Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

Mr. Doe., 66, presented to a hospital emergency room shortly before midnight, complaining of chest pain. He underwent an EKG and testing of his troponin levels; both tests allegedly were “nonspecific.” After Doe began belching excessively, treating physicians and medical providers allegedly administered a gastrointestinal cocktail.

Doe fell asleep and was later discharged and sent home. The next evening, Doe returned to the emergency room, complaining of continued chest pain.

He was transferred to another facility where testing revealed a 100% occlusion, blockage in his coronary artery. Doe also was treated for shock, stroke, acute kidney injury and respiratory failure among other things.
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When Linda Smith began experiencing abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhea, she consulted a gastroenterologist. The doctor ordered a CT scan. It was interpreted by a radiologist, Dr. Jonathan Foss, showing an unremarkable pancreas.

Approximately two and a half years later, Smith read through the radiologist’s addendum to her medical chart, which showed that she had a pancreatic mass. An MRI was recommended for her.

Smith was subsequently diagnosed as having metastatic pancreatic cancer, which required chemotherapy and surgery. Despite undergoing treatment, Smith died at the age of 56. She was survived by her husband and four adult children.
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Julius D’Amico, 73, was admitted to Bryn Mawr Hospital for surgery to treat what was believed to be an infection in her arm AV graft used for hemodialysis. During the surgery, she lost blood and fluid volume, which led to a postoperative decrease in her blood pressure, blood volume and hemoglobin.

In addition, that night she suffered prolonged periods of hypotension and decreased tissue profusion. After undergoing hemodialysis the next day, she became unstable, lost consciousness and suffered a fatal heart attack.

D’Amico was survived by her husband and two adult daughters.
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Mr. Doe, a diabetic who suffered from peripheral vascular disease, underwent a partial leg amputation. While undergoing inpatient rehabilitation, Mr. Doe developed symptoms of a gastrointestinal bleed and was readmitted to the hospital.

During Mr. Doe’s 5-day stay, his attending medical providers did not assess his surgical stump and nurses did not change his dressing.

Mr. Doe developed an infection of the incision site, resulting in gangrene. Consequently, Mr. Doe required a revision of the surgical stump. He sued the hospital alleging improper wound treatment.
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Daniel Scavetta, who had a history of intravenous drug abuse, began seeing internist Dr. James Agresti. Dr. Agresti prescribed Suboxone. After a colonoscopy revealed multiple polyps, including one that was too large to remove, Scavetta was referred to a colorectal surgeon, Dr. Joel Nizen.

A CT scan showed a 1.9 cm lesion in Scavetta’s liver and an enlarged spleen. This prompted the interpreting radiologist to recommend that Scavetta undergo an MRI of his abdomen. Although Dr. Nizen performed surgery approximately two weeks later, he did not investigate the lesion.

Approximately 13 months later, Scavetta saw blood in his urine. The CT scan and MRI revealed a 4.2 cm liver mass. Scavetta was subsequently diagnosed with having Stage IV hepatocellular carcinoma.
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Alexis Dameron was held in contempt for refusing to comply with the Circuit Court of Cook County’s discovery order. Under the order, she was required to disclose the report of Dr. David Preston to the defendants Mercy Hospital & Medical Center and several physicians who were defendants in this lawsuit.

Dameron initially disclosed Dr. Preston as an Illinois Supreme Court Rule 213(f)(3) controlled expert witness in her answers to defendants’ interrogatories. She subsequently moved to
redesignate Dr. Preston as a Rule 201(b)(3) consultant and thus shield Dr. Preston’s report, which would otherwise be discoverable under Rule 213(f)(3), along with any other documents from a comparison electromyogram (EMG) and/or nerve conduction study (EMG study) Dr. Preston performed on Dameron.

The plaintiff, Dameron, filed an interlocutory appeal pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 305(b)(5) and the appellate court reversed, holding that Dr. Preston could be redesignated as a Rule 201(b)(3) consultant and that Dameron could shield Dr. Preston’s report and EMG study from discovery. The Illinois Supreme Court allowed the defendants’ petition for leave to appeal.
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Mr. Doe, age 55, underwent surgery to repair a ruptured tendon in his right bicep. After the surgery, he complained to Dr. Roe, the surgeon, that he had numbness and tingling and could not feel his right hand.

Dr. Roe ordered an x-ray and allegedly told Mr. Doe that a nerve had been irritated during the surgery; he said this condition would improve in time.

However, several weeks later, Mr. Doe consulted a hand surgeon. Mr. Doe underwent exploratory surgery with the second surgeon, which revealed that the metal “button” used to anchor Mr. Doe’s tendon to the bone had entrapped the posterior interosseous nerve (PIN). Although the metal button was removed by the second surgeon, Mr. Doe suffered permanent nerve damage. This resulted in permanent pain and numbness as well as a lost function in his right hand. Mr. Doe was an accomplished piano player but is now unable to continue playing.
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Ms. Doe was in her late 30s and suffered from multiple symptoms, including headaches. She consulted Dr. Roe, a neurologist, who performed a clinical examination. Dr. Roe diagnosed Ms. Doe as having multiple sclerosis (MS).

For approximately the next seven years, Ms. Doe underwent chemotherapy treatment and took numerous medications, resulting in complications that included pulmonary embolism, infertility, and a compromised immune system. Now hospitalized for a sleep study, a medical provider told Ms. Doe that she did not have MS and never had the condition.

Doe sued Dr. Roe, the neurologist, alleging that he misdiagnosed her migraine condition as MS. Among other things, Doe argued that Dr. Roe chose not to confirm the diagnosis through a brain MRI and that previous imaging studies showed no evidence of lesions on her spine or brain.
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Joseph Barsuli, 49, was experiencing aches and left-sided neck pain. The doctor who examined him diagnosed a virus. He then developed numbness in his finger and arm, prompting his admission to a hospital.

At the hospital, a neurologist ordered a CT scan of the cervical spine, which was read by a radiologist, Dr. Wayne Liou, an employee of Virtual Radiological Corp. Dr. Liou interpreted the test as normal; however, the next day, another local radiologist reviewed the film and diagnosed a cervical epidural abscess.

A spinal epidural abscess is an accumulation of pus in the epidural space that can compress the spinal cord. The diagnosis of this is by MRI or by myelography followed by a CT scan. Treatment involves antibiotics and sometimes the drainage of the abscess. The symptoms of this condition are pain, fever and neurologic deficits.
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A South Carolina appellate court has found that a hospital was not responsible to injured patients for choosing not to make sure that a physician had a valid medical malpractice insurance policy in place. Two former surgery patients sued the Laurens County Healthcare System alleging that the hospital was liable for deciding not to ensure that the plaintiffs’ treating surgeon, Dr. Byron Brown, maintain sufficient medical malpractice insurance coverage.

The plaintiffs obtained default judgments against Dr. Brown. They in turn asserted that such a duty was included in the hospital admissions contract, which included “services to be rendered” to the patient. The trial judge granted summary judgment in favor of the hospital.

In affirming the summary judgment order, the appeals panel stated that under the plain language of the admissions contract, it is not reasonable to conclude that the term “services to be rendered” refers to the act of monitoring a treating physician’s compliance with medical malpractice insurance requirements imposed by the hospital. The appellate court also rejected the plaintiffs’ contention that the hospital had negligently granted privileges to Dr. Brown.
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