Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

Published on:

Over the last few years, tort reform advocates across the country have successfully achieved statewide legislative “caps” on pain and suffering awards. The idea of pain and suffering caps sprang from business and medical organizations that lobbied their local representatives to limit the recovery possible for a person injured through the fault of another.

Implicit in pain and suffering caps is a distrust of the jurors that decide on the amount of compensation owed by liable parties in each case, as well as a distrust of the trial judges that review jury awards, and the appellate courts that review the judges’ decisions. The State of Wisconsin has such a cap that limits the pain and suffering compensation that can be awarded in medical malpractice cases to $750,000. However, in the case of Ascaris Mayo, this amount was far from sufficient.

Continue reading →

Published on:

In the wake of Joan Rivers’ passing we have seen an outpouring of love and support from millions of fans all around the world. With the sudden and unexpected circumstances of her death this past Thursday, it’s impossible to ignore the question of what could have caused such a rapid decline in health during a routine medical procedure.

On the morning of August 28th, Rivers visited the Yorkville Endoscopy Center on the Upper East Side for a diagnostic throat procedure. At 9:39 that morning, someone from the medical clinic made a 911 call after Rivers had gone into cardiac arrest. By the time she arrived at Mount Sinai Hospital, Rivers was in near death condition and required life support.

Continue reading →

Published on:

Sharon Holmes was shocked to discover a lump in one of breasts just three months after being cleared by her mammogram results. In a follow-up test doctors found that Sharon had aggressive stage 2 breast cancer that had already spread to her lymph nodes.What could have caused such a massive oversight by the doctors at Perry Hospital in Georgia, where Sharon had her first mammogram administered?Forgery, it turns out. Following an investigation into similarly inaccurate mammogram results at Perry Hospital, lead radiological technician Rachael Rapraeger confessed to falsifying results and pleaded guilty to ten misdemeanor charges of reckless conduct and one felony charge of computer forgery.For a year and a half Rachael had been falsifying mammogram test information to give all of her patients negative results. In ten cases, Sharon’s included, these results were wrong. Two of the ten women have since passed away from cancer. One, eighty-year-old Sara Bailey had to have one of her breasts removed because of the cancer’s rapid growth. All of these women suffered because they were not told the truth.Rachael told police that she had falsified the mammogram test results in order to save time. She had fallen behind in her work and she saw this as a shortcut to catch up. She never took into account the impact her decision would have on the lives of her patients.Rachael will now serve six months in a detention center, followed by a ten-year probation period during which she will not be allowed to work in health care.Sharon, thankfully, has now gone three years without her cancer reappearing. But she has lost some faith in her health care providers. “I’m thinking I’m doing what I’m supposed to do, getting my tests done, and then I find out someone else isn’t doing their job,” she said in an interview with the Associated Press.All of these women believed they were protecting themselves by getting tested. This unfortunate incident serves as a strong reminder that we have to always remain vigilant about our health, and when we suspect that something is being overlooked, to not be afraid to get a second opinion.Sources: CNN, “Former hospital technician behind bogus mammogram results gets jail time,” John Newsome and Eliott C. McLaughlin, April 16, 2014.The Big Story, “Former GA. Technician Falsified Mammogram Reports,” Kate Brumback, April 27, 2014.

Published on:

A Chinese woman in Flushing Queens has brought a lawsuit against a local storefront medical clinic for administering an intravenous solution that might have caused a severe infection. 61-year-old Myung Hwa Jang visited the clinic seeking a remedy for her cold-like symptoms when she was given the solution, known to her only as “ringer.”Almost immediately after her treatment Ms. Jang was taken by ambulance to New York Hospital Queens suffering from symptoms of septic shock. As a result of her infection Ms. Jang was forced to have multiple amputations, leaving her without her lower legs or right hand, and her left thumb as her only remaining digit.Though Ms. Jang’s infection has not yet been directly linked to the IV treatment, the facts of her case make it appear likely. The incident has sparked mixed reactions from the Chinese and Korean communities in New York where IV solutions are a cultural norm, even for healthy patients.Bags of solution are sold illegally at some pharmacies, and IV drips are offered at clinics like the one Ms. Jang visited usually for just under $100. Many users lack health insurance, and so this remedy serves as a cheaper alternative to professionally prescribed medicine.IV drips are a common remedy in the Chinese American community, carrying over from China, where the average person receives over 4 injections per year, compared to the world average of about 2.9. According to the World Health Organization, over 500,000 cases of hepatitis B and over 6,000 cases of H.I.V. were contracted in China in 2010 because of improperly administered injections. One famous 2012 photo from Xiaogan in the Hubei province China shows a classroom of students receiving IV solutions before college entrance examinations, so as to stay healthy without losing time studying.In spite of her incident, Ms. Jang’s husband and daughter back in China continue to receive regular injections.While personal injury lawyers can continue to hold doctors and clinics legally responsible for medical malpractice when they over-prescribe solutions like “ringer,” this will only lead regular users to seek shadier and less professional clinics for their injections. The solution in this case lies in education. The more people that know about the potential dangers of less-than-professional IV administration, the less tragedies like Ms. Jang’s we will see appearing in the headlines.Sources: Daily Mail, “Revision Chinese-style: Pupils hooked up to drips to give their brainpower a boost,” May 7, 2012.New York Times, “Infection Resulting in Amputation Raises Questions About Asian Immigrants’ IV Use,” December 26, 2013. 

Published on:

13 spinal surgery patients in the Northeast may have been exposed to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, or CJD, after being operated on with equipment that was used previously on a patient that showed symptoms of the disease before her death.CJD is a rapidly progressing neurodegenerative disease that typically affects 200 Americans every year. It affects the victim’s memory, coordination, and vision, and is often fatal within the first year of the onset of its symptoms. CJD presently has no known cause or cure, and can only be diagnosed by autopsy.According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and officials at Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, NH, 5 hospital patients in Massachusetts and up to 8 patients in New Hampshire came into contact with the surgical equipment in question this summer. An autopsy of the unnamed woman believed to have been infected with CJD is underway to determine if she did in fact have the disease.In the event that the woman tests positive for CJD, Catholic Medical Center CEO Dr. Joseph Pepe claims that the risk of the disease spreading through the equipment is still very low. While the standard practice of using heat to sterilize surgical equipment is effective against most diseases, it does not eliminate the proteins that cause CJD.Our thoughts are with the 13 exposed patients and their families. Hopefully, even if the unnamed woman does not test positive for CJD, this event will urge hospitals to be more thorough in their decontamination of surgical equipment.Sources: Boston Business Journal, “Exposure to fatal brain disease rises to 13 patients, five in Massachusetts,” September 6 2013.CNN Health, “Fatal brain disease potentially affects five people in Massachusetts,” September 6 2013.National Institute of Nuerological Disorders and Stroke, “Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Fact Sheet,” June 6 2013.UPI, “Five Massachusetts patients may have been exposed to brain disease,” September 6 2013.

Published on:

In the last three years Brooklynite Lavern Wilkinson has been let down by nearly everyone she thought she could trust.

Back in February 2010 Lavern checked into Kings County Hospital with a chronic cough. The doctors ordered a chest X-ray that clearly revealed early stages of lung cancer. Only no one notified Lavern. Rather than immediately initiating treatment that may very well have saved her life, the doctors directed Lavern to take Motrin and sent her on her way.
Continue reading →

Badges
Contact Information