Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

Historically, hospitals maintained various theories and defenses to escape liability for acts of negligence occurring at their facilities. Florida medical malpractice injury victims can currently hold hospitals vicariously liable for their employees’ or agents’ acts. Under the actual agency theory, a hospital may be liable for the acts of its employees. A hospital may also be liable under apparent agency theory for other workers’ actions at their facilities who are independent contractors instead of traditional employees.

Recently, a Florida appeals court issued an opinion finding a hospital liable for a physician’s negligence at their facility, working as an independent contractor. In that case, an emergency room doctor admitted the patient for appendicitis and periappendiceal abscess. The patient felt weary of the on-call surgeon designated to perform the surgery; however, another doctor would not be available until the next morning. As a result, the patient proceeded with the surgery with the on-call surgeon. After the surgery, the patient asked for antibiotics, which the surgeon deemed unnecessary. However, the patient suffered an acute infection requiring extensive treatment. The patient filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital for the surgeon’s negligence. In response, the hospital contended that they were not liable for the surgeon’s negligence because he was an independent contractor. The trial court granted a final summary judgment order in favor of the hospital system, and the plaintiff appealed.

Under Florida law, hospital systems cannot evade responsibility for a physician’s negligence by merely alleging that they were an independent contractor. These entities may still be liable if the hospital cloaked the physician with the “apparent authority to act on its behalf.” To establish apparent agency, the plaintiff must prove that the hospital represented the physician as an employee, the plaintiff relied on the representation, and the plaintiff experienced a change in their position because of the reliance.

For many families, childbirth is a joyous occasion filled with excited anticipation of finally meeting their new child. However, in too many cases, the negligence of a medical provider can turn these joyous occasions into devastation. Negligent Florida medical providers may be liable for the injuries caused by their conduct. Data indicate that almost 30,000 babies are born each year with a birth injury. Additionally, many people are not aware that Florida ranks in the top five states with the highest rates of medical malpractice cases.

Birth injuries can affect both mothers and children, and they often result from negligent actions by medical professionals. Many birth injuries occur because a medical professional fails to follow delivery room procedures, improperly monitors the mother or child, incorrectly doses the mother, improperly uses forceps during delivery, or delays a necessary cesarean section procedure. These actions often cause spinal cord injuries, paralysis, brain damage, or cerebral palsy. Families who want to seek compensation for these complications must be aware of the Florida statute of limitations to avoid dismissal.

Recently, a Florida appellate court issued an opinion stemming from a medical malpractice lawsuit based on a child’s birth injury. In that case, a new mother was told that her newborn needed to be hospitalized after birth because of an infection. After discharge, the woman began to see signs of developmental delays. For over a year, the woman sought medical opinions regarding her child’s condition, but she was largely dismissed by medical providers. Finally, the woman requested the hospital’s medical records, and a specialist indicated that her child likely had spastic cerebral palsy, which often occurs because of a lack of oxygen during delivery. The woman filed a lawsuit against the hospital, and the hospital moved to dismiss the case based on the statute of limitations.

Florida patients rely on safe, accurate, and prompt laboratory results when they obtain treatment or preventative care for a medical condition. When a laboratory error occurs during the administration or interpretation of lab results, Florida patients may suffer long-lasting and severe injuries. The hospitals and laboratories responsible for these errors may face liability for the injuries through a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Florida patients who suffer harm because of a laboratory error may bring various types of claims against multiple parties. Responsible parties may include the person who obtained the lab sample or conducted the test, the medical professional who read and communicated the results, and any manufacturers that designed faulty testing equipment.

Medical technicians, phlebotomists, radiologists, nurses, physicians, and other professionals involved in the chain of laboratory testing may be liable for laboratory errors. Hospitals and medical facilities are responsible for ensuring that their personnel have adequate training in the job that they are hired to do. This includes making sure that staff know how to safely obtain results, run samples, and interpret the results. Injuries can arise when a medical professional unsafely takes a blood sample, waits too long to run a sample, tests for incorrect conditions, or inaccurately reports the findings.

Patients rely on their doctors for an accurate and timely diagnosis of their medical condition. Without a proper diagnosis, a patient is deprived of the chance to pursue opportune treatment and may suffer a variety of adverse consequences as a result. In fact, for many patients, early intervention can be the difference between life and death. If you’ve experienced harm because of a delayed diagnosis, our Miami medical negligence attorneys can help. We understand how to represent victims of medical malpractice and protect your rights.

Medical negligence is a huge problem in Florida and throughout the country. A study by the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences estimates that about 98,000 patients are killed every year in hospitals as a result of medical errors. A number of these errors are diagnostic errors. The World Health Organization estimates that most people will likely experience a diagnostic error in their lifetime. In the United States, diagnostic errors affect 12 million Americans every year and likely cause more damage to patients than all other medical errors combined.

All medical professionals have a responsibility to treat patients with proper care. Part of this includes evaluating a patient’s symptoms and prescribing the appropriate tests to correctly diagnose the medical condition. Early detection is often critical for the treatment of diseases, especially when it comes to conditions such as cancer. If your doctor’s mistakes resulted in the delayed diagnosis of your disease and impacted your opportunity to receive timely and proper treatment, you may be able to sue the at-fault physician for medical negligence.

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Tragically, medical malpractice injures countless patients in Florida and across the country every year. If you’ve been affected by medical malpractice, do not delay in reaching out to our Miami medical malpractice advocates. With wide-ranging experience in this realm of law, we know how to handle even the most complex malpractice claims.

Florida law does not recognize the “loss of chance” doctrine as a theory of recovery for patients in medical malpractice lawsuits. This doctrine is typically used when a doctor fails to make a diagnosis or delays a diagnosis. The negligence involves the doctor’s failure to diagnose or treat a patient’s condition in a timely manner, which causes the plaintiff a loss of chance to survive or have a more optimal outcome. In other words, the “loss of chance” doctrine is a cause of action allowing a patient to seek damages based on the reduced chances that the patient will recover. Consider the following example – a patient dies sooner than he or she would have from a malignant tumor whose diagnosis was negligently missed by a doctor. In this case, the patient would have likely died anyway but the cause of action is for the fact that the patient died sooner than he or she would have if a timely diagnosis had been made and immediate treatment had begun.

The Florida Supreme Court has held that the plaintiff bears the burden of proof in Florida medical malpractice cases and must convince the jury that his or her injury is “more likely than not” the result of defendant’s negligence. This standard is satisfied when the plaintiff can demonstrate that there was a 51 percent or higher chance that the harm would not have taken place ‘but for’ the defendant’s actions or lack thereof. As such, if a patient has under a 51 percent chance of survival or treatability prior to the medical professional’s negligence, that patient does not have a cause of action in Florida. Florida is part of a minority of states that requires the plaintiff to show that the injury was actually caused by the medical professional.

Medical malpractice is a situation that no one wants to find themselves in, but the reality is that it happens all the time in Florida and across the country. Medical malpractice cases are almost always complicated, time-consuming and stressful. If you have been injured because of a medical professional’s carelessness or mistake, you may be entitled to receive monetary damages. Our hard-working Miami medical injury lawyers will examine your case and help you understand your rights and options under the law.

A father and son team who have already settled 290 medical malpractice lawsuits for botched breast-implant surgeries that left women disfigured and in severe pain are now facing more malpractice claims. Allergan, the breast implant manufacturer, has also been accused of fraud for paying the surgical duo for thousands of surgeries to replace supposedly defective implants even though, upon closer inspection, the implants showed no defects. According to the lawsuit, the surgeons were one of Allergan’s top 10 breast implant customers in the state of Florida.

Women have consistently claimed in lawsuits that the surgeons made their implants far larger than they had requested. Some women noticed black mold in their implants while others said that the surgeries left them with stabbing pains. A large number of women stated that the procedures left their breasts hardened, misshapen and lopsided. In addition, the women said the surgeons failed to use an anesthesiologist or a nurse anesthetist. Rather, the doctors used ketamine, a tranquilizer as a sedative, which led to hallucinations and patients waking up during surgery.
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Medical malpractice cases are not only emotionally and physically overwhelming, they can also be legally complex and time consuming claims. If you believe that you have been the victim of medical malpractice, you need to consult a seasoned Miami medical malpractice attorney immediately. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we are devoted to resolving our clients’ claims in a fair and efficient manner.

The Lawsuit and Trial Court’s Ruling

In National Deaf Academy, LLC v. Townes, a female child was enrolled in the National Deaf Academy (NDA) to get help with behavioral problems. One day, the girl had an outburst. She was asked to stop but she refused and had to be restrained. Several NDA members, including two nurses, performed the restrain, which led to the child suffering a very serious knee injury. Ultimately, the young girl had to go through an amputation above the knee because of the injury. The girl’s family sued NDA for ordinary negligence.

NDA filed a motion for summary judgment stating that the claim was a medical malpractice claim and, therefore, Florida’s statutory pre-suit requirements had not been met. The trial court granted the defendant’s summary judgment and dismissed the lawsuit.

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If you or your loved one has been injured by the negligence of a medical professional, we can help you pursue compensation for your injury. Medical malpractice cases are tough but you can take comfort in knowing that the highly skilled Miami medical malpractice attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon can help you determine what happened and who is responsible.

The Case

In a recent opinion, the Supreme Court of Florida discussed the element of causation in Florida medical malpractice cases. The facts of the case are as follows. A woman went to the doctor after she noticed a large mass on the back of her head. The primary care physician told her it was a tumor and sent her to a surgeon. Instead of ordering a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis, the neurosurgeon simply advised the patient that having surgery to remove the “tumor’ would be the best option. During surgery, the woman went into cardiac arrest and died. As it turns out, she had undiagnosed cardiac risk factors.

Her husband, the plaintiff, then filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital for damages alleging that the negligence of several doctors, including the anesthesiologist, was the direct cause of his wife’s death. Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that the anesthesiologist failed to identify abnormal test results during pre-operative clearance, which would have led to surgery being cancelled and the decedent would not have died.

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We trust medical professionals to provide competent care. Unfortunately, patients do not always receive the care that they deserve. If you have suffered as a result of inadequate medical treatment, our skilled Miami medical malpractice attorneys can help. We understand that medical mistakes can have long lasting, even permanent consequences for a person’s life. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we are prepared to vigorously advocate for your rights every step of the way.

A 14-year-old girl went through a kidney transplant after having been diagnosed with end-stage renal failure. The girl filed a malpractice claim against two of her treating physicians and the hospital. According to the girl’s pediatric nephrology expert, the fact that the girl had suffered recurring urinary tract infections since she was a baby, coupled with her high creatinine levels, should have been red flags indicating kidney impairment that her doctor should have taken seriously.

In addition, the expert stated that the hospital negligently based the girl’s lab results on adult values as opposed to child values, and miscommunicated these values as adult values to the girl’s doctor. The jury ruled in favor of the plaintiff and one of the treating physicians was found 85 percent liable, while the hospital was deemed to be 15 percent liable. The other physician was not found liable at all.

Unfortunately, medical malpractice affects countless patients in Florida and throughout the country every year. In some cases, medical professionals make minor mistakes that do not vastly hinder a patient’s recovery. In other cases, however, the error of a medical professional can be significant leading to lifetime injury. If you have been injured because of a medical professional’s negligence, you need to reach out to a reliable Miami medical malpractice attorney without delay. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we understand how to handle these complex cases.

An Illinois woman has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against a Florida hospital for allegedly leaving a three-centimeter broken needle in her spine during a C-section 14 years ago and then covering up the error. The lawsuit claims that the patient was not informed that during the attempted spinal anesthesia a large piece of the needle had broken off into her back where it remained stuck. After years of medical treatment for leg and back pain, the 42-year-old mother of six discovered the needle through a CT scan last year. The needle was touching the nerve that leads to the woman’s left leg, causing severe nerve injury that reportedly impacts her lower back, left hip and left foot.

Liability for Foreign Objects Left in Body During Surgery

When a foreign object is left in the body during surgery, you may need additional surgery to remove the object, which carries its own risk. There may also be pain and damage to internal organs. The foreign object may also lead to serious, even deadly infections. In addition to all the health risks, dealing with a foreign object in the body can be extremely time consuming and costly.

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