Medical Malpractice Verdicts

Misdiagnosis of  Colon Cancer: An 18-month delay in diagnosis of colon cancer.  There was a need for extensive chemotherapy, radiation, and colorectal surgery. Gastroenterologist failed to properly perform a colonoscopy and misdiagnosed a cancer tumor in the bowel. 18 months later, patient developed rectal bleeding and was diagnosed with Stage III colon cancer with metastasis. The claim was resolved successfully.

Misdiagnosis and Delay in Diagnosis of Lung Cancer: A 42-year-old male was evaluated by pulmonary specialist for a lung mass that was suspicious for cancer. The lung specialist failed to perform a complete the work-up of the patient and failed to make a definitive diagnosis of the of the mass that had been found on CT scan. However, the patient was told that he did not have lung cancer. Read full story.

An Adult Male Was Admitted Into The Hospital For Abdominal Pain And For Evaluation: While in the ER, he was overmedicated with narcotics. ER staff and resident failed to appropriately monitor the patient and patient went into respiratory arrest and died. The lawsuit resulted in a significant confidential settlement.

Pharmacy Incorrectly Filled A Prednisone (Steroid) Prescription Over 10 Times That Prescribed By The Patient’s Physician: Patient then developed avascular necrosis of both hip joints, necessitating future bilateral hip replacements. The claim was resolved successfully against pharmacy.

85-Year-Old Woman Received An Overdose Of Methotrexate Over The Course Of 10 Days And Received Eight Times The Allowable Dose: The patient developed serious side effects, to include severe anemia and weakened immune system (immunosuppression), and untimely death. Physician negligently ordered the methotrexate on a daily basis rather than a weekly basis. The commercial pharmacy and supplier of medication to nursing home negligently filled the prescription as ordered by the physician in violation of its own protocols and procedures when filling a methotrexate order, especially since the order required the daily administration of what is considered a toxic medication if given at high doses. Nursing home also failed to recognize the improper and high dosage that it dispensed and administered to the patient. The patient’s estate pursued a medical malpractice, pharmacy negligence and wrongful death claim against physician, pharmacy and nursing home. Claims were successfully resolved.

A 14-Month-Old Baby Was Admitted To ER And Hospital For Evaluation Of An Illness: The Hospital/ER staff administered the baby with an overdose of a narcotic. Unfortunately, the baby went into respiratory arrest and died. Negotiations resulted in a significant confidential settlement.

An 84-Year-Old Woman Had Presented To The Emergency Room With Complaints Of Abdominal Pain: ER physician administered succinylcholine, which a medication that paralyzes the respiratory system for patients who are being intubated and placed on a ventilator. However, the ER doctor had no intention of placing the patient on a ventilator, despite giving this medication. Patient went into immediate respiratory arrest, asphyxiated and died within minutes of the drug being given. County coroner ruled the death a homicide. The claim was resolved.

A 45-Year-Old Woman Underwent A Routine Breast Biopsy: After the procedure, the doctor ordered that in intramuscular injection of Demerol be given for pain. Unfortunately, the patient was given an intravenous injection of Demerol and the patient went into respiratory arrest, suffered brain damage and required life support. The doctors determined that she had suffered such a large amount of brain damage and recommended that life support be terminated. After life support was terminated, patient died. The hospital refused to cooperate with the investigation of the death of the patient, which required the family to file a lawsuit.  Initially, the hospital denied negligence and did not accept responsibility for the patient’s death. On the first day of trial, hospital admitted negligence and the case was tried on the issue of damages. After a one-day trial, the jury rendered a seven-figure verdict.

Misdiagnosis and Delay in Diagnosis of Lung Cancer: A 42-year-old male was evaluated by pulmonary specialist for a lung mass that was suspicious for cancer. The lung specialist failed to perform a complete the work-up of the patient and failed to make a definitive diagnosis of the of the mass that had been found on CT scan. However, the patient was told that he did not have lung cancer. After 34 months, the patient returned to the doctor with complaints of coughing up blood. The diagnosis of a terminal Stage IV lung cancer was made, which was inoperable and incurable. The defendant claimed that he was not negligent, that the patient did not have lung cancer when he had first seen him nearly three years earlier and/or if he did have lung cancer, that his life expectancy would still have been the same. After a five-day trial, the jury returned a verdict for the patient and his family in the amount of $2.3 million dollars.

Obstetrical Negligence Results In Death Of 40-Week-Old Baby: Mother, who was nearly 40 weeks pregnant, presented to the hospital labor and delivery when she believed that her water had broken at home. Labor and delivery staff evaluated mother and baby and sent mother home advising that her water had not broken, that fetal heart tracing was normal and to return to hospital if contractions increased in severity and frequency (patient was already contracting 3 to 4 times a minute). Patient went home and returned the next morning with contractions that had increased in intensity. When patient arrived, the baby’s heartbeat could not be obtained and an emergency C-section was performed, but baby was stillborn. Labor and delivery physician and staff had negligently interpreted the fetal heart tracing, which showed multiple late decelerations, and failed to appropriately evaluate conflicting test results and findings regarding the patient’s status of membrane rupture. The medical malpractice and wrongful death claims have been successfully resolved.

Failure to Diagnose Germ Cell Lung Cancer: 47-year-old male had developed germ cell (testicular cancer) which had gone undiagnosed for nearly one year, despite having complaints of a chronic cough. Physicians failed to order a routine x-ray to evaluate the chronic cough and to determine the cause. Germ cell cancer was (and continues to be) a very treatable form of cancer. Unfortunately, patient went into respiratory arrest and died. Claim was successfully resolved.

Preventable Fall In Hospital Results In Brain Injury: Patient underwent spine surgery in hospital and afterwards was transferred to rehabilitation unit for rehab and therapy. Patient was unstable and at high risk for fall. Nurses failed to take adequate precautions to prevent patient from falling. Patient fell on two occasions, sustaining a brain bleed (subdural hematoma) and brain injury. Patient underwent skull surgery to evacuate the bleed.  However, patient was left with psychological deficits. Claim was successfully resolved.

Podiatrist’s Negligence Results In Bone Infection And Aggravation of Multiple Sclerosis: A 58-year-old female who was previously diagnosed with MS had scheduled an appointment with a podiatrist for an ingrown toe nail. The evening prior to the operation, the podiatrist office was contacted by the patient to advise the office that she had an infection.  She was told to come in to have the operation and that the infection would not be a problem. The podiatrist did perform the procedure the following day and as a result of the infection, the patient developed osteomyelitis (bone infection) which then in turn aggravated her MS. As a result of the aggravation, she was not able to walk without the assistance of a cane or walker; she was unable to do many of her job duties and had to quit her position. A substantial confidential settlement was reached prior to trial.

Failure To Treat Heart Attack In Emergency Room: A 56-year-old gentleman went to the emergency room with complaints of pain and difficulty breathing. He was told to wait in the waiting room after the triage was completed, he continued to have these symptoms. His family doctor was contacted who then intervened and requested that an EKG be taken.  The EKG was taken and he was asked to wait in the waiting room again. The EKG indicated that he was in fact having a heart attack; however the information was not timely provided to one of the ER doctors. The patient then had a heart attack in the waiting room which resulted in his death. A substantial settlement was reached prior to trial.

Hyperextension Of Neck During Surgery Results In Stroke And Brain Injury: The patient underwent surgery to remove a growth in his neck. During the procedure, the patient’s neck was hyper-extended thereby causing the vertebral arteries to collapse which deprived the brain of blood supply and caused a stroke. A significant settlement was reached.

Failure To Diagnose Pulmonary Embolism: A 40-year-old female had difficulty breathing due to a pulmonary embolism which had not been diagnosed. She sought care from her family doctor, urgent care facility and emergency room. None of these providers recognized the signs and symptoms of a pulmonary embolism, which is a blood clot in a main vessel of the lung, which often can be a fatal condition, if not timely diagnosed. Tragically, the patient died at home. A confidential settlement reached.

Birth Injury And Trauma: Pregnant mother presented to the labor and delivery department to give birth to her first child. In order to accelerate the labor process, the labor and delivery staff administered Pitocin. Fetal heart tracings reflected that the infant began suffering from late decelerations: That was a sign that the baby’s heart was not able to tolerate the contractions and therefore may not be getting enough oxygen to the vital organs. The L&D staff failed to timely recognize the warning signs evident on the fetal heart tracings and schedule a prompt C-section. As a result, the baby was born with significant brain damage and physical disabilities. The jury rendered a seven-figure verdict.

Failure To Diagnose Anatomical Anomaly In Newborn Infant: An infant was born with a vertebral abnormality of the spine that was not recognized. Since the abnormality was missed on the X-ray, the infant suffered a spinal cord injury resulting in paralysis and quadriplegia. A confidential eight-figure settlement was reached with the parties.

Loss Of Fingertips Of Premature Infant: A premature infant was admitted to the ICU. IV lines had been placed in the infant’s arm. However, ICU staff failed to monitor the IV lines which blocked the blood supply to the baby’s hand and fingertips. The baby had to have four of her finger tips amputated. A six-figure verdict was reached.