center from recovering non-economic damages for their parent’s medical malpractice death. Continue reading

Florida medical malpractice appeals attorneys recognize that cases aren’t necessarily over just because the trial is. Even with cases that end in pre-trial settlement, that may not always be the last word.West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyer

Although no one on our end is eager to drag matters on longer than necessary (we are paid on a contingency basis, not by the hour), we recognize the importance of appellate courts in ensuring accuracy in the trial courts. Very few cases ever make it to the Florida Supreme Court or the U.S. Supreme Court. Appeals courts do not hear your medical malpractice case all over again, but rather review the issues raised by one or both parties to be sure all laws and legal procedures were fairly applied by the trial court.

Important to note: If your attorney failed to raise important points of contention first to the trial court, the opportunity to present it on appeal may be lost. That’s why carefully choosing an experienced medical malpractice legal team is important. 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

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

In a review of a federal district court’s handling of a Florida birth injury lawsuit, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit wrote the lower court, “Did an admirable job of MacGyvering a solution in this case, and we affirm much of what it did.” The appellate court did reverse a small portion of the Florida medical malpractice birth injury decision, which had been appealed by both sides.Naples medical malpractice attorney

There were two primary statutes in play here:

  • The Federal Tort Claims Act, 28. U.S.C. 2674, requiring courts to (as the appellate court put it) “MacGyver a remedy fashioning tort-damages awards against the U.S. where the unique aspects of the federal government make it difficult or impossible to strictly apply a state damages statute to the government… (approximating) the statutory remedy as closely as they can to achieve the ends required by the FTCA.”
  • F.S. 768.78(2), Florida’s medical malpractice damage statute.

Essentially, the court cobbled together a remedy for civil damages in this birth injury lawsuit where the guidelines of both laws weren’t precisely aligned. Naples medical malpractice lawyers recognize this underscores the fact that having an attorney well-versed in federal and state law proves crucial time and again in these cases, particularly when the exact remedy isn’t obvious. It’s the injury lawyer who will be trusted by plaintiff to make a strong case for maximum monetary relief and accountability.  Continue reading

Aside from skin cancer, breast cancer in the U.S. the No. 1 most common type of cancer in women – regardless of race or ethnicity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports its the No. 1 cause of death from cancer among Hispanic women and the No. 2 cause of death from cancer among others. Here in Florida, nearly 16,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer in a single year.medical malpractice attorney

That means treatments like radiation, chemotherapy and surgery (namely, mastectomy and breast reconstruction) are among the most commonly-performed in the state. Of women diagnosed with early state breast cancer, more than one-third undergo mastectomies. Among women with more advanced stage breast cancer, nearly 60 percent undergo mastectomy, according to the American Cancer Society. Mastectomies increased 36 percent between 2005 and 2013, according to the federal Agency for Healthcare and Research Quality, including a more than tripling of double mastectomies.

Fort Myers medical malpractice attorneys know there is a lot that can go wrong in any surgery, and it doesn’t necessarily mean negligence occurred. What we as medical malpractice attorneys must show is that the care received fell below the standard quality of care for that specialty and region. Product liability cases involving medical devices or implants must generally prove the product was defective and thus unreasonably dangerous, meaning there was a flaw in the design, manufacturing or marketing. (Marketing defects involve the manner in which the product was advertised or sold.) Every company within the chain of distribution can be held liable in a product liability case. Continue reading

The parents of a 25-year-old South Florida man who died after a seemingly routine IV line removal are suing for medical malpractice, alleging Palms West Hospital made a preventable medical error – and then tried to cover it up. That’s what’s been reported in the Broward-Palm Beach New Timesmedical malpractice

His mother told the newspaper that almost immediately after the line was pulled out, her son began clutching his chest, complaining he was unable to breathe. His oxygen levels fell dramatically and he began to convulse. The doctor who rushed in immediately asked the nurse if she’d just removed the central catheter. The man never regained consciousness after that, and died after his family agreed it was time to take him off life support.

The young man was in the hospital after relapsing into his addiction to opioids. Plaintiffs say the hospital tried to steer them away from staffers’ mistakes by telling them their son had died of “broken heart syndrome,” because of his guilt for relapsing. Of course, no such condition exists, and his family would later say this led them to suffer the pain of believing they were somehow responsible for not reassuring him of their steadfast support. They were not aware until the medical examiner listed his cause of death what had really happened: A burst of air entered his vein due to improper removal of a central line catheter. This was a preventable medical error, plaintiffs in this wrongful death action allege. Continue reading

When someone dies as the result of medical malpractice in Florida, state law unfortunately limits the types of damages that can be recovered – and by whom. Florida injury lawyers have long railed the restrictions on who may proceed with a medical malpractice claim in the event the patient dies – restrictions for which powerful medical industry lobbyists pushed hard.medical malpractice lawyer

The result is provisions of the Florida Wrongful Death Act that restrict plaintiffs in medical malpractice wrongful death cases to:

  • A child under the age of 25;
  • An adult child who is dependent on decedent for financial support;
  • A spouse;
  • A parent of a child under age 25.

Unless decedent has a surviving loved one who falls under these narrow parameters, there is legally no claim allowed under law. Further, if a decedent dies while a case is pending and doesn’t have a survivor in this category to step in as a plaintiff, the case will die with them and the negligent health care provider is never held to account. That is something that should bother everyone who potentially needs medical care in Florida because it means facilities and providers providing care that falls below baseline accepted medical standards may never have to answer for it, leaving them free to practice and profit without consequence. Unfortunately, the Florida Supreme Court has upheld this as a legitimate means of reducing medical insurance costs.  Continue reading