Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

Published on:

Medication 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.

Continue reading →

Published on:

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.

Continue reading →

Published on:

Medical 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.

Continue reading →

Published on:

In 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.

Continue reading →

Published on:

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.

Continue reading →

Published on:

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.

Continue reading →

Published on:

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.

Continue reading →

Published on:

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.

Continue reading →

Published on:

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.

Continue reading →

Published on:

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.

Continue reading →