Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

Earlier last month in an Indiana court, two doctors were named as defendants in a series of medical malpractice actions brought by a number of former patients. According to a recent report by one local news agency, the two doctors were allegedly performing unnecessary procedures on their patients.

sala-de-parto-04-845206-mEvidently, a total of 28 lawsuits have been filed against the two doctors, as well as against the medical centers that employ them. Formal complaints have also been submitted to the Medical Licensing Board, as well as the Indiana Attorney General.

The two cardiologists named in the lawsuit allegedly performed unnecessary procedures on numerous patients. The claims against the doctors are numerous. However, a few of them are based on unnecessary pacemaker installation, unnecessary open-heart surgery, unnecessary angiograms, unnecessary stenting, and unnecessary cardiac defibrillator (ICD) implantation.

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At the end of any trial, the jury is instructed by the judge as to what its job is in that particular case. In most cases, this allows the attorneys and the judge to narrow down the legal issues to a few salient issues that the jury must resolve in order to come to a valid legal conclusion.

operation-1389104-mOften, the parties to a lawsuit will litigate over the instructions that are provided to the jury, each side vying for instructions that are more favorable to its position. One limitation on jury instructions is that they must not confuse the jury. Indeed, this is the exact opposite of what jury instructions are designed to do.

In one recent medical malpractice case out of Arkansas, the Arkansas Supreme Court reversed a lower court’s decision in favor of a defendant doctor after it determined that the provided jury instructions on the doctrine of informed consent were confusing to the jury.

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Last month, the Tennessee Court of Appeals at Jackson issued an opinion that preserved a plaintiff’s right to seek compensation on a wrongful death claim that stemmed from the death of his wife. In the case of Davis v. Ibach, Davis lost his wife after a surgery she received by the defendant doctors.

operation-1389104-mDavis named the doctors in his lawsuit and proceeded as normal. However, his attorney failed to file one of the documents that is required by the medical malpractice statute. Specifically, the statute requires that plaintiffs file a “certificate of good faith” indicating that the executing party is not in violation of the medical malpractice statute. Essentially this requirement is to weed out non-meritorious claims before valuable judicial resources are spent determining a case’s validity.

The defendants to the suit waited for several years before raising the issue, but eventually they did, asking the court to dismiss the case with prejudice (meaning that the case could not be re-filed, even after the error was corrected). In response, the plaintiff sought to voluntarily dismiss the case, so he could remedy the error. The defendants urged the court not to allow the plaintiff to fix the error, but to dismiss the case outright.

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Infections in hospitals have become more and more common, and one group of Tennessee doctors wants to curb the trend. According to an article by Yahoo! News, a Vanderbilt doctor was accompanying his wife as she was getting a double knee replacement. While he was with her throughout the process, he counted 92 times where a staff member should have washed their hands but didn’t.

watertap-845716-mHand washing is a simple and incredibly effective way to cut down on the spread of deadly infections. Many of the most common and lethal infections are transmitted through unwashed hands, including pneumonia and staph infections. In fact, in 2011, there were approximately 272,000 of these kinds of infections reported in hospitals. Of those, about 75,000 resulted in death.

It is estimated that only about 40-50 percent of the time do medical professionals wash their hands when they should.

Continue reading, we reported on the Supreme Court of Tennessee ruling in Myers v. Amisub (SFH), Inc. that outlined the pre-suit notice and filing requirement under the 2008 amendments to the Tennessee Medical Malpractice Act (“Act”).

To recap, Tennessee Code Annotated § 29-26-121 (“§ 121”) requires that an individual initiating a medical malpractice claim serve the medical provider with notice of the lawsuit within 60 days of filing the complaint. Additionally, Tennessee Code Annotated § 29-26-122 (“§ 122”) requires that the plaintiff file a certificate of good faith with court confirming that the plaintiff has consulted with an expert about the good faith basis for the law suit.

Within the last several months, the court has ruled on the dismissal in two more cases. Given the number of recent cases facing dismissal, it is critical to understand the nuanced requirements of the Act when bringing a medical malpractice claim in Nashville or surrounding areas of Tennessee. If you have been injured due to a medical procedure, it is important to speak with a qualified medical malpractice attorney who will protect your case and get you the compensation you deserve. Continue reading 2008, the Tennessee legislature enacted two statutes that have significantly impacted medical malpractice lawsuits in Tennessee. The statutes amended the Tennessee Medical Malpractice Act (“MMA”), creating a notice and filing requirements that, if not “substantially complied” with, may result in the dismissal of a medical malpractice claim.

Having your medical malpractice claim dismissed can leave you physically and financially injured without any recourse. Just in the last two months, the Supreme Court of Tennessee dismissed two cases for failure to comply with the statutes, Stevens v. Hickman Community Health Care Services, Inc. and Rajvongs v. Wright. If you or a loved one has been injured by a medical procedure, having a proper medical malpractice attorney can ensure that your case does not violate the MMA resulting in a dismissal.

The Notice and Filing Requirement
The first requirement, Tennessee Code Annotated § 29-26-121 (“§ 121”), requires that a plaintiff notify all health care providers named in the suit sixty days before filing of the medical malpractice complaint. The second requirement, Tennessee Code Annotated § 29-26-122 (“§ 122”), requires that the plaintiff file a certificate of good faith with the court confirming that the plaintiff has consulted with an expert and that the expert has made a determination that there is good faith basis for the law suit to move forward. Both requirements may be waived by the trial judge if the plaintiff can show “extraordinary cause” for not complying with the requirements. Continue reading

The fungal meningitis outbreak that is wreaking havoc in this country, according to an update released by the Tennessee Department of Health today, has sickened 74 people in Tennessee, killing ten of them. According to the CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been 338 fungal meningitis infections reported nationwide with 25 deaths. The CDC reports that Michigan residents have contracted the most fungal infections – 82 – followed by Tennessee, from the tainted steroid injections from the New England Compounding Center.

The fungus that is causing the meningitis has never before been found to cause meningitis and is extremely difficult not only to diagnose, but to kill, as well, requiring at least three months of treatments. A CDC official stated that this is “new territory for us,” and “that there was no precedent for this kind of thing.”

By meticulous detailing results in medical journals and by grim autopsy findings, doctors are finding that early treatment is crucial in defeating this fungus. Dr. Carol Kauffman of the University of Michigan said that those people receiving treatment earlier “seemed to be doing OK,” with fewer of the strokes that characterized the outbreak’s beginning. The CDC has stated that doctors have two valid options in dealing with the infection: To watch patients closely for symptoms or to consider a just-in-case spinal tap, which can be repeated weekly, for those at-risk people still inside the 42-day window.

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