Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

Shelva Kostrzewa underwent a face lift that was completed by a plastic surgeon, Dr. Thomas Beird. She was 64 years old at the time. It was alleged in the lawsuit that she suffered severe scarring and disfigurement, which led to emotional distress.

Kostrzewa sued Dr. Beird and his professional corporation alleging he mishandled the procedure by thinning her skin excessively and stitching her skin too tightly. This process led to blood flow problems and tissue death. She also maintained that Dr. Beird chose not to diagnose and treat the thinning skin and stitching her skin too tightly when she visited the doctor three times after the surgery.

The jury returned a verdict of $400,000.
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The U.S. District Court judge in Chicago handled a bench trial medical malpractice case under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). The result was a judgment in favor of a plaintiff that included $13.75 million in noneconomic damages for what the court described as “glaring” medical malpractice that caused the plaintiff to suffer “complete and irreversible failure of both kidneys.”

The U.S. District Court Judge Nancy J. Rosenstengel denied the federal government’s motion for reconsideration.

The plaintiff, Kevin Clanton, spent 31 months on dialysis before receiving a kidney transplant. The court stated, “It is reasonably expected that Clanton will spend at least two decades on an extensive daily regimen of anti-rejection and immunosuppressive medications, he will endure two additional rounds of dialysis that will last at least 3-5 years each and he will undergo one, perhaps two more kidney transplants, not to mention periodic hospitalizations, counseling services and a dizzying array of medications, doctor appointments and lab tests.”
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The plaintiff Mary Sikora was the independent administrator of the estate of Chris Allan Sikora, deceased. Sikora brought a lawsuit against the defendant, Nirali R. Parikh, M.D., and ManorCare of Elk Grove Village Ill., LLC d/b/a ManorCare of Elk Grove Village, in the death of her husband from a pulmonary embolism. The case went to a jury trial; the jury returned a verdict in favor of both defendants.

Sikora moved for a new trial based in part on Dr. Parikh’s attorney’s closing argument. Dr. Parikh’s attorney asked the jury to place itself in Dr. Parikh’s shoes. The attorney allegedly violated a pretrial in limine order, which barred any mention of Sikora’s initial refusal to be transferred to the hospital on the day he died.

The trial court agreed that Dr. Parikh’s attorney had made improper remarks during closing argument and found the cumulative effect of those errors sufficiently prejudicial to warrant a new trial.
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Mr. Doe, 54, sought treatment for his hypertension from Dr. Roe, his primary care physician. Urinalysis showed two to three red blood cells in Mr. Doe’s urine. However, Mr. Doe was not advised of this condition.

At his annual physical about two weeks later, a screening urine test was normal. Approximately two years later, a different family practice physician referred Mr. Doe to a urologist after a urine test showed blood and red blood cells in Mr. Doe’s urine. This led to a diagnosis of metastatic renal cell carcinoma.

Mr. Doe died of his kidney cancer disease within three years. He was survived by his two adult children.
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The Florida Supreme Court has held that the trial court committed reversible error by allowing testimony by deposition of a patient’s treating neurosurgeon. The doctor testified at trial about what he would have done had the patient arrived at the hospital 1-2 hours earlier.

Alexis Cantore, 12 years old at the time, suffered a brain herniation resulting from hydrocephalus. Alexis and her parents sued two hospitals claiming that her untimely transport to a higher-level hospital led to a delayed treatment and late brain surgery to attempt to release the pressure on the brain.

At the jury trial, over the plaintiff’s objections, the first hospital offered the deposition testimony of the pediatric neurosurgeon who operated on Alexis. The doctor answered hypothetical questions about how he would have treated Alexis had she arrived at the second hospital 1-2 hours earlier. The jury found in favor of the defendants.
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Sharon Kimble, 50, suffered from chronic back pain. She took opioid pain medication and other drugs to alleviate her back pain. Kimble underwent back surgery at Laser Spine Institute to address her back pain.

Following this surgery, she was under the care of an anesthesiologist, Dr. Glen Rubenstein. Dr. Rubenstein ordered several essential nervous system depressants, including Dilaudid and Flexeril for pain control.

The Laser Spine Institute discharged Kimble two hours after her surgery to a nearby hotel with a prescription for oxycodone and instructions to continue her preoperative medications, including other central nervous system depressants.
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Rita DaCosta underwent a Pap smear and HPV test. Her treating gynecologist, Dr. Michelle Olivera, was informed that the test results were abnormal. Dr. Olivera instructed her medical assistant to contact DaCosta and schedule a colposcopy. DaCosta never learned about the test results.

Less than a year later, she met with Dr. Olivera, who had joined a different practice. She reported heavy and irregular bleeding, as well as lower abdominal cramping. Dr. Olivera prescribed birth control pills.

DaCosta, who repeated these complaints when she met with Dr. Olivera the following year, was told that she suffered from five fibroids and that the bleeding resulted from steroid use. DaCosta was referred for fibroid surgery.
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Kara Nguyen experienced pain after undergoing a splenectomy, which is the surgical removal of the spleen. She was 23 years old at the time. Her surgeon, Dr. Jorge Leiva, ordered a CT scan. Dr. Andre Arash Lighvani, a radiologist, interpreted the scan as normal.

She was discharged from the hospital and followed up with Dr. Leiva. About a week later, she was readmitted to the hospital suffering from fever and abdominal pain.

After a second CT scan was completed, Dr. Leiva and another general surgeon, Dr. Ziad Amr, diagnosed a blood clot in her portal vein, which was allegedly apparent on both CT scans. Dr. Amr discharged her five days later without a treatment plan for the vein clot.
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Susan Clifford was a 40-year-old Iraq war veteran who was admitted to Veterans Hospital suffering from shortness of breath and flu-like symptoms. Over the next week, she received respiratory therapy, nebulizer treatments and mask ventilation.

When the treating medical providers attempted to switch her from the ventilator mask to a nasal cannula, she suffered an acute bronchial spasm. She was intubated approximately 44 minutes later but suffered oxygen deprivation, which resulted in permanent brain damage, blindness and quadriparesis.

Clifford sued the United States (Veteran’s Administration) alleging that its medical providers chose not to properly respond to acute respiratory distress and timely restore her airway. The lawsuit did not claim lost income or medical expenses.
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During a physical therapy session following her hip surgery, Anita Hanson began to experience increased pain in her leg. The pain did not subside and hospital staff later diagnosed her with a fractured femur.

Hanson and her husband brought a lawsuit against the physical therapy company and the hospital. It was alleged in the lawsuit that the physical therapist was negligent during the physical therapy session, that the hospital was negligent in choosing not to timely diagnose the fractured femur, and that Hanson was injured as a result of the negligence of both the hospital and the physical therapist. The defendants separately moved for summary judgment. The plaintiffs, Anita Hanson and her husband Marvin Hanson, filed an appeal.

On Sept. 8, 2014, Anita Hanson underwent a right total hip arthroplasty. The surgeon, Dr. Michael Vener performed the surgery. After the surgery, Dr. Vener took x-rays, which confirmed a properly placed artificial joint. The x-ray did not reveal any fractured bones.
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