Articles Tagged with medical malpractice lawyer

Stem cells have been on the forefront of exciting new research in recent years. However, it seems some clinics have gone too far in promising what stem cell treatments can offer. Of the more than 550 known stem cell clinics nationwide, a significant number offer relief for everything from sports injuries to autism to Alzheimer’s disease to multiple sclerosis. In reality, there is scant evidence these treatments offer any beneficial outcomes for these patients, and worse, in some cases the treatments may result in serious and life-altering harm. lab work

Recently, The Washington Post reported on three incidents at a south Florida clinic that was offering unproven stem cell treatments as a “clinical trial.” Three female patients with visual impairment agreed to participate, in the hope the treatments might help improve their vision. Instead, it rendered them all three completely blind.

This was reported in a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine, which outlines this as one of the most egregious instances of personal injury involving a stem cell. There are at least a handful of stem cell clinics here in North Carolina, including in Charlotte and Cary. The services of one were recently detailed in The Charlotte Observer, with the clinicians promising non-surgical relief for sports injuries and chronic joint pain. Stem cell injections were touted as a “regenerative” alternative to hip replacement or knee replacement surgery. Continue reading

In any personal injury lawsuit, it’s important to have a skilled lawyer for several reasons. The first is that while the truth most assuredly matters, what also matters is what is provable. Ensuring that important evidence is timely admitted or that harmful evidence is suppressed if possible is imperative. Understanding and adhering to the procedural guidelines is critical. doctor

In medical malpractice lawsuits in particular, there is often so much at stake. These cases are complex and time-consuming and require detailed testimony from numerous expert witnesses. You don’t want to invest that kind of time, only to have efforts fail based on a procedural technicality. You need a lawyer and a law firm committed to being detail-oriented.

medical malpractice lawsuit out of California shows what can happen when attorneys on both sides fail to mind important procedural details. This was a case in which plaintiff was rendered quadriplegic after being admitted as a patient at the defendant hospital. The hospital argued that while it was negligent in plaintiff’s treatment, this was not the cause of his quadriplegia. Plaintiff later died. The matter before the California Supreme Court was whether a motion for a new trial was timely filed and also whether the objection to that motion was timely filed. The answer to both questions was no, but the defendant’s failure to timely object to plaintiff’s late motion for a new trial meant that the case would be scheduled for a re-trial.  Continue reading

A man died at a North Carolina hospital, and his widow later sued the facility and staffers for wrongful death and intentional infliction of emotional distress. But her claim didn’t meet the stringent requirements under the state’s medical malpractice guidelines, spelled out in Rule 9(j).  The plaintiff argued this wasn’t a medical malpractice claim. hospital

It may seem strange at first glance, but not every negligence claim pertaining to a hospital is founded on an assertion of a deviation from the applicable standard of care. It’s an important distinction because the proof burden for medical malpractice cases is much more stringent, and expert witnesses are a must. If your claim is not rooted in medical malpractice, there is no need to spend the extra time and expense building that kind of case.

The case of Norton v. Scotland Memorial Hospital, et al. began with the tragic and unexpected death of a man in Laurinburg in 2012. According to North Carolina Court of Appeals records, the decedent was a married father of two children (who were also named plaintiffs in this action). He was fairly active and in good health, but he went to the hospital one day in July, complaining of abdominal pain. His condition worsened. He was transferred to the intensive care unit, where he was placed on a ventilator and not long afterward died. It’s not clear from the complaint whether the decedent died while at Scotland or after he was transferred to Duke University Health System (another named defendant). Duke’s lawyers contend the decedent’s body was transferred to their facility after his death.

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Although personal injury lawsuits rooted in simple negligence can usually be proven by presenting the facts in a favorable light, claims that are more complicated may require the testimony of an expert witness to prevail. Since expert witnesses tend to receive greater regard from jurors, their qualifications and the validity of their research and hypotheses must be vetted by the trial court judge. doctor

In North Carolina, this is done pursuant to Article 7, Rule 702 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. This rule states that if scientific, technical, or specialized knowledge is needed to assist a trier of fact in understanding the evidence or to help determine an issue of fact, witnesses qualified as “experts” by their skill, knowledge, training, experience, or education can testify in a civil injury lawsuit if:

  • The testimony is rooted in sufficient facts or data;
  • The testimony is produced by reliable principles and methods; and
  • The witness has applied the methods and principles reliably to the facts of the case.

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When it comes to personal injury lawsuit verdicts, courts have consistently held that plaintiffs should not expect to obtain double recovery. For example, if a health insurance company pays for a portion of the damages, it is the insurer – rather than the insured – who would be entitled to reclaim those funds. However, the collateral source rule provides that compensation an injured person receives from a source other than the tortfeasor is not going to reduce the amount of damages the tortfeasor has to pay. pregnant woman

The idea is that independent source payments aren’t going to allow a defendant to be “off the hook” for those damages.

In the recent case of Simms v. U.S., the plaintiff in this wrongful birth/medical malpractice lawsuit sought damages from a federally supported prenatal care provider for failing to inform her in a timely manner about the fact that her child would be born with severe congenital abnormalities. The defendant knew based on an ultrasound conducted at 18 weeks that the fetus was abnormal, but this information was not relayed to the plaintiff for a full three months. By that time, it was too late under state law to undergo an abortion because she was well into her third trimester.

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Poor health outcomes alone are not grounds for a successful medical malpractice lawsuit. Plaintiffs have to show that the doctor or other health care professional failed to follow the applicable standard of health care for their specific industry and region. heartdoctor

In order to establish this, plaintiffs need to present expert witness testimony from someone who is similarly educated and employed. There has to be some showing that the doctor or health care professional owed a certain duty of care and breached that duty by failing to provide adequate medical attention.

In the case of Morrison v. St. Luke’s RMC, a widow accused an emergency room doctor of breaching his duty of care in failing to make sure her husband received an expedient appointment with a cardiologist after he was released from the hospital emergency room. Continue reading

Jurors are slated to decide soon whether a 55-year-old man’s death in a Georgia hospital was the result of medical malpractice or simply the result of an aggressive infection over which doctors had no control. insidehospitalroom

The unfortunate reality is that not every person who dies in the hospital – even after receiving medical treatment – is a victim of medical malpractice. In fact, it may not even be medical malpractice when a doctor makes an error. Determining whether medical malpractice may be at issue involves ascertaining whether the medical professional failed to abide by the applicable standard of care. That standard of care is different from Asheville, NC than it is in Los Angeles, California. It’s different for an emergency room doctor than it is for a neurologist. It’s different for a critical care nurse than it is for a paramedic.

In the case of Harper v. Vick, et al, plaintiff’s wrongful death lawsuit, filed by the decedent’s widow, alleges the specialists – including a pulmonologist and an ear, nose and throat doctor – failed to open her husband’s airway to properly treat the breathing problems she says killed her husband.  Continue reading

More than a dozen times every single day, a doctor in the U.S. sews up his or her patient with sponges and other supplies still inside the patient’s body. Yet, this type of error is what is known in the community as “never event” – as in, it’s never supposed to happen. surgeon

And yet, here we are, with thousands of people suffering these injuries every year. Many of those cases involve gauzy material known as surgical sponges. If patients are lucky, the mistake is caught early. But even then, at minimum, he or she has to undergo corrective surgery, which is invasive and carries many of its own risks. In other situations, plaintiffs may suffer for years and not know the cause. They may become violently ill, suffer permanent disability and even death.

In a case recently out of Connecticut, Cefaratti v. Aranow, a woman sought to hold accountable the surgeon who had left a sponge inside her during gastric bypass surgery years earlier. Although there is a statute of limitations on medical malpractice cases, there are exceptions made when discovery of the problem is delayed because the plaintiff did not realize there was an injury or its cause or who was at-fault. Even then, there is sometimes a firm cut-off date, known as the “statute of repose.”  Continue reading

Medical malpractice claims in North Carolina must be carefully evaluated and properly filed in a timely manner. The courts are very strict on these rules because they do not wish for busy health care professionals to be bombarded with frivolous allegations of malpractice. doctorpatientrelationship

But of course, these rules do make it tougher for those with legitimate claims (and there are many) to make it through these legal hurdles.

Generally, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims in the state is 3 years (with a few exceptions). Additionally, in all cases, the claims must first be viewed by a health care professional similarly-situated to the defendant. That professional has to be willing to testify that the defendant breached the applicable standard of care. All this must be established before a plaintiff even gets their foot in the door.  Continue reading

Poor health outcomes alone are not grounds for a successful medical malpractice lawsuit in South Carolina. Rather, one has to prove the health care professionals failed to adhere to the accepted standard of care for their profession.doctor6

S.C. Code 15-79-110 is where we find definitions of medical malpractice standards and proof burdens. Medical malpractice is doing that which a reasonably prudent health care provider or institution would not do in the same or similar circumstances.

It is generally not enough to say that a different course of action by the physician or other health care provider would have had a better outcome. Just because the doctor could have done something different doesn’t necessarily mean the course of action taken deviated from the applicable standard of care. Continue reading

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