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Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

Tennessee residents and people all across the country want to be able to walk into a doctor’s office or hospital except to get treated fairly and with no problems or concerns. Unfortunately, however, sometimes doctors and medical professionals make errors and mistakes and this may lead to more injuries for the patient. This is why being able to file malpractice lawsuits are so important. However, there have recently been some new bills that are proposing limiting malpractice lawsuits. If you or a loved one have suffered from malpractice or are concerned about how the changes may affect you, then you should speak with a Tennessee malpractice lawyer right away. They will work with you and answer any questions you may have about the new changes and your case.

According to recent news, it has been shown that Republicans in Congress have offered very few new health care proposals. In fact, they have received an old failed measure that would really limit lawsuits brought against doctors for negligence, drug companies, and companies that make defective medical products. The Republicans state that limiting malpractice lawsuits will cut spending costs but what it would really do is protect those medical professionals that end up doing harm to people by practice bad medicine.

It has been discovered and reported by the New York Times that one of the congressman supporting the bill, Rep. Phil Gingrey who is a doctor, actually settled a $500,000 case involving a pregnant women and her appendicitis who Gingrey and other doctors failed to diagnose correctly. This failure caused her appendicitis to burst, resulting a severe infection to the unborn child and the women suffered a stroke and was partially disabled. Dr. Gingrey was also involved in three other malpractice lawsuits.
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Anderson County, Tennessee has found itself with two lawsuits for $1.5M. This is in response to the dismissal of a medical malpractice suit due to improper serving of legal action. The dismissal claims that a notice of legal action was not given personally by the deputy serving the papers to the doctor that was being sued, instead it was left with a office manager.

The doctor was being sued for leaving a twelve inch retractor in Paul Koczera’s abdomen and sewing it up. The retractor was allegedly left in the man for four days.

Koczera and his wife have brought suits against the county and the Sheriff’s deputy who served the papers. Another complaint was filed against the office manager who accepted service.

Unfortunately, items left in the body after a surgery are not as rare as one would hope. Often they cause severe infections that can in themselves be life threatening.
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It would be difficult to think of anything more traumatic than the injury of your child. Too often that injury occurs at birth due to incompetent or uncaring medical care. When this tragedy occurs it often causes lifelong implications for both the child and its family. Along with the injury comes an untold number of medical and care bills.

The last thing a grieving and bewildered family wants to think about is legal proceedings. All that is often on their minds is the uncertainty of the future, the prognosis of their baby and how life will never be the same. With not only the parents but the whole family suffering intense psychological pain, they can be reluctant to drag everyone through the emotional turmoil that they think a trial would entail. However, if those responsible are not brought to justice it is entirely likely that they will ruin the lives of an untold number of families.

The full implications of injuries sustained at birth are almost impossible to determine. It is imperative that families obtain the necessary monetary funds to pay what could be a lifetime of bills. Having an experienced attorney can make the difference between getting the care your baby needs and your child never receiving the proper care. A good attorney will handle most of the details of the proceedings and let you give your baby the attention it deserves Continue Reading

Medical malpractice laws in many states and here in Tennessee are put in place to help protect the patient and their rights. When something goes wrong in a hospital or during a visit with a doctor, these laws allow the residents of Tennessee to file a claim of medical malpractice and to be compensated appropriately for any pain and suffering, the error or medical negligence caused them. Now, the state of Tennessee is considering making some changes to these laws. If you have questions about these changes or have suffered due to medical malpractice, you should consult a Tennessee medical malpractice lawyer right away to have your case heard and find out if you are entitled to compensation.

Tennessee legislature is considering two bills that would change medical malpractice claims. The first bill is about changes to the liability standard from negligence to gross negligence in cases that concern doctors and other medical staff treating patients in the emergency room. The liability standard that is in place now is for regular negligence which means that the medical staff failed to proper care to a patient according to the standard of care for their profession, and these actions or lack of actions, resulted in an injury of the patient. Gross negligence is considered more difficult to prove and it has been defined as a “negligent act done with utter unconcern for the safety of others.” Other states have defined it as “the failure to exercise even the slightest care”. If these changes are made, it will make it harder for patients claiming medical malpractice to file a claim and successfully sue the medical staff of an emergency room.

The second bill being considered is one that would place a $1 million cap on non-economic damages in these particular cases. Non-economic is described as damages “for pain and suffering as well as inconvenience, discomfort, physical impairment, mental anguish, disfigurement, loss of the enjoyment of life, loss of society and companionship, loss of consortium, injury to reputation, and punitive damages”. However, in Tennessee each year, less than seven cases ever even reach the $1million mark or higher.
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Losing a loved one is difficult in the best of circumstances. To believe that the doctor failed to recognize signs of an illness and not diagnose is agony. The late comedian Bernie Mac’s widow is suing his dermatologist for at least $50,000 for allegedly failing to recognize his symptoms of double pneumonia and keep him in the office for nine hours rather than sending him to the hospital.

Mac’s doctor, Rene M. Earles, claims that Mac was in the office with a rash and wheezing. When Mac was questioned he admitted that another doctor had given him a shot for a cold. Earles says he called that doctor and upon being told Mac had been diagnosed with double pneumonia sent him to the hospital in a chauffeur driven car.

If you feel that a tragedy occurred due to a doctor’s failure to diagnose a loved one there are a few things you should know. First you must be able to prove that the lack of diagnosis caused the harm or made it significantly worse. Secondly negligence on the doctor’s part must also be proved. You must show that a doctor should have been reasonable able to make a diagnosis based on the symptoms.

Proving these cases can be difficult. If the harm suffered would have occurred whether or not the doctor diagnosed the problem then there is no claim for negligence. Another issue is misdiagnosing one set of symptoms for another condition. If the misdiagnosis was made reasonably and treatment was made, even though incorrect, no negligence or malpractice was committed.
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When we are sick or in need of medical care, and treatment, we except doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals to help deliver the best care possible. Unfortunately, in many cases, malpractice occurs and serious injury and even death can be the result. Malpractice cases can occur anywhere, even to the residents of Tennessee.

In this case, Michael Scarpa, a 55 year old retired Long Island Rail Road Worker of Tunkhannock, died on April 16, 1999, two days after coming into the Tyler Memorial Hospital’s emergency room with complaints of chest pains and vomiting for three days. The doctors told him to take cough medicine, rest, and see his family doctor in two days.

After his death, the autotrophy showed that he had suffered from an ulcerated esophagus and the cause of death was sepsis, or blood poisoning, caused by a perforated esophagus that allowed food to enter his pleural cavity. His widow then decided to file a malpractice lawsuit against the hospital and the two doctors that he saw. The attorney for the case said that his “agonizing” death was caused by negligence and carelessness on the part of the hospital and the doctors.”

The jury found the hospital to be forty percent responsible and Dr. Lubin one of the doctor’s 30 percent responsible, Dr. Coster twenty percent responsible and Mr. Scarpa himself to be ten percent responsible. They found the victim to be ten percent responsible due to the fact that he failed to tell Tyler Memorial Hospital about his esophageal surgery two years before.
The jury awarded Mr. Scarpa’s widow 1.2 million, but the attorney is intending to file for “delay damages” which could bring the total awarded amount to 1.9 million. Before retiring, Mr. Scarpa bought a home in Lackawanna County.
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When we leave a hospital or medical clinic, we expect to be feeling better than when we arrived. Unfortunately, sometimes this is not the case. Doctors and nurses make mistakes and medical errors occur every day, leaving us or our loved ones suffering from further injuries and pain. When this happens, many of us want whoever is responsible to pay for the suffering and medical malpractice they caused, but many of us may not know how to find a good Tennessee medical malpractice attorney that will hear our case and get us the treatment we deserve. Here are some tips to finding the best Tennessee medical malpractice attorney for you and your loved ones.

It may be a good idea to first ask friends and family for any references they may have. If they have suffered from a similar problem, they may be able to recommend the best Tennessee medical malpractice attorney for you and your case. If this is not helpful, you should contact your Tennessee Bar Association. They will be able to provide you with a referral and a maybe even a specific firm or law that specializes in the area you need.

Once you have a few possible attorneys or firms in mind, it is a good idea to research them. Go on the internet and look at their website. See what type of experience they have in handling cases like yours and how long they have been handling similar cases. It also may be a good idea to look at any articles on their website that may show their medical malpractice knowledge and experience. It is also a good idea to contact the firm and ask any questions you may have.
When meeting with the Tennessee medical malpractice attorney, it is important that you ask them about their experience and if they can recommend any other clients to you that may be able to offer a reference. It is also important to discuss any costs or fees that would be involved if they would be handling your case. They should treat you with respect and genuinely care about your case.

The medical malpractice attorneys at the Higgins Firm are experienced and caring. We listen to our clients, care about their needs, and strive to get them the care they deserve for the pain and suffering they have been caused.
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Families of six patients allegedly suffering from negligent hospital care have filed lawsuits against Nashville-based Hospital Corporation of America (HCA). The hospital where the injuries and negligent care occurred was Memorial Hospital in Duval County, Florida.

Hospital neglect is said to be the cause of bedsores in five patients. Another patient was nearly blinded.

A Jacksonville, TN-based personal injury law firm has taken up the medical malpractice lawsuit, stating, “It’s about putting profits ahead of patients’ interest.”

Nashville, TN-based HCA is the U.S.’s largest for-profit hospital company. It claims the hospital did no wrong.
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Following 5 deaths and 27 confirmed instances in which defective electrical wires in their heart pump implant lead to serious injury and death, Thoratec Corp is requesting all patients with the HeartMate II mechanical heart pump have their implants checked.

Of the 2,000 potentially fatal heart pump put into patients since November 2003, the 5 fatal instances occurred when the defective medical devices could not be replaced. These defective heart pump devices were distributed worldwide, including 87 U.S. hospitals. The chance of wire damage necessitating a replacement increases with time, with three-years showing a one-in-ten likelihood of needing immediate replacement.

Death and injury caused by the defective heart pumps are from insufficient blood flowing to and from the patient’s heart. The purpose of the recalled HeartMate II Thoratec heart pumps is to assist weak hearts in pumping blood throughout the body. Many patients with defective Thoratec heart pumps are in that long wait for a heart transplant.

The Jackson Sun reported this weekend on the conclusion of a Tennessee medical malpractice trial that awarded a former Henderson County volunteer firefighter $1.5 million in compensation for a Tennessee doctor’s post-operation negligence that lead to the amputation of his left leg. The Madison County jury found in favor of Michael Derrick, who lost his leg to amputation to prevent the spread of infection contracted during bypass surgery in the leg.

Dr. George E. Thomas and his employer Madison Clinic Corporation will be responsible for reparations–which is not to say that they will replace the lost limb taken by their negligent and repeated oversights but that their insurance will have to cover the financial compensation for Mr. Derrick’s loss of limb.

Dr. Thomas performed the bypass surgery in January 2006. Mr. Derrick saw the doctor eight more times during the next month in follow-ups where he complained of fevers and chills. Dr. Thomas told him it was the flu; a week after the eighth visit, Derrick was told by an emergency room doctor that a bacterial infection had spread throughout his left leg and that Derrick had a choice: He could be minus one leg or lose his life.

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