Medical malpractice can ruin lives with injury or death. It is important for you as a patient to be informed about this issue. Knowing your rights and having a qualified attorney can assist you in recovering damages from medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice is an injury situation caused by a health care provider failing to meet an acceptable standard of care. Legally, an “acceptable standard of care” means the actions any competent medical professional would have taken in the same situation. Any health care provider who doesn’t meet the acceptable standard of care can injure a patient.
A 57-year-old Lessburg ophthalmologist has been found guilty of cheating Medicare. The doctor pretended to provide medical procedures to patients who didn’t need them. A Jacksonville federal jury convicted the doctor on 20 counts of healthcare fraud, each punishable by 10 years in prison.
The Florida Supreme Court ruled that a state law capping wrongful death non-economic damages is in violation of the state’s equal protection clause and is therefore unconstitutional.
The malpractice overhaul law, which was passed in 2003, capped wrongful-death medical malpractice payments for pain and suffering from $500,000 to $1 million, depending on circumstances. In striking down the cap, the high court criticized the legislature, saying that lawmakers had generated an “alleged malpractice crisis” in order to get the malpractice reform bill passed in the first place.
Justice R. Fred Lewis said the law discriminates against those “who are most grievously injured, those who sustain the greatest damage and loss, and multiple claimants.”
A past president of the Florida Justice Association told the Miami Herald that the decision was monumental. He said that law should have been struck down because it treats a person injured due to medical malpractice differently than a person injured due to another kind of negligence.
In 1999, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published a report “To Err is Human,” which shocked the medical community when it reported that some 98,000 deaths a year were caused by preventable hospital errors.
A recent report released by the Journal of Patient Safety makes the 98,000 death toll reported in 1999 seem like a nostalgic look at yesteryear. The study, which was conducted by patient advocacy organization Patient Safety America (PSA), says that as many as 210,000 to 44,000 patients may be dying in hospitals each year due to preventable medical errors.
A spokesman for the American Hospital Association said that his hospital advocacy group believes those numbers are inflated and that the 98,000 toll proffered in the 1999 IOM report is correct. ProPublica, which describes itself as an independent non-profit newsroom, asked three patient safety researchers to look at the new data and those experts said that Patient Safety America’s methods and findings were credible.
Miami-Dade Police have opened up a formal manslaughter investigation in the death of a 28-year-old woman who died shortly after receiving a butt enhancing injection at a local massage salon.
According to NBC News South Florida, the woman had paid $2,300 in cash to Cuerpos Health and Aesthetic for the rear-enhancing procedure. Reportedly, a doctor who said he was from Venezuela injected an oily, yellow liquid into the woman’s butt.
It was actually the woman’s second visit to the establishment. She had received a set of injections a week earlier. When she came for a follow-up visit, the alleged doctor told her she had recovered sufficiently from that procedure to receive a second set of injections.
The Florida Department of Health claims that the “clinic” only has a permit to function as a massage salon. However, the Bradenton Herald reports that the establishment’s Facebook page says that it has certified plastic surgeons available.
Reportedly, after the second visit, the woman became disoriented outside of the center and fell down. A local merchant called 911 and the woman was rushed to the hospital. The victim’s mother said that the center’s owner went along with her daughter to Doctors Hospital in Coral Gables, but allegedly failed to tell staff that the patient had just received the enhancement injections.
The medical malpractice attorneys at Farah & Farah in Lakeland have learned that a woman is suing Winter Haven Hospital for medical malpractice. She claims that the hospital failed to inform her that she had a potentially lethal bacterial infection, which caused her to have a stroke.
The lawsuit claims that In January 2012, the then 18-year-old student attending Webber International University was suffering from a 104.6 fever as well as other symptoms. Her mother took her to Winter Haven Hospital for treatment.
She was given a prescription for antibiotics and sent her home.
The lawsuit alleges that blood tests revealed that she had been stricken with a potentially deadly bacterial infection of Staphylococcus Aureaus. The plaintiff contends that staff from the hospital never informed her of the diagnosis, even though the antibiotic she had been given was an inappropriate treatment for that particular infection.
Three days after finishing the antibiotic treatment, the woman allegedly became “severely disoriented” and her mother rushed her to Winter Haven Hospital again. Once there she was informed that the bacteria had grown on her heart and that she had suffered a “massive stroke.”
She was taken to Tampa General Hospital for treatment and eventually had to undergo surgery to replace a damaged heart valve.
A recent study conducted by researchers at the Harvard Medical School and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that hospitals are raking in huge profits when it comes to treating surgical complications, infections and other problems.
The study looked at an unnamed hospital chain in the southern U.S. in 2010 and the discrepancies between what the hospitals were paid if a patient didn’t suffer complications and if they did was nothing short of astounding. Patients who didn’t suffer complications averaged a 3-day stay at the hospital and an average bill of $18,900. Compare that with patients who did suffer some kind of surgical complication: they spent an average of 14 days in the hospital and paid an average bill of $49,400.
Five percent of the 34,256 surgical patients that were treated at the chain’s hospitals suffered at least one complication.
The co-author of the study told the Huffington Post that although hospitals don’t actively seek post-surgical complications, it is a troublesome economic model that actually rewards a hospital for failing to reduce those complications.
Wrestling superstar Hulk Hogan has filed a lawsuit against Laser Spine Institute, claiming that the treatments he received for back pain at its Tampa location were ineffective and inappropriate for his condition and ultimately cost him some $50 million in income.
Hogan – whose real name is Terry Bollea – was suffering from severe back pain in 2009 and had consulted with three different surgeons who told him he needed major back surgery, according to the Tampa Bay Times. He walked into the Laser Spine Institute in Tampa on the recommendation of a neighbor.
Bollea alleges that doctors at the Laser Spine promised him their procedures would be “minimally-invasive” and would lead to a quicker recovery and yield better results than the surgery the other surgeons had recommended.
The cerebral palsy attorneys at Farah & Farah in Florida have learned that Lee Memorial Health System has paid $10 million to an injured teenager as part of a $15 million claims bill that was approved by the Florida State Legislature last year.
The 15-year-old boy, who now lives in Colorado with his mother, was born at HealthPark Medical Center in Fort Meyers in 1997 and suffers from severe cerebral palsy. Problems with a medication used during his birth were blamed for the brain damage the boy suffered and he is still confined to a wheelchair.
In 2007, a Lee County jury awarded the family $31 million in damages, but since HealthPark is a public hospital, the state legislature had to approve a claim that large through a claims bill. State lawmakers approved to pay $15 million, the second largest claims bill in Florida history.