Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

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Accident 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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In 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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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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When you visit a doctor, you expect the physician to be competent. A misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, or failure to diagnose can be extremely detrimental to a person’s health. It can hamper the individual’s ability to seek timely treatment and worsen his or her condition. If you or a loved one has reason to believe that you were misdiagnosed or not diagnosed promptly, it is important to speak to a Miami medical malpractice lawyer.

Misdiagnosis involves diagnosing a disease that is not actually present or failing to diagnose a disease that is present. Delayed diagnosis takes place when the physician fails to diagnose the patient in a timely manner. Failure to diagnose occurs when the doctor fails to inform the patient of the condition altogether.

When an injury results from medical malpractice, Florida physicians may be liable. Consider the following example. A doctor fails to accurately diagnose cancer for several months. In that time, the cancer spreads and is no longer treatable. The patient soon dies from the cancer. This might be a case of delayed diagnosis. Perhaps a correct diagnosis could have allowed the patient to seek life-saving or life-extending treatment. In such a scenario, the patient’s estate might be able to file a medical negligence claim against the physician.

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Under Florida law, medical malpractice cases are subject to certain procedural requirements. If you have been injured by a health care professional, it is important to speak to a qualified Miami medical malpractice lawyer who can assess the merits of your case. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our team has handled a variety of medical malpractice claims and can help you as well.

In Shands Teaching Hosp. & Clinics v. Estate of Lawson, the court addressed the distinction between medical negligence and ordinary negligence. The facts of the case are as follows. For safety reasons, a female patient was locked in a psychiatric unit of a hospital. After being there for more than two months, the patient managed to take an employee’s keys and escape from the facility. She ran onto a nearby highway, where she was hit and ultimately killed by a truck.

The patient’s estate filed a wrongful death claim against the hospital. The lawsuit alleged ordinary negligence. The hospital responded by filing a motion to dismiss the claim on the grounds that the plaintiff failed to follow the special pre-suit requirements for medical malpractice cases.

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When a patient is sick, it often takes a variety of medical professionals to diagnose and treat the condition. It is not uncommon for physicians, nurses, specialists, and others to be involved in a particular case. When a medical error is made, however, determining liability can be challenging. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our injury lawyers understand the meticulousness with which medical malpractice cases must be handled.

A recent case that dealt with the issue of causation is Saunders v. Dickens. In that case, the patient went to a neurologist for numbness, cramps, and tingling in his extremities. The neurologist concluded that the patient’s symptoms were caused by diabetes but did not do any testing to confirm. The neurologist ordered an MRI and found issues with the spinal canal. The neurologist consulted with a neurosurgeon, who stated that a decompression procedure needed to happen. The neurosurgeon performed the procedure, but the patient’s condition did not get better.

It turned out that the patient had cervical cord compression – a condition that ultimately led the patient to suffer from quadriplegia and die. A medical malpractice lawsuit was filed against the treating physicians.

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When we seek medical help, we expect to get better, not worse. Unfortunately, medical mistakes are common, and patients often suffer harm at the hands of the very medical professionals they trust with their health. Medical malpractice occurs when a health care professional makes a medical error that results in harm to the patient. In medical malpractice cases, the health care professionals involved likely created a record of the incident.

In Bartow HMA, LLC v. Edwards, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice case against the physician who removed her gall bladder as well as the hospital, alleging the hospital was responsible for the injuries caused by the physician, nurses, and other hospital personnel when she was injured during surgery.

The plaintiff asked the hospital for all the documents from the five years prior to the surgery relating to the investigation or review of the physician’s care of any patient and all documents pertaining to the investigation or review of her treatment or care.

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During the labor and birth process, a baby needs proper medical attention so that everything goes smoothly. When mistakes are made, the consequences can be shattering. If you suspect that a medical professional caused your baby’s injury during childbirth, it is important to speak to someone as soon as possible. Hospitals and health care professionals have an obligation to ensure the safety and health of newborn children. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our Miami medical malpractice attorneys have the skill and knowledge to distinguish between unavoidable childbirth complications and healthcare provider errors.

Research indicates that for every 1,000 babies born alive in the United States each year, six babies incur birth trauma injuries. These injuries can range from mild to severe. While mild injuries can often be overcome quickly, severe injuries can have very serious life-long consequences for the child, including disruptions in the child’s basic day-to-day activity.

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In Dockswell v. Bethesda Memorial Hospital, Inc., a Florida appeals court recently held that a surgical patient who claimed a nurse negligently left a medical instrument in his body was not entitled to a jury instruction that the presence of a foreign object in a patient’s body creates a presumption of negligence against the defendant. The court went on to explain that such a jury instruction is reserved for instances in which the plaintiff is unaware of how the alleged injury took place or the identity of the responsible party.

In the case at hand, the plaintiff was admitted to the hospital for surgery, which encompassed placing a drainage tube in his body to get rid of post-operative fluid. The following day, a nurse came to remove the drainage tube. The patient and his wife observed the nurse as she removed the tube. Some time later, the patient realized that part of the tube was inadvertently left inside his body. The patient had experienced pain for months before a CAT scan showed that part of the tube was still inside him. He had to undergo a second surgery to remove the tube.

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Different types of lawsuits have different procedural requirements in the state of Florida. Among these specialized procedures are the stringent pre-suit notice requirements for medical negligence cases as detailed in Section 766.106 of the Florida Statutes. If you or someone you know has been injured in a medical negligence case, it is imperative to consult a qualified Miami injury lawyer who is well-versed in this area of the law. We will assess the merits of your case and guide you through every step of the legal process.

In Salazar v. Coello, Florida’s Third District Court of Appeals addressed the notice and investigation process in medical negligence cases. The facts of the case are as follows. The plaintiff in the case suffered an injury as the result of a surgical procedure. The plaintiff served a notice of intent to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital and the surgeon. Some time later, the plaintiff served a notice of intent to the anesthesia providers, a nurse, and the anesthesia group.

The trial court entered summary judgment in favor of the anesthesia providers on the grounds that the notice by the plaintiff was provided after the statute of limitations had run. The Third District Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment due to the tolling provision under Section 766.106. Continue reading →