Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

Thomas Rogers was 54 years old when he underwent surgery at Optim Medical Center-Tattnall to remove a cervical disk at C-3. Later that night following the surgery, he complained of neck pain and difficulty speaking and swallowing.

Four hours later, a code blue was started. Despite four attempts to intubate, he died. He was survived by his wife.

Rogers’s wife, individually and on behalf of the Rogers’ estate, sued the hospital and Rogers’s attending physician claiming that the doctor and the hospital’s nurses chose not to respond to his postoperative complaints. It was also claimed that there was a failure to control Rogers’s bleeding at the surgical site.
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On June 26, 2014, Dr. Corey Solman performed arthroscopic surgery on the knee of Leslie Grussing. At her follow-up appointment on July 9, 2014, she met with a physician’s assistant and reported swelling in her knee. The physician’s assistant suggested physical therapy.

Dr. Solman did not examine her at that visit. Grussing returned to Dr. Solman’s office on July 18, 2014, again reporting pain and swelling in her knee.

Dr. Solman then removed fluid associated with the swelling from Grussing’s knee and observed that the synovial fluid looked normal. Dr. Solman did not test the fluid for infection.
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The State Supreme Court of Rhode Island has held that a trial judge improperly ordered a new trial based on the judge’s conclusion that a jury had misjudged the credibility of a witness. In this case, Stacia Aptt filed a lawsuit against Dr. Michael Baaklini alleging that the doctor had misdiagnosed her symptoms. He diagnosed her with a fatal kidney condition; she stated that this diagnosis caused her to suffer severe emotional distress.

At trial, the jury found in favor of the doctor. Aptt moved for a new trial. The trial judge, finding that the jury had come to the incorrect conclusion based on Aptt’s hyperemotional state while testifying at trial, ordered the defendant to agree to additur (added damages) or face a new trial on damages. The defendant appealed.

The State Supreme Court vacated and remanded the case noting that it is the fact finder’s duty to decide whether trial testimony is credible.
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A 20-year-old new mother identified as Ms. Doe collapsed at her home a week after delivering her baby prematurely. Two paramedics employed by Capital Health System Inc. arrived at her home. A student paramedic was training with the paramedics and was allowed to establish and monitor Ms. Doe’s airway before she was transported to the hospital. At the hospital, it was discovered that Ms. Doe’s endotracheal tube had been placed incorrectly.

Ms. Doe later died and was survived by her father and her infant child.

Ms. Doe’s father sued Capital Health System claiming that it chose not to act in good faith and allowed the student ENT to attempt to intubate Ms. Doe.
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Stephanie Hollingsworth, 26, suffered from lupus and bilateral arm and leg pain. She was admitted to a hospital’s cardiac care unit where she was diagnosed as having acute vasculitis secondary to Sjogren’s syndrome, an immune system disorder.

The rheumatologist assigned to her care was Dr. Yvonne Sherrer, who ordered a STAT dermatology consultation and a skin biopsy, which showed necrotizing vasculitis. Hollingsworth, who was taking broad-spectrum antibiotics, developed a foot drop. Neurological assessments showed abnormalities of her lower extremities.

Dr. Sherrer transferred her to another facility three days later. Staff at this hospital administered Cytoxan for her necrotizing vasculitis on or around the third day of that admission.
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Under the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure Section 2-1009, an Illinois plaintiff is allowed to voluntarily dismiss all or part of a claim without prejudice before a trial or a hearing begins. The statute allows this process upon payment of costs. Related to Section 2-1009 is Illinois Supreme Court Rule 219(e), which states, “A party shall not be permitted to avoid compliance with discovery deadlines, orders or applicable rules by voluntarily dismissing a lawsuit.”

Continuing, Rule 219 says: “In establishing discovery deadlines and ruling on permissible discovery and testimony, the court shall consider discovery undertaken (or the absence of same), any misconduct, and orders entered in prior litigation involving a party. . .”

In the case of Boehle v. OSF Healthcare System, a medical-malpractice lawsuit, the claim was for a failure to diagnose and treat a cancerous growth in the spine of the patient.
The alleged medical negligence led to the death of the plaintiff’s son.
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The New York State Appellate Court has ruled that an orthopedic resident was not liable to a patient injured during a knee replacement surgery.

In this case, Carol Blendowski underwent a knee replacement surgery that was performed by Dr. Michael Wiese and Dr. Marc O’Donnell, who was a third-year orthopedic resident.

During the surgery, Blendowski suffered an injury to her peroneal and tibial nerves. These nerve injuries were permanent.
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Nicole Incrocci was just 15 when she was bitten by a poisonous snake on her lower left leg. Her leg continued to swell over the next month. When she developed right flank pain, coughing and vomiting, she went to a hospital emergency room where a doctor diagnosed pneumonia, prescribed an antibiotic and discharged her to home.

Nicole’s condition worsened despite the administration of multiple antibiotics. She was later hospitalized. A family physician, Dr. Monique Casey-Bolden, who was aware of the pneumonia diagnosis, Nicole’s chest pain and her history of coughing up blood, diagnosed worsening pneumonia and prescribed different antibiotics.

Nicole’s condition continued to worsen. She developed rapid heart and respiratory rates for which Dr. Casey-Bolden ordered oxygen, albuterol treatments, Tylenol, and an EKG and chest-x-ray.
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In this case of medical malpractice, the trial court refused to allow the plaintiff to name a pediatric oncologist as one of her expert witnesses. The plaintiff, Kelli Boehle, used what is called a “strategic voluntary dismissal” in order to name a new additional expert. Right after refiling the case under Section 13-217 of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure, Boehle listed the same pediatric oncologist that the trial court had originally denied as being tardy.

The defendants relied on Illinois Supreme Court Rule 219(e), which lists a set of authorized consequences for “refusal to comply” with discovery/pretrial rules and orders. They moved to bar Boehle from using the oncologist as an expert in the refiled case.

Although the trial judge denied the motion because Boehle had not engaged in any sanctionable conduct in the first case, the judge certified two questions for immediate review under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 308. Both questions raised to call for yes/no answers focused on whether Rule 219(e) should be interpreted to “prevent Boehle from naming the oncologist as one of her experts in the revived litigation.
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Carson Sofro, 33, was diagnosed with having a malignant tumor in his colon. He underwent a resection performed by a colorectal surgeon, Dr. Benjamin Karsten at St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center. After removing the tumor, Dr. Karsten connected the colon and small bowel.

Sofro suffered a variety of symptoms after the surgery, including pain, vomiting and bloating. He sought treatment at St. Luke’s and was told that his symptoms were a normal complication of the surgery. Sofro continued to experience these symptoms for more than two years before being diagnosed as having a 360-degree twist in his small bowel. That condition required another resection, causing him to miss one month of work from his job as the owner of a basketball camp.

Sofro filed a lawsuit against St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center alleging liability by Dr. Karsten choosing not to ensure that the small bowel was not twisted before creating the anastomosis. There was a claim of lost income of $15,000. Anastomosis is a surgical procedure connecting adjacent blood vessels, parts of the intestine or other channels of the body.
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