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shutterstock_482921167-300x200In today’s medical malpractice world, if a doctor apologizes, many patients will accept the apology and move on. If they decide to file a lawsuit, that apology can’t be used against them as evidence, provided the doctor or other medical professional makes no admission of negligence or error. If the doctor does make an admission, that evidence can be used in court.

If Maryland’s hospital administrators have anything to say, that could change within the state. If it does, more states may follow suit. Administrators are pushing legislation that would make it easier for medical professionals to acknowledge when something goes wrong and not have that statement used as evidence in court.

Administrators argue that it is about more than protecting doctors – it is about protecting and assisting patients. In today’s litigious society, doctors are afraid to acknowledge their errors. This may lead to patients not being treated with appropriate care. Trial lawyers say that this is not what would happen. In fact they say it would leave patients vulnerable.

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shutterstock_585631967-300x200A South Carolina medical center is on the hook for nearly $14 million after a jury found the hospital and its employees guilty of medical malpractice. According to reports, a woman filed the lawsuit after her legs, left arm and fingers on her right hand were amputated. She alleged that the amputations were due to the negligent care of hospital staff.

The jury in the case found Aiken Regional Medical Centers guilty of medical malpractice. They ordered that the centers pay $10 million in economic damages and another $3.75 in non-economic damages.

It was found that the victim went to the hospital in December 2012 with sepsis. Her condition progressed to septic shock shortly thereafter. The suit said that she was not given medication until 14 hours after her admission to the hospital. The suit also said that she was not seen by a doctor until five hours after entering the emergency room. Later that night, the woman suffered a cardiac arrest and her extremities began to show mottling. She was ultimately transferred to another hospital where she underwent the amputations.

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shutterstock_417550462-300x200It is an unfortunate thing when routine medical procedures go wrong, but it does happen. When it does, victims are entitled to compensation. Such is the case in Iowa where a victim was just awarded $500,000 by a judge.

According to reports, a woman underwent a routine colonoscopy in 2014. During the procedure, the surgeon allegedly tore the woman’s colon. Once the mistake was discovered, the surgeon scheduled the patient for a follow-up. The woman then underwent a second procedure to repair the damage from the first. In between the two surgeries, contents of the intestines had leaked into the abdomen. An infection occurred, and that infection ultimately took the woman’s life. She passed away just eight days after the second procedure.

The hospital, Crawford County Memorial Hospital, was sued by the woman’s widow. The hospital settled with the estate of the patient in the amount of $500,000, which was finalized under a judge. The judge also ordered that the hospital disclose the settlement amount to the public in accordance with the law. In the course of disclosure, it was discovered that the widow had been paid $100 to keep the settlement amount to himself.

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shutterstock_519734059-300x169A California appeals court dismissed a claim of medical malpractice. The original filing alleged that a wire was left in a patient’s body. The claim was officially dismissed by the court on January 24, 2017. The dismissal came after a 2-to-1 decision in the Court of Appeal of the State of California 5th Appellate District.

According to documents, a man underwent a surgery to remove a kidney stone. The surgeon named in the suit allegedly left a guide wire behind. The patient was notified the day of his surgery that the wire was left in his body. The man underwent a second surgery to remove the wire, and ultimately had to undergo a third procedure to remove his kidney.

The original surgery and date of notification was in July 2012. The man did not file his lawsuit until July 2013, a point that justices say was after the one-year statute of limitations had expired.

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shutterstock_301124384-300x200A man in Philadelphia is alleging that his wife’s death was due to medical malpractice. The woman died of a subarachnoid hemorrhage, and her widower has filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas.

According to records, the woman went to Abington Memorial Hospital on August 28, 2016. She complained of being lightheaded and aches. The woman was admitted to the hospital and prescribed Heparin. The injectable drug was to be administered every 8 hours.

On September 4, 2016, the woman was found to be unresponsive. She was intubated and her condition continued to deteriorate. On September 9, 2016, the family made the decision to withdraw care and have the woman transferred to hospice. She died on September 10, 2016. The cause of her death was determined to be a hemmorhage.

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shutterstock_314541776-300x200A man in South Charleston died just three months after falling at a MedExpress clinic. The man’s widow filed suit for negligence, but a West Virginia Supreme Court ruled that the case was actually that of medical malpractice.

According to court documents, the widow of the man filed a lawsuit in Kanawha County, claiming that the clinic had been negligent in making it’s room safe. The original suit was filed as a case of negligence because the man had not received care prior to his fall.

In a 4-to-1 decision, the Supreme Court determined that this was indeed a case of medical malpractice. The man was evaluated prior to being taken to an examination room and this, according to the justices, established medical care.

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shutterstock_220013761-300x200It is not unusual for women to elect to have labor induced in order to give birth to their child. This is what occurred in the case of Lajide Lawoyin, a woman in Illinois in 2006. She entered St. Anthony Hospital in December of that year for the elective induction of her labor. Her child was ultimately injured during the birthing process. A jury sided with the plaintiff and awarded $2 million to the parents.

According to reports, vacuum suction was used to assist in the delivery, but Dr. Ayoade Akere physically pulled the child’s shoulders from the birth canal. As a result of aggressive pulling, the infant was born with what her parents described as a “floppy arm.” Akere did not immediately notify the parents of the injury. They were not, in fact, told of the girl’s injury until discharge from the hospital.

In the 10 years following her birth, the child has improved, but her condition remains a permanent one. The child suffers with range-of-motion limitations. An attorney for the family said that the child can not lift her arm above her head, or reach down her back.

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shutterstock_356792777-300x193A jury in Broward county determined that a doctor was liable for medical malpractice after failing to adhere to the standard of care in failing to diagnose a patient properly. The family of the deceased man will receive $2.4 million in damages.

According to reports, Jerry Pettigrossi went to Northwest Medical Center because he felt weak and had “rubbery” legs. A doctor in the emergency room ordered that Pettigrossi be transferred to a specific floor for monitoring, but the patient was taken to a regular medical floor instead. Dr. Ajaib Mann was being covered by an attending physician who was the medical professional who had Pettigrossi placed on the regular floor. Mann did not make the adjustment when he returned to work.

During his stay, Pettigrossi experienced worsening symptoms. He weakness began to progress up his legs. Eventually, all four limbs were paralyzed. A nurse notified Mann that Pettigrossi’s heart rate was spiking, and the doctor failed to examine the patient. Instead, he ordered a consult with a cardiologist. Because the doctor did not examine the patient, Pettigrossi’s paralysis went unnoticed. The man ultimately died.

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shutterstock_437993317-300x200In 2015, a doctor was found liable for having not treated meningitis in a patient. Dr. Annabel Torres along with her insurer, The Doctor’s Company, were ordered to compensate William Plummer, a man who had sought relief on two separate occasions for an earache. A Florida appeals court has overturned that verdict.

In the original case, it was found that Torres had failed to properly treat Plummer’s earache. As a result, he visited the emergency room and eventually passed away from meningitis. Plummer’s wife filed a lawsuit and won. The jury found Torres liable for not sending the man to a specialist or the emergency room. She only prescribed an antibiotic, despite previous medications not working.

The defendants appealed and won. The court of appeals determined that the defense was never able to review a piece of evidence that had been introduced in the original trial. The appeals court also determined that some testimony from an expert witness was prejudicial.

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shutterstock_275636621-300x200According to an ex-security guard, a misdiagnosis by an emergency room physician left him a quadriplegic. The man is claiming that he is entitled to over $20 million in damages. The case has been filed against Good Samaritan Hospital by Kyrus Rogers.

According to the lawsuit, Dr. Brian Harris failed to diagnose and treat the man when he arrived at the hospital in pain. In May 2012, Rogers collapsed in his driveway. He was in good health at the time, and he was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital for assistance. Harris treated Rogers for stress and muscle aches rather than conducting any type of diagnostic imaging. Rogers was sent home with medication.

Within just 30 days of seeking treatment, Rogers’ condition worsened and he was left a quadriplegic. Rogers now lives with his mother who has become his caregiver. Although Harris was named in the original lawsuit, his name has been dropped from the case.

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