Medical Malpractice News and Views

Latest from Medical Malpractice News and Views

It is never easy to be a nurse serving on the front lines of health care delivery.  Nurses know this.  Perhaps you have seen the stories about the number of nurses leaving the profession.  The reasons for their leaving are many and reflect poorly on our health care system.  We might be able to get along pretty well without venture capitalists but we can’t get along without a sufficient number of competent nurses.

There are two interrelated factors that are cited most frequently by nurses who are leaving the profession or thinking about it.  Burnout/Overwork and pay.  The Covid pandemic
Continue Reading Nurses Get The Short End Of The Stick.

Over and over again, I have recommended that people considering surgery take a close look at the credentials of the surgeon, who is being considered for the operation.  This is especially true in the case of plastic surgery.  Any licensed doctor can hold himself or herself out as a plastic surgeon.  Patients need to make sure their “plastic surgeon” has received training in plastic surgery and is not just claiming to be one.  As I also point out, however, while making sure the doctor is properly trained and credentialed cannot guarantee that the patient won’t be the victim of medical
Continue Reading The Greedy Doctor

Medicine is an honorable profession.  Most of the people who are doctors are good people, who do good work, and who are honest and have high moral standards.  That is why it is so disappointing that, when medical malpractice happens, honesty and high moral standards seem to go out the window.

I have been representing people injured by medical malpractice for over 40 years now.  It has been my almost universal experience that when a patient is hurt by medical malpractice, the doctor says two things.  (1) I did nothing wrong; and (2) Nothing I did or didn’t do caused
Continue Reading Why Won’t Doctors Tell The Truth?

One of the most fertile fields for malpractice is the humble diagnosis.  Errors in diagnosis lead doctors down the wrong path and result in either no treatment for a serious condition or a delay in treatment.  The best available evidence is that fully one-third of malpractice cases result from either misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis.  I am surprised it is not more than that.  I see it all the time in my practice.  The patient sent home from the emergency department with chest pains that the doctor did not think were cardiac in nature.  The spot on the x-ray that the
Continue Reading Doctors Need Help, Cue the Robots

An Iowa jury awarded nearly $100 million in damages to the parents of a child catastrophically injured during childbirth and to the child himself.  As is often the case in these verdicts, almost half of the money was to pay for future medical and custodial care for the child, who is and will be unable to care for himself.  The rest was awarded to the child and his parents for the general damages, pain and suffering, and loss of future earnings resulting from the botched birth.

The laboring mother came to the hospital to deliver her baby boy.  When the
Continue Reading A Large Verdict Following a Disastrous Birth

Medical debt is coming to a household near you, unless you are well-off.  If you are among the poorer Americans, the chances are high that you are carrying medical debt and that at least some of it is past due.

There can be no question that medical debt is a problem in this country and that it affects all of us, not just those who can’t pay their medical bills.  It affects all of us because unpaid medical care isn’t really unpaid at all.  Someone has to pay extra to keep hospitals and doctors in business when they don’t get
Continue Reading Medical Debt Is Coming To A Household Near You

I drive to San Diego from Phoenix a number of times a year.  As soon as I cross into Southern California on Interstate 8, I see billboard after billboard advertising low cost medical and dental care just across the border in Algodones, Mexico.   The statistics say that many Americans are eager to take advantage of these offers.  Individuals stream across the border in private cars.  Busloads of retirement home residents arrive each day to get prescriptions filled and dental work performed.  This is a thriving market but it has its risks.

One of the costs of this medical tourism has
Continue Reading Think Long And Hard Before Going To Mexico For Medical Treatment

I get it.  Insurance companies are in business to make money.  I don’t begrudge them a reasonable profit.  However, as evidenced by their behavior over the years, they can’t seem to operate without taking advantage of patients and patients are being hurt by their practices.

Health insurance is a necessity for most Americans, but it should not be.  As I have pointed out often in the past, we are the only major industrial country without universal health insurance.  This results in a number of bad things happening to Americans that just should not happen.  As just a single example, expectant
Continue Reading Hard To Believe But Insurance Company Policies Hurt Patients

As anyone who reads this blog knows, I am not a big fan of state medical boards.  My complaint is that there is a lot of malpractice out there and the medical boards do not do an effective job of weeding out the doctors who regularly make mistakes that kill and injure patients.  On the other hand, while they may not do all the things they could to protect the public, they do provide much needed expertise and oversight of the medical profession.  That important oversight is being threatened across the country by state legislatures.

A recent piece in the
Continue Reading State Legislatures Are Making Your Health Care Less Safe

If you are like most people who believe they have been the victim of medical malpractice, you are probably going to go on the internet and type in “medical malpractice lawyer” or something similar.  When the results pop up, you will find a lot of attorneys who want to be your lawyer.  Again, if you are like most people, you will call someone who is listed on the first page of the search results.  Unless you actually check the qualifications of the attorney before you call, you may get a rude surprise on down the road.

Any lawyer can claim
Continue Reading Let Me Be Your Medical Malpractice Lawyer.

The medical profession knows that there is a patient safety problem.  Every time they examine patient safety, they find the same thing.  People in hospitals are injured at an unacceptable rate and the doctors and hospitals seem to be unable to do anything about it.

In January, another study of hospital safety was published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.  The study was funded by two malpractice insurance companies.  The authors were a number of doctors who wanted to see what the most recent data showed about patient safety in hospitals.  They examined randomly selected patient charts
Continue Reading Hospitals Are Still Unsafe

There is a comfortable myth in which doctors love to wrap themselves.  It is the myth that most medical malpractice cases are frivolous attempts to extort money from doctors.  According to the myth, doctors are the good guys and lawyers representing patients are crooks and shysters.  The public never really gets to see the facts that would let them decide if this myth is true or not.  The true facts are hidden behind a wall of secrecy and non-disclosure agreements that doctors use when they settle claims against themselves.  Every once in a while though, someone does get access to
Continue Reading The True Scandal of the Medical Malpractice System

If you have been injured by medical malpractice, you have a very difficult road ahead of you.  In the first place, you are going to have to figure out, usually on your own, that you have been the victim of malpractice.  Then you have to find a good attorney, who is experienced in malpractice cases and who is willing to take your case.  As I have discussed on this blog before, there are many good reasons why an attorney may not be able to take your case, even when you have been malpracticed upon.  At our firm, I am able
Continue Reading The Medical Malpractice System Is Stacked Against You

Last month I wrote about how greed in health care led to selling drugs and fleecing Medicare.  Today’s post is about practices that are even worse and harm far more people.  It relates to the purchase by private equity of many providers of health care from doctors’ practices to emergency departments to nursing homes.  Private equity has invested trillions in the purchase of health care providers and wants a return on its investment.  This is bad news for all of us.

When there is a drive for profit and return on investment, patient care must, of necessity, take a back
Continue Reading Greed In Health Care Harms Patients

Today’s blog post is about an unusual medical malpractice verdict.  The first thing that makes it unusual is that the jury found in favor of the plaintiff.  That just does not happen very often.  Here in Arizona and across the country, doctors win 85% to 90% of medical malpractice cases that go to trial.
The second unusual thing about the verdict was its size.  The jury awarded $43.5 million.  That is a lot of money in any case, but especially in a medical malpractice case that did not involve brain damage and the future cost of long-term care.
The third
Continue Reading An Unusual Medical Malpractice Verdict

Many patients have wondered what to do when the surgeon tells them they need surgery.  One thing you should not do is just say, “OK” without first asking some questions.

Of course, not all surgeries are the same.  Some are necessary and must be performed right away to save the life of the patient.  Some are elective and are not essential to the health of the patient at all, such as most cosmetic procedures.  Except in the case of the life-saving surgery which must be performed immediately, take the time to ask some questions.
How necessary is this surgery?
Continue Reading Do I Really Need That Surgery?