Tag Archives: Baby Brain Injury

NEJM Study On Malpractice Risk By Physician Specialty

The New England Journal of Medicine released a new study in today's issue, Malpractice Risk According to Physician Specialty, which concluded: There are few recent estimates on the likelihood of malpractice claims and the size of payments according to physician specialty. Using physician-level malpractice claims from a nationwide liability insurer, we found substantial variability across specialties in each of these descriptors of liability risk. Specialties in which the largest proportion of physicians faced a claim were not necessarily those with the highest average payment size. For example, physicians in obstetrics and general surgery — both fields that are regarded as ... Continue Reading

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Strange Birth Injury Award: $21M Medical Expenses, $0 Pain and Suffering

It's conventional wisdom among trial lawyers and insurance lawyers that few plaintiffs are as sympathetic as a brain-damaged baby. The baby plainly did nothing to contribute to their harm, but has nonetheless been deprived of many of the basic joys of their infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. It's thus presumed that, if a jury finds liability in a birth injury lawsuit — like a negligent hospital or obstetrician that failed to observe fetal distress, leading to hypoxia, or failed to treat jaundice, leading to kernicterus — they'll inevitably award a substantial amount of non-economic damages for pain and suffering. Indeed, that was the ... Continue Reading

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17P & Makena: Exploiting Premature Birth For Billions In Profit

Update, September 7, 2012: More than a year ago, I wrote "It's possible KV will sue the FDA over [the decision not to go after compounding pharmacies] — arguing, in essence, that the FDA is disobeying its own statutes and regulations, and thus in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act ..." That happened in July, but the case was just dismissed. Next step is inevitably an appeal. I hope, for the sake of patients, they do not succeed, but quite frankly they have a valid argument. 17-P should never have been given orphan drug status in the first place.   Preemies ... Continue Reading

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It’s Legal Malpractice Not To Sue Hospital Residents For Medical Malpractice

It may sound strange coming from me, but I don't like suing people, particularly not in personal injury or professional liability actions where the real target of the suit is not even the company that employed the negligent person, but really the employer’s insurance company. But I often end up suing everyone I can, including employees, for one reason: I don’t have a choice. If, years down the road, some hospital or law firm or bank or construction company wants to claim that the negligent employee was an "independent contractor" or "outside this course and scope of their employment," or ... Continue Reading

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The Truth About Those Blockbuster Birth Injury / Obstetrical Malpractice Jury Verdicts

Of the over one million people injured or killed annually by preventable medical malpractice, only a fraction have their claims reviewed by the legal system. We can't be sure how small that fraction is — since the health care industry spends millions of dollars every year convincing Congress to frustrate error-reporting — but we know it is small, since only approximately 85,000 medical malpractice lawsuits are filed, less than 10% of those million annual "iatrogenic" incidents. In the bulk of incidents, either the patient (or their survivors) don't even suspect that malpractice occurred, or they suspect that malpractice occurred and ... Continue Reading

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Walking The Line In Medical Malpractice Cases: New Jersey Appellate Division Vacates $19 Million Birth Injury Award

A recent medical malpractice case from the bought-yourself-an-appeal department: Citing multiple trial errors, a New Jersey appeals court has reversed an $18.9 million verdict against an obstetrician whose delay in ordering a Caesarean delivery a jury found to have caused cerebral palsy in the child. The panel found that Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Louis Locascio failed to limit the testimony of a labor-and-delivery nurse, to issue the jury a contemporaneous limiting instruction on the nurse's testimony and to allow the defendant to admit into evidence a report that had exculpatory value for the obstetrician. ... Zeh, the nurse on duty ... Continue Reading

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No Surprise: Hospital Refuses To Apologize To Pediatrician For Obstetrical Malpractice

Tricia Pil, M.D., is a pediatrician and a mother, with a terrible story to tell at Kevin, M.D.: This is the true story of a hospitalization as told from three points of view: first, the recollections of the patient (who happens to be a physician); second, events as recorded in the medical charts by doctors and nurses; and third, the version put forth by the hospital. FRIDAY Patient: It is fall 2005, and I am nine months pregnant. A healthy 33-year-old pediatrician, I am a longtime patient of Doctor A and Doctor B, who delivered my two young children at ... Continue Reading

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Can the Octuplets Sue for Medical Malpractice? (Part 2 of 2)

Continuing on from our discussion yesterday, medical malpractice, like any other negligence tort, is proven by showing: (1) the defendant had a duty to the plaintiff to act a certain way, (2) that the defendant breached that duty, (3) that the defendant’s breach caused the plaintiff harm and (4) that the harm caused is compensable under the law. In most medical malpractice cases, the first element (the duty) is undisputed: every doctor has a duty to provide appropriate professional care and treatment to their patients. Similarly, the fourth (the harm) is usually not denied, though the defense will raise questions ... Continue Reading

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Can the Octuplets Sue for Medical Malpractice? (Part 1 of 2)

News has spread far and wide of the octuplets born to Nadya Suleman at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in California. In one sense, their birth and continued life is a “miracle,” as they made it to 30 weeks gestation, about 8 weeks past the threshold of viability and about 4 weeks past the point at which serious mortality or morbidity are more likely than not. Importantly, the octuplets have made it through their first week of life (sometimes referred to as the “honeymoon” period in neonatal intensive care units) without having any serious complications, like higher-grade intraventricular hemorrhages ("IVH"), ... Continue Reading

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