Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

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hospitalEvery patient in Florida and across the United States deserves competent medical care. When we go to a hospital, we expect to get better rather than worse. Sadly, hospital negligence can lead to serious injuries and, in the most serious cases, death. If you or someone close to you has been injured due to hospital negligence, it is important to reach out to a skilled Miami medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we understand how to navigate these types of claims and pursue the compensation that our clients deserve for their harm.

Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals at a hospital play a vital role in a patient’s treatment and recovery. When these health care providers make an error, it can have serious consequences for a patient’s health. Some examples of hospital errors include but are not limited to:

  • Administering the wrong medication;
  • Administering the wrong dosage of medication;
  • Performing the wrong medical procedure on a patient;
  • Performing a procedure on the wrong body part;
  • Failing to follow a doctor’s orders;
  • Anesthesia errors;
  • Misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose, or delayed diagnosis of a particular condition; or
  • Allowing bedsores to develop.

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operating roomAt the beginning of this year, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that a presumption of negligence is applicable in cases in which a foreign object is unintentionally left in a surgical patient, even if there is no direct evidence of medical negligence. Prior to this ruling, a federal appeals court had held that a plaintiff was not entitled to the presumption of negligence if no direct evidence of negligence existed.

In the case at hand, a man was admitted to the hospital for colon cancer surgery. After the surgery, it was discovered through a CT scan that a four-inch piece of a broken drainage tube had been left inside the patient’s body. The patient and his wife filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital.

A medical malpractice lawsuit is a civil claim that is intended to hold negligent medical professionals accountable for the harm that they cause to a patient. Such a claim makes sense when a medical professional fails to adhere to the acceptable standard of care. In Florida, a medical professional should use “the level of care, skill and treatment which is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent, similar healthcare providers under similar circumstances.” In other words, a medical professional’s actions should be consistent with what a competent medical professional in the same specialty would have done in the same situation.

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fireBurn injuries impact a number of people in Florida and throughout the United States every year. When you go to a hospital or clinic for a burn injury, you expect medical professionals to treat the injury with the utmost care. You certainly don’t expect the injury to get worse. Unfortunately, the reality is that medical professionals sometimes mistakenly choose treatments that may exacerbate the burn. If you suffered additional damage to an existing burn injury, you may be entitled to compensation through a medical malpractice claim.

Burn injuries can be extremely painful and leave the burn victim with long-term, even permanent, scars. A burn is defined as an injury to the flesh, tissue or skin caused by fire, electricity, chemicals, radiation or excessive friction. Burns can be classified in four different ways. First-degree burns refer to superficial burns that leave the skin red but with no blisters. Second-degree burns, also known as partial-thickness burns, extend beyond the top layer of the skin and lead to swelling and blistering. Third-degree burns, also known as full-thickness burns, extend through every layer of the skin, leaving the skin with a white, leathery appearance. Fourth-degree burns are the same as third-degree burns except they extend beyond the skin into the tendons and bones.

Physicians and medical professionals are trained to ask certain questions and look out for certain symptoms to be able to identify and treat a burn correctly. When medical professionals exacerbate a burn injury, they may be liable for medical malpractice. Under Florida law, medical malpractice takes place when a medical professional is negligent. Negligence, in this context, occurs when a medical professional causes harm by failing to use the level of care that a reasonably prudent medical professional in the same specialty would have used in the same situation.

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drugsMedication errors injure a number of people in Florida and across the United States each year. In the most serious cases, medication errors can lead to death. If you or someone close to you has been harmed by a medication error, it is important to reach out to a skilled Miami medical malpractice attorney who can assess the merits of your case.

Last year, a Johns Hopkins study revealed that medical malpractice was the third-leading cause of death in the United States. The second-most common type of medical malpractice involved medication errors, including dispensing medication incorrectly, mismanaging medication, and improperly prescribing medication. According to a report by the Institute of Medicine, at least 1.5 million people across the United States suffer harm from medication mistakes each year.

When a patient goes to a medical professional for care, that patient trusts that he or she will be treated with a certain level of care. When a medical professional makes a medication error, it can be grounds for medical malpractice. A medical malpractice claim is a civil claim that is designed to hold negligent medical professionals accountable for the harm that they cause. This type of claim is appropriate when a medical professional fails to adhere to the acceptable standard of care. In Florida, the acceptable standard of care is defined as “the level of care, skill and treatment which is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent, similar health care providers under similar circumstances.” Put another way, the medical professional’s conduct must be consistent with what a competent medical professional in the same specialty would have done under the same or similar circumstances.

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hospital

When you go to see a doctor, you expect to receive a diagnosis and a treatment plan that you can trust. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. In fact, medical malpractice is common in Florida and throughout the United States. Medical malpractice takes place when a patient is injured due to a medical professional’s failure to exercise reasonable care. Put another way, medical malpractice may have occurred if your injury took place because a health care professional failed to act as a reasonably prudent medical professional in the same specialty would have acted under those circumstances. This is clearly outlined in the law. But not all potential medical malpractice cases can be neatly analyzed under this rule. What happens when misconduct takes place after a person has died?

This was the question addressed by the Texas Supreme Court in Christus Health v. Carswell. In that case, the plaintiff’s husband was admitted to the defendant hospital with issues regarding pain. A physician at the hospital initially prescribed narcotics, which were stopped when the patient had an adverse reaction to the medication. A subsequent health care provider once again gave the patient the same medication, due to the fact that the patient was complaining about severe pain. Shortly afterward, the patient died.

Based on these facts, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice claim and asked for an autopsy to be conducted. She was told that her request was denied. However, some time later, an autopsy was done, but it failed to include a toxicology screening. The plaintiff claimed that this failure left her with no answers as to whether or not her husband died from a drug overdose or whether the adverse reaction he had to the narcotics was a contributing factor in his death. She amended her complaint to reflect these facts.

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babyMedical malpractice cases are extremely complex, and multiple causes of action may be appropriate in a single situation. The success of a claim depends heavily on having significant and concrete evidence to show a medical facility or doctor’s malpractice. This is why it is important to consult a capable Miami injury lawyer if you are considering a potential medical malpractice claim.

In Spangler v. Mcquitty, the parents of a boy, Dylan, filed a personal injury lawsuit against a physician who delivered the child on behalf of their son, contending that the son’s severe disabilities were a result of birth injuries caused by medical negligence.

While pregnant with Dylan, the mother’s doctor failed to obtain informed consent for the treatment that was administered to her, causing a placental abruption, which ultimately left the son with cerebral palsy and other long-term injuries. Cerebral palsy is a broad term for a variety of disorders that impair the motor functions and development of a child.

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dropper bottleIn Sorenson v. Professional Compounding Pharmacists of Western Pennsylvania, a man was being treated by his doctor in Ohio for pain after an automobile wreck. The treatment involved administering hydromorphone through a pump that was inserted into the spinal canal.

In 2012, while the man was on vacation in Florida, his doctor recommended that he go to Charlotte Pain Management Center for a prescription. It is alleged that at that point, the doctor prescribed a significantly higher concentration of the drug. The pharmacist compounded the drug and dispensed it to the doctor, who then administered it to the patient. The man died the same day.

The executor of the decedent’s estate filed a wrongful death lawsuit that included a claim of medical negligence against the health care facility. Medical malpractice takes place when a medical professional fails to provide medical care in accordance with accepted medical practices and procedures. The plaintiffs claimed that the pharmacist was negligent in filling the prescription, since it called for three times the amount of hydromorphone. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that this was unreasonable on its face, given the strength and dose of the drug.

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medAccident victims have a limited time frame to file their personal injury claims in Florida.

In Bove v. Naples HMA, LLC, the Second District held that the plaintiff’s medical malpractice lawsuit was filed in an untimely manner given the relevant statute of limitations time frame. On February 26, 2012, the plaintiff’s husband died after a bone marrow transplant. On February 25, 2014, one day before the two-year statute of limitations would be up, the plaintiff sent the defendants a notice of intent to pursue litigation. The defendants did not receive the notice until early March of the same year. The plaintiff filed a motion to extend the statute of limitations. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss the claim on the grounds that the statue of limitations was up. The trial court agreed with the defendants.

On appeal, the plaintiff argued that she did not know of the potential medical negligence until July 2012, when she first met with her lawyer. Under Florida law, the time limit for medical malpractice claims is two years from the date of the incident, or two years from the date the injury was discovered or should have been discovered, but not more than four years from the date of the incident.

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hospitalIn Go v. Normil, a child was admitted to Bethesda Hospital with a high fever, vomiting, and a stiff neck. After two weeks of treatment, the child’s condition got worse, not better. As a result, he was transferred to Miami Children’s Hospital. When the child arrived there, it was discovered that he had suffered a stroke. The hospital ran additional tests and found the presences of both herpes and Epstein-Bar viruses.

The child’s mother filed a lawsuit against the hospital, the two physicians in charge of the child’s care at the hospital, and another health care organization.

An expert at trial concluded that if the child’s infections had been treated earlier, he would likely not have suffered a stroke that caused him permanent neurological and behavioral injuries. There was also testimony at trial stating that the child is not able to communicate or follow directions, takes part in self-injurious behavior, suffers from morbid obesity and a limitless appetite, and has little or no understanding for his own safety. As a result, he requires around the clock supervision. In the expert’s opinion, the child will never be able to live independently.

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Twenty dollar bills isolated against white background.

Losing a loved one is devastating in any circumstances, but it can be even worse when the loss occurs due to someone else’s negligence. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our skilled Miami wrongful death attorneys understand how to navigate these cases with the utmost compassion and competence. You can rest assured we will fight vigorously to seek the justice and compensation you deserve.

In Shoemaker v. Sliger, a Florida appellate court recently reversed a trial court’s ruling that when the amount of judgment is modified on appeal, Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.340(c) mandates post-trial interest to accrue from the date of the verdict, rather than from the date of the original judgment.

In 2011, a jury returned a verdict of over $7 million in a medical malpractice claim, concluding that Dr. James R. Shoemaker was 40 percent at fault for Stephen Sliger’s death. Shoemaker filed a motion to limit the non-economic damages in the case, arguing that under 766.118(2) of the Florida Statutes (2011), it would be appropriate to limit the non-economic damages to a total of $500,000. Sliger’s estate responded by claiming that the statute in question violated clauses of both the Florida and the U.S. constitutions, and thus it could not be enforced.

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