Medical Malpractice Cases
We have handled a wide range of medical malpractice cases for our clients. Due to confidentiality agreements requested by the defendants and their insurers, and to protect the privacy concerns of our clients, the names of the parties and compensation amounts have been withheld.
Nursing and Hospital Negligence
Infant Care Negligence in Clayton County.
In a lawsuit involving a severely brain-damaged Clayton County infant, we were able to secure for the child's parents a recovery that will provide lifetime care for their disabled child. The baby had suffered a cardiac arrest following an injection into an IV line. It was our contention that potassium had been mistakenly injected and that there was then a delayed and inadequate response to the cardiac arrest which led to catastrophic brain damage.
Drug Administration Error in Georgia.
We successfully represented the mother of a beautiful young lady who died due to excessive and inadequately monitored administration of Lithium. This induced deep vein thrombosis and a fatal pulmonary embolism at a second hospital following the severe dehydration and immobility caused by the Lithium toxicity. The defense of the first hospital alleged that the proximate cause of death was the failure of the staff of the second hospital to prevent or discover the blood clot. The second hospital contended that blood clots in the legs are often without symptoms and that this one was an example of one of these "silent killers." With the aid of strong experts from around the country and our determined and convincing client, we were able to overcome these arguments.
Post-Operative Monitoring Neglect in Muscogee County.
In another case against a hospital in Muscogee County, its anesthesia service and a nurse staffing agency, substantial compensation was recovered on behalf of the widow of a man who died due to respiratory arrest following what had been uneventful knee surgery. The patient had a history of severe obstructive sleep apnea, yet was given morphine, a strong respiratory depressant, for post-operative pain relief. He was then poorly monitored by the floor nursing staff. By the time a nurses' aide found the patient not breathing, it was too late to resuscitate him without severe brain damage and death a few days later. This tragic result could and should have been avoided with appropriate post-operative monitoring.
Nursing Negligence in Georgia.
We successfully represented the mother of a young man who died after vomiting, aspirating, and choking to death. This tragedy occurred in the hospital and in the presence of nursing staff. It was alleged that the response to the respiratory arrest was unreasonably delayed and that CPR was then incorrectly administered when a nurse failed to reposition the patient to establish a useful airway.
Post-Operative Monitoring Neglect in Clayton County.
We also handled another lawsuit in Clayton County involving vomiting and aspiration in a hospital setting. In that case, the patient was in the hospital for hip surgery, but following the operation, developed abdominal pain. A gastroenterologist was called in to consult. The GI doctor ordered a KUB X-ray of the abdomen but then went home without reviewing the results. About six hours later the patient vomited, choked on the vomit, and had a resulting respiratory and cardiac arrest. Resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful and she died. It was learned too late that the earlier X-ray demonstrated a gastric outlet obstruction. It was our contention that this tragedy would have been avoided if this condition had been timely recognized and nasogastric suctioning employed.
Infant Care Neglect in Georgia.
A lawsuit against a home healthcare service was settled in favor of our clients. This case involved a fragile infant with multiple pre-existing health problems that required her to be fed by a feeding tube into her stomach and put her at high risk for aspiration. Because of this aspiration risk, she was only fed at a slow controlled rate with a Kangaroo Joey feeding pump or K pump. Unfortunately, a new home healthcare nurse didn't appreciate these risks and needs and decided to gravity feed the baby off of the pump. She then did this two more times the same day despite having been told by the mother that the child needed to be fed by the K pump. It is believed that the third improper feeding caused the baby to aspirate the feeding formula and led to aspiration pneumonitis and a lengthy hospitalization. Fortunately, the baby recovered without permanent harm. Both sides were realistic about the case and a mediation led to settlement early in the malpractice litigation.
Nursing Negligence in Georgia.
In another case, nursing negligence resulted in significant injury to an adult patient. This gentleman had undergone shoulder surgery and was recovering in the hospital. Unfortunately, a nurse decided to place an IV line in the wrist area of an arm that already had an automated blood pressure cuff in place higher up on the arm. The pressure from the blood pressure cuff inflating caused the IV line to infiltrate and leak caustic chemicals into the subcutaneous tissues of the lower arm. This led to permanent disfigurement and nerve damage. This claim was settled without too much dispute about nursing negligence before a lawsuit had to be filed.
Surgery Preparation Malpractice in Georgia.
We were able to resolve another nursing negligence claim without having to go too far into the process of a lawsuit. It that case, our client was undergoing facial cosmetic surgery. The nurse who was prepping her face for the surgery used an antiseptic solution called Hibiclens. Hibiclens carries black box warnings about the risk of injury to the eyes and these warnings say it should not be used around the face. This nurse not only used it for facial prep but allowed it to pool up in the eye sockets. When the surgeon saw that this had happened he attempted to clean it away and protect the eyes with medicated ointment, but the eyes had already been harmed. Fortunately, our client did not lose her sight, but she did end up with a worsening a pre-existing dry eye condition and now has permanent sensitivity to bright lights. A lawsuit was filed to preserve our client's rights under the statute of limitations and then an early settlement was negotiated and further litigation expense avoided for both sides.
Diagnostic Procedure Negligence
Mammography Error in Fulton County.
A medical negligence action against a radiologist in Fulton County, Georgia arose out of a mammography procedure that went terribly awry. This diagnostic procedure involved the placement of a localization wire in order to track the exact location of a breast lesion while the X-rays were taken. Tragically, during placement of the wire, it penetrated the chest wall causing serious injuries to the tissues surrounding the patient's heart and various respiratory and other complications. The defense contention that this was a recognized complication of the procedure was insufficient to prevent a substantial verdict for this unfortunate lady.
Outpatient Surgical Procedure Negligence
Dermatological Negligence in Georgia.
In a case involving the use of acid to remove a benign skin lesion, another unfortunate client suffered due to the physician's clumsiness. Chemical burns and considerable scarring to the patient's back were caused when the physician dropped and spilled the bottle of acid. Although the physician passed away before the suit could be brought, fair compensation from his insurer was obtained.
Emergency Room Negligence
Blood Disorder Care Negligence in Georgia.
We were able to help a young widow whose husband had fallen from a golf cart, hitting his head. The patient had a history of hemophilia, which was made known to the emergency room staff. Despite this and signs of internal bleeding around the patient's eyes, he was not given the necessary medication by the emergency room doctor. This led to an uncontrolled bleed in the brain, catastrophic brain damage, and eventually the patient's death.
Negligent Care for A Mentally Ill Patient in Georgia.
In another emergency room negligence case, we represented the family of a man plagued with a history of mental illness. A risk for suicide analysis was performed and it indicated the man was indeed a suicide risk. Unfortunately, the man was put in isolation without removing items from the room which were ultimately used to accomplish the suicide. Exacerbating the situation is that the hospital staff did not set up any type of observation schedule. Even though we were required by law to show that the hospital was grossly negligent, we were able to meet that standard by showing that the hospital did not have a safe seclusion room and that the staff did not monitor in accord with recognized standards of care. While litigation was initiated, a substantial recovery was achieved shortly thereafter due to the investigation conducted by our firm in preparation for trial.
X-Ray Analysis Neglect in Georgia.
We were able to help a nice lady who had received poor care in an emergency room. She had fallen on a Friday and jammed her arm and shoulder. She went to a nearby emergency room and was x-rayed, put in a sling, and told to follow up with an orthopedic doctor the following Monday for a suspected wrist fracture. Unbeknownst to our client, she did not have a wrist fracture but had a very bad fracture-dislocation of her shoulder that was quite visible on the shoulder x-ray. Sadly, by the time she saw the orthopedist on Monday she had gone over two days with the nerve structures supplying her lower arm being stretched by the dislocation of the shoulder joint. This caused permanent nerve damage that it was now too late to avoid, but which would not have happened if the dislocated shoulder had been put back in place in the emergency room. A malpractice lawsuit resulted in a mediated settlement award for our client.
Trauma Care Negligence in Georgia.
In another case involving emergency room negligence, we represented the family of an elderly gentleman who had been in a very severe motor vehicle collision with an uninsured drunk driver. This wreck had resulted in airbag deployment and entrapment of the victim in his car. After he was extricated from the car, he was taken to a nearby emergency room where he complained of pain between his shoulder blades. His neck was x-rayed but his chest was not and he was sent home without an injury to his chest being recognized. Later that day he called 911 due to continued pain and was taken to a different ER closer to where he lived. Here he was noted to be having chest pain and difficulty taking deep breaths. Despite evidence of blunt chest trauma injuries, including rib fractures, and having an abnormal EKG, proper cardiac evaluation was not obtained. After about a day in the hospital, the patient had a cardiac arrest and died. An autopsy revealed that he had an undiagnosed hemorrhage around his heart that likely led to his death. Lawsuit claims involving inadequate diagnosis and care in both emergency departments eventually led to a compromise settlement for this wife and family.
Negligent Sinus Surgery
Sinus Surgery Injury in De Kalb County.
A large recovery was obtained on behalf of a severely brain-damaged ENT patient in DeKalb County, Georgia, who sustained an injury to the frontal lobe of her brain during endoscopic sinus surgery. The patient contended that to penetrate the brain cavity was below the standard of care and that there was also a negligent delay in recognizing that the injury had occurred. It was not until the hospital pathologist noted brain matter in what was supposed to be "sinus" tissue that the injury was finally recognized. By this point, the brain had become infected by sinus bacteria and devastating brain damage resulted.
Child Sinus Surgery Error in Georgia.
In another case involving an otolaryngologist, a substantial recovery was secured on behalf of a child whose eye was permanently injured during endoscopic sinus surgery. In the course of this procedure, the ENT doctor penetrated the orbit and severed the medial rectus muscle. Although the muscle was later reattached to the eye by an eye surgeon, the now shortened muscle left the child with double vision while looking to the left and right. The defense argued that this was an accepted complication, but was eventually convinced to resolve the case.
Other Cases of Surgical Malpractice
Knee Surgery Injury in Fulton County.
An action involving complications of knee surgery led to a large jury award in Fulton County, Georgia, for our client's permanent injuries. The orthopedic surgeon contended that the patient's postoperative infection, which ended up destroying his knee joint, was an unfortunate, but acceptable complication. Proof of an apparent failure to provide antibiotics prophylaxis prior to the surgery and a delay in diagnosing and treating the infection, however, overcame this defense and empowered the jury to do justice.
Spinal Surgery Negligence in Carroll County.
In a medical negligence lawsuit involving neck surgery, our Carroll County, Georgia client contended that he had been rendered quadriplegic during surgery to address a fractured neck vertebra. Sadly, catastrophic spinal cord damage occurred when his spine was surgically fixated at a dangerous angle, and the spinal cord compressed. Our efforts eventually resulted in dramatic improvement to our client's quality of life, by obtaining funds sufficient to purchase a specially equipped home and van, and a substantial special needs trust.
Spinal Surgery Error in Georgia.
In a case involving more routine lumbar spine surgery for back pain, one of our clients came out of surgery a paraplegic, confined to a wheelchair. In the course of the lawsuit, it was discovered that the surgeon had not only traumatized the spinal cord but had been operating at the wrong level of the spine. Despite a vigorous defense including the common contention that the injury was a known complication of back surgery, the case was ultimately resolved favorably.
Cancer Surgery Negligence in Georgia.
In another surgical mishap case, compensation was obtained on behalf of a gentleman who had successful colon cancer surgery, only to be victimized by the surgical team's failure to correctly count sponges. By the time a large retained laparotomy sponge was discovered several days later, the patient had developed a bowel obstruction. Surgery to remove the sponge was followed by tissue necrosis, an incisional, ventral hernia, infection, and other complications that required multiple additional hospitalizations and surgeries over a two year period.
Gallbladder Surgery Error in Georgia.
Another case involving claims of surgical negligence involved a patient who sustained major injuries when a laparoscopic cholecystectomy went awry. This disastrous gallbladder surgery left the patient's common bile duct cut and clamped and led to biliary cirrhosis and liver failure. The defense contended that scarring and adhesions obscured visibility and led to the injuries. We were able to counter this with persuasive expert testimony that the discovery of scarring and inflammation should have led to conversion to open surgery which would have avoided the bile duct injuries. The defense also contended that the patient's liver failure was due to unrelated causes. Nonetheless, fair compensation was obtained.
Spinal Surgery Negligence in Georgia.
Compensation was also obtained for a client who suffered from chronic left hip pain following lower back surgery. After suffering for over a year and a half following the surgery, a second set of doctors finally discovered that surgical screws had been improperly placed in his spinal vertebrae. One of these pedicle screws was shot into the sacroiliac joint while another was shot through and beyond another spinal vertebra and was in fact indenting and nearly penetrating the inferior vena cava. Potential vascular disaster was avoided and considerable, but incomplete, relief from the hip pain was finally obtained through further surgery to remove the errant surgical hardware.
Operating Room Error in Georgia.
An operating room mishap led to spinal injuries and ultimately to financial responsibility for the hospital. Our client was undergoing lower back surgery by a neurosurgeon. Midway through the procedure, the surgeon asked a radiology technician to take a fluoroscopic x-ray to verify the position of surgical instruments temporarily in place between the patient's lumbar vertebrae. Unfortunately, the technician lost control of the x-ray equipment c-arm and it struck an instrument protruding from the patient's body. This caused a fracture of a vertebral endplate and destruction of the anterior longitudinal ligament. The surgery then had to be aborted and later redone and the patient continued to have the spinal pain he had hoped the surgery would relieve. On the eve of a malpractice trial in DeKalb County, Georgia the hospital agreed to a financial settlement.
Operating Room Negligence in Georgia.
In another orthopedic surgery case, the patient was also injured by a person in the operating room other than the surgeon. In this case, our client suffered a rupture to her esophagus while a nurse anesthetist was attempting to place an endotracheal tube needed to ventilate the patient during the operation. We learned after the lawsuit was filed that the nurse anesthetist had unsuccessfully tried at least twice to intubate the patient before the anesthesiologist had to take over, a set of facts that had been left out of the medical record. We also learned that the anesthesia doctor was then able to intubate the patient without difficulty, but the esophageal injury had likely already occurred. It was our contention that the CRNA, who had only been on the job for a couple of weeks, was inexperienced and had inserted the laryngoscope too far and with too much force. A mediated settlement with the anesthesia group which had employed the nurse anesthetist eventually concluded the malpractice lawsuit in our client's favor.
Gynecological Surgery Error in Georgia.
We were able to help another client who was injured during gynecological surgery to remove an ovary but didn't realize what had happened until several days later. In that case, it was eventually discovered that in the process of severing the attachments between the ovary and adjacent abdominal structures, the gynecologist had also cut the ureter or tube connecting the kidney on that side to the patient's bladder. It was our contention that the surgeon had failed to take adequate precautions to identify and protect the ureter before cutting. The case was eventually resolved and our client compensated for her harm.
Anesthesiology Negligence in Georgia.
In another case involving gynecological surgery for uterine cancer, our client never really recovered from the anesthesia process. She survived the surgery but lived out the remaining months of her life profoundly disabled and requiring around the clock nursing care. Although the cause remained unclear, she had suffered severe brain damage due to lack of oxygen. It was our contention that there had been inadequate ventilation and monitoring provided by the anesthesiologist, and our case was helped by the fact that the anesthesia record was missing documentation for several minutes near the conclusion of the surgery. We pursued a malpractice case, and although liability was never admitted, we were able to secure the hospital's agreement to provide for the patient's in-home nursing care and a monetary settlement from the anesthesiologist which was paid to the patient's husband after her death.
Surgical Malpractice in Georgia.
In a case involving laparoscopic abdominal hernia repair surgery, our client suffered very serious injuries and nearly died due to an inadvertent perforation of his intestine. This was not recognized by the general surgeon at the time of surgery and the patient was sent home despite having a lot of postoperative problems in the hospital. When he continued to do poorly at home, his wife was eventually able to convince the surgeon to order an outpatient CT scan. This was interpreted by the radiologist as suggestive of bowel perforation and the radiologist called this information to the surgeon, but the patient was still not told to return to the hospital. When he continued to decline the next morning, however, his wife insisted that he be seen in the hospital. Had there been a few more hours of delay our client would have likely died, but the disaster in his abdomen was discovered and treated and he survived, albeit with substantial disability and risk for future problems. A malpractice lawsuit against the surgeon eventually resulted in a substantial mediated settlement for the client and his wife.
Bone Fracture Repair Error in Georgia.
We were able to help a young man who had suffered a badly fractured elbow which had then been poorly treated by an orthopedic surgeon. It was our contention that the fracture was inadequately repaired, that separated bone fragments were not reattached or removed, and that the fractured bones were not reduced or repositioned in an alignment conducive to proper healing. It was also our contention that the orthopedist had failed to recognize these problems and the resulting malunion of the bones after the procedure. Eventually, a second surgeon had to remove surgical hardware and bone fragments and redo the repair, and the patient was left with permanent deformities and deficits in the range of motion of his arm. A medical negligence lawsuit eventually led to a mediated settlement and compensation for this harm.
Orthopedic Surgery Negligence in Georgia.
In another case against an orthopedist, an unusual complication of a fracture repair led to a lawsuit and eventual settlement. Our client had suffered a bad ankle fracture which had to be repaired by an orthopedic surgeon. After the orthopedic surgery was completed the doctor used plaster casting to hold the bones in position while they healed. Unfortunately, this surgeon did not adequately appreciate the chemical properties of the plaster casting materials, which we learned undergo an exothermic reaction while hardening. This curing process generates heat which can be much higher depending on the temperature of the water mixed with the plaster. Warmer water results in faster curing of the cast, but can also cause a hotter chemical reaction. This particular doctor liked to speed the cast hardening process by using warm water and then ignored the patient's complaints when she felt her leg burning inside the cast. Our client suffered second and third-degree burns and eventually had to undergo skin grafting.
Delayed C-Section in Georgia.
Our firm has successfully handled several cases involving injuries to babies and their mothers during labor and delivery. In one such case, a medical malpractice suit was filed on behalf of a child who suffers from cerebral palsy sustained while his mother was in labor. The baby's parents contended that the defendant obstetrician and hospital nursing staff negligently delayed C-section delivery despite signs of fetal distress. Multiple defense experts argued that the electronic fetal monitoring evidence was in fact reassuring and cord blood analysis did not indicate asphyxia. Despite this, fair compensation was obtained.
Birth Injury in Georgia.
In another obstetrical negligence case, the plaintiffs contended that the hospital nursing staff and an obstetrical resident had failed to timely act on evidence of fetal distress and then the attending obstetrician caused further injury during failed attempts at forceps and vacuum extraction. Despite defense contentions that the baby had already suffered brain damage prior to the labor, compensation sufficient to provide lifetime care for this child was obtained.
Delayed C-Section in De Kalb County.
In another DeKalb County, Georgia case involving birth injuries, an obstetrician tried and failed three times to pull the baby out with vacuum and forceps before finally opting for an emergency cesarean section delivery. Vaginal delivery was never going to succeed, however, because there was cephalopelvic disproportion, i.e., the baby's head was too large to pass through the birth canal. Unfortunately, this went unappreciated and the last attempt to pull the baby out induced severe and prolonged bradycardia. This beautiful baby then suffered catastrophic brain damage from a lack of sufficient oxygen and acidosis. The defense contended that the care was appropriate and that the A.C.O.G. neonatal encephalopathy criteria were lacking, but a recovery sufficient to provide for the child's lifetime care was nonetheless obtained.
Obstetrical Negligence in Georgia.
We were able to achieve substantial financial help for another beautiful baby girl who suffered catastrophic brain damage due to a lack of oxygen while she was being born. During her mother's labor and delivery there were worrisome signs of lack of progress of the labor and fetal distress, or what doctors now call nonreassuring fetal heart tone patterns on the electronic fetal monitoring. Sadly, this pattern went unappreciated in the middle of the night while one obstetrician was covering for another. When the primary doctor arrived early that morning, he recognized the problems and performed a prompt emergency delivery, but the damage had already been done. A medical negligence lawsuit against the covering Ob/Gyn led to mediation fairly early in the lawsuit process. This produced a settlement sufficient to fund a special needs trust with annuities which will pay benefits to the trust throughout the child's lifetime. This trust structuring of the settlement has preserved substantial needed public medical assistance while affording an opportunity for the trust to purchase a home for the child and her family to live in, the hiring of her mother as a special caregiver, and other special assistance as needed.
Birth Injury in Polk County.
In another case involving obstetrical care during pregnancy, we were able to obtain financial settlements for a Polk County, Georgia mother, and her child. This child suffered significant neurological harm due to a perinatal stroke at or near the time he was born. We determined that in the course of the pregnancy oligohydramnios or low amniotic fluid had been diagnosed, but had not been disclosed to the mother. It was our theory that the low amniotic fluid condition combined with the umbilical cord being wrapped twice around the baby's neck to result in umbilical cord compression during the labor. This cord compression led to low blood flow or stasis of blood flow in the cord and combined with the natural hypercoagulation states of late pregnancy to cause a blood clot to form, which then broke away, traveled to the baby's brain and caused the stroke. Issues concerning the communication of the amniotic fluid results led to a pre-trial settlement with the hospital. Challenges to our fairly novel scientific theory of stroke causation were pending as the remaining case was settled with the obstetrical group midway through trial.
Failure to Timely Diagnose and Treat Infection
Bacterial Infection Negligence in Georgia.
We successfully pursued a medical malpractice lawsuit on behalf of a young man who required heart valve replacement due to the destruction of the valve from bacterial infection. There had been a delay of several weeks in diagnosing and treating bacterial endocarditis, due to an internal medicine doctor's misdiagnosis of mononucleosis.
Infant Diagnosis Error in Georgia.
In another infection case, an infant suffered the loss of part of one leg, injuries to both hands and cognitive impairments due to delays in diagnosing and treating meningococcemia, a bacterial infection of the bloodstream. This child had been seen in the E.R. with a high fever but was sent home with a diagnosis of a viral illness. When he returned to the hospital the next morning he was much sicker, yet correct diagnosis and treatment were still delayed. Claims involving both hospital visits were pursued and substantial compensation was eventually obtained.
Brain Infection Misdiagnosis in Georgia.
We successfully represented the mother of a child who lost her life due to catastrophic harm caused by a bacterial brain infection. This child had been diagnosed with a routine sinus infection, but the pediatric emergency room physician had missed ominous warning signs of a much more serious problem, meningitis. It is believed that the sinus infection, which had involved the sphenoid sinuses which are in close proximity to the brain, led to a spread of bacteria from the sinus to the lining of the brain. It was our belief that the child needed to be admitted into the hospital and that multiple signs including vomiting and neck pain were worrisome for meningitis and out of the norm for a routine sinus infection. Sadly, by the time the real problem was recognized days later, this beautiful child had suffered severe brain damage which eventually led to her death several months later. A compromise settlement of a malpractice lawsuit led to compensation for this mother's tragic loss of her daughter.
Delay in Diagnosing Cancer
Breast Cancer Diagnosis Neglect in Georgia.
Compensation was obtained for a patient injured due to a gynecologist's failure to recognize her signs of breast cancer. In this medical malpractice lawsuit, we contended that there had been a one year delay in diagnosing the breast cancer, due to the doctor's erroneous conclusion that a breast lump was a benign cyst. Our ability to show a family history of breast cancer that was ignored and that the doctor failed to obtain a mammogram led to a successful outcome of our client's lawsuit.
Radiologist Negligence in Georgia.
In another cancer case, we were able to help a gentleman whose signs of throat cancer were missed by a hospital radiologist. The radiologist had failed to notice the cancerous lesion on an MRI, resulting in a several month delay in diagnosing and treating the cancer.
Uterine Cancer Care Negligence in Georgia.
We were able to achieve compensation for a nice man who lost his wife unnecessarily to uterine cancer. She had begun having postmenopausal bleeding and had sought help from a gynecologist. During an endometrial biopsy, the doctor encountered a lesion in her uterus that he had to negotiate around. He wrote that if the pathology results showed hyperplasia, a pelvic MRI would be needed. The pathology demonstrated complex endometrial hyperplasia, but the MRI was not obtained. The patient was put on Provera to address her bleeding, but the doctor noted that regardless of how her bleeding pattern responded, a repeat biopsy would be needed. Unfortunately, a repeat biopsy was also not done, and the patent went nearly two years before she insisted on hysterectomy due to her continued bleeding. At the hysterectomy, it was discovered that she had advanced uterine cancer. Shortly after this, it was learned that the cancer had metastasized to her lungs and brain and she died. A malpractice lawsuit on behalf of the husband followed and eventually led to a compromise settlement for his loss.
Failure to Diagnose Heart Attack
Primary Care Negligence in Georgia.
In another medical negligence case, compensation was obtained on behalf of a patient whose primary care physician had ignored classic signs of a heart attack. The patient had complained of chest pain, nausea, arm pain, and shortness of breath. Despite these symptoms, the defendant doctor failed to obtain an electrocardiogram and sent the patient home. By the time our client's heart attack was diagnosed by another doctor, he had sustained significant, permanent heart muscle damage which would have likely been avoided by earlier treatment.
Other Cases of Diagnostic Malpractice
Misdiagnosis of An Aneurysm in Clayton County.
In another case involving misdiagnosis, we were able to help a Clayton County, Georgia man who lost his leg due to medical neglect. In that case, a lump behind the knee was mistakenly diagnosed as a baker's cyst, when in fact it was due to a vascular aneurysm. Sadly, a suspected aneurysm was diagnosed by a radiologist, but the patient was not told this and the report was apparently not read by the patient's orthopedist. By the time the aneurysm was eventually recognized by another doctor, it was too late to save the leg and an amputation above the knee had to be done.
Colonoscopy Error in Georgia.
We also obtained a recovery for a wonderful elderly woman whose husband died due to severe peritonitis and infection caused by leakage from a hole in his large intestine. The bowel perforation had occurred during routine diagnostic colonoscopy. The defendant surgeon had been called upon to find and fix any such injuries but found only one of two holes. The second hole thus was not repaired leading to contamination from bowel spillage into the abdomen and the patient's demise. The defense contended that the second perforation actually had occurred later as a result of diverticulitis. Despite a vigorous defense and convincing defense experts, the case was favorably resolved during jury deliberations.
Blood Work Negligence in Georgia.
Through a court-ordered mediation, we were able to obtain a favorable settlement for a widow whose husband's wrongful death was caused by the failure of a surgeon to timely diagnose an anastomotic leak after having a colectomy. The patient, who was on Plavix and aspirin, suffered a substantial amount of blood loss when the surgeon eventually tried to repair the leak, and he died in the post-operative recovery area. In addition to the delay in diagnosis claim, there was also an issue as to whether the patient was given sufficient blood products during or after the surgery. The doctor claimed that the hospital ran out of platelets, which the hospital denied. The hospital also lost a blood sample, which resulted in a delay in discovering that the patient's hemoglobin and hematocrit were critically low. Despite the fact the hospital and doctor seemed to blame each other, the case was successfully resolved.
Orthotic Error in Douglas County.
In a very unique case of professional malpractice, a Douglas County man lost his leg due to an orthotist providing improper orthotic braces. Our client was a known diabetic who had a history of enduring multiple diabetic complications such as ulcers and skin lesions due to poor circulation. A podiatrist wanted him fitted for diabetic shoes and directed him to an orthotic care office. Despite the fact that no physician wanted him to have braces, the orthotist determined on her own that he needed them to treat a non-diabetic condition that had never been diagnosed by a physician. Our client wore the braces as he understood the verbal instructions. Like most patients, he relied upon the orthotic professional and did not question the fact that no one else had suggested braces. Of course, the reason no one else had suggested them is that inside a shoe, the braces present a serious risk of producing foot ulcers to a diabetic because of contact with the foot. The braces did in fact cause ulcers to both feet and infections followed. Ultimately one leg had to be amputated to prevent infection taking over his body. The Defendants contended that the braces were appropriate even if not prescribed and that the braces played no part in causing the surgical amputation. Aggressive cross-examination of the Defendants at their depositions caused them to go to mediation with us, and that produced a significant award despite all of the defenses raised.
Oxycontin Prescription Negligence in Georgia.
We assisted two different families whose mothers died after being prescribed Oxycontin by the same psychiatrist. The psychiatrist was treating both ladies with high doses of the narcotic drug for pain, but he did not perform physical exams or appropriately assess the patients' pain before prescribing such an addictive drug. Both patients also had a history of psychological problems. The coroner ruled that the women died of accidental overdoses of Oxycontin. We were able to show that the defendant doctor suspected that the patients were not capable of complying with the medical treatment but still persisted in prescribing the drug without appropriately monitoring his patients.