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Miami Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Family's suit over frozen relative allowed to proceed

Miami residents may be interested in the latest developments in a lawsuit over a woman who may have been put in a hospital morgue freezer before she was actually dead. On April 2, the California Second District Court of Appeal ruled that the woman's family's lawsuit against the hospital could move forward. A lower court had previously ruled that the medical malpractice suit had been filed after the one-year statute of limitations had expired.

The suit started with the woman's apparent death in July 2010. The 80-year-old woman was taken to Boyle Heights Hospital in California after suffering a heart attack. She was pronounced dead and was taken to a freezer in the hospital morgue. However, morticians later discovered that the woman was face down, had a broken nose and had multiple cuts on her face.

Bad advice about follow-up medical care leads to lawsuit

Florida boxing fans may have seen the Nov. 2, 2013, bout between heavyweight boxers Magomed Abdusalamov and Mike Perez. On March 26, five months after Abdusalamov suffered extensive brain injuries during the Madison Square Garden bout, his family filed a lawsuit against the fight's referee, Madison Square Garden, K2 Promotions and five doctors associated with the New York State Athletic Commission. The commission's inspector was also named in the suit. The family's allegations includ recklessness, gross negligence and medical malpractice.

Abdusalamov went 10 rounds against his opponent, during which time he suffered a laceration above his eye that was sutured in the dressing room. The boxer also suffered multiple injuries to his face and hand that were subsequently diagnosed as broken bones. Although Abdusalamov complained of head pain following the fight, the New York State Athletic Commission's physicians advised him that he did not require immediate medical attention for his injuries.

Tubal ligation error results in pregnancy

Florida residents who follow malpractice cases may know about a case making national headlines in which a woman is suing her surgeon for wrongful pregnancy. The 2010 lawsuit, reportedly unique in Illinois, alleges that the physician cauterized the wrong Fallopian tube. The 44-year-old mother lost her right ovary when she was 12 years old. She carries the trait for sickle cell anemia, and so does her husband. They had three children together when she decided to undergo a sterilization procedure called tubal ligation.

The chance of having sickle cell disease is one in four if both parents are carriers. The couple's second son has the disease. Despite using a form of birth control, the mother had a third child who was also a carrier. In 2008, she underwent the tubal ligation procedure. According to medical records, the surgeon documented he cauterized the right Fallopian tube. When her daughter was born in 2010 by cesarean section, it was noted that the left Fallopian tube appeared intact and normal.

Surgeon pleads guilty to health care fraud

Health safety advocates in Florida may be closely watching the case of a New York doctor who had been charged with insurance fraud involving Medicare and had pleaded guilty in October 2013 to botching and faking thousands of surgical procedures. His victims and their family members attended the recent sentencing along with many supporters. The surgeon admitted that his actions were driven by greed and the desire to increase his income, resulting in falsified records leaded to unnecessary surgeries and millions of dollars paid to the provider. He also admitted to producing false claims almost every time he performed any type of surgery.

Many of his former patients have filed medical malpractice lawsuits against the surgeon. They feel that their ability to function on a daily basis has been taken away affecting their relationships with their loved ones and creating a hardship when looking for employment. Many of the surgeries he performed left the patients with severe physical disabilities.

Family files lawsuit against lab for missing cancer

A nationwide testing lab is being sued by the family of a Florida woman for failing to diagnose cancer. The woman underwent two pap smears that the lab determined read negative, but her doctor later discovered a mass. The woman died a year later.

The woman began to experience pain and exhaustion in 2008 and began seeking a cause from doctors, her husband stated. Her doctor did a pap smear, which tests for cervical cancer, and sent the test slide to Laboratory Corporation of America. The test came back clear. Two years later, another pap smear was performed, and the same lab found this test negative. The woman's doctor eventually discovered that she had a mass that was most likely cancer.

Family of brain-damaged boxer filing lawsuit

The family of a heavyweight boxer who suffered brain damage in a fight intends to file a $100 million lawsuit against the state of New York and the New York Athletic Commission. The boxer, Magomed Abdusalamov, received multiple injuries in a fight and fell into a coma after an emergency operation on his brain. The 10-round fight left the boxer brutally beaten with his face disfigured, but officials saw no reason to stop the fight early. Afterward, the boxer told the doctor examining him that he had head pain, but, despite his injuries, the boxer was not taken to the hospital.

After the examination, a commission doctor noticed that he had blood in his urine. Doctors then advised that the fighter go to the nearest hospital, but they told his family and trainers to take him via taxi instead of calling an ambulance. By the time he arrived at the hospital, the fighter was on the verge of passing out and vomiting. Emergency room doctors found a blood clot in his brain and immediately took him to an operating room.

Diagnosing women's heart problems

Florida residents may be interested to learn that, while heart problems may be at the top of the list when it comes to men's health, women's heart disease is often misdiagnosed. One woman learned this when it took her doctors nearly five weeks and multiple trips to the hospital to determine that she was suffering from congestive heart failure.

There may be several reasons for this. A number of recent studies have shown that there is a difference in the way a man's and a woman's heart functions. However, despite differences being identified in both sexes, women are still being improperly treated or are misdiagnosed with other issues such as nerve problems. Cardiovascular issues in women are often unrecognized, especially since a woman's heart can still function normally while simultaneously showing heart failure symptoms. Moreover, women are less likely to be prescribed statins, aspirin or beta-blockers to prevent heart failure.

Family wins settlement in wrongful death suit

Miami residents may be interested in the outcome of a wrongful death suit filed against Planned Parenthood by the family of a woman who died after a botched abortion. In February of this year, a court in Illinois allowed the parties to settle. Planned Parenthood will pay $2 million to the family of a 24-year-old woman who died following an apparent surgical error during an abortion in Chicago in 2012. Some political groups used the incident to urge for more oversight of abortion clinics.

According to the Thomas More Society, a pro-life legal group, Planned Parenthood staff failed to provide the appropriate treatment after the botched abortion. The group also says the clinic didn't provide full information after transferring the woman to a hospital. In a separate report, the group said that the Planned Parenthood location where the abortion took place only offers limited services and not the procedure that the staff attempted with the 24-year-old woman.

Patients could contract fatal disease after hospital mistake

Health safety advocates in Florida are watching the outcome of a North Carolina incident in which medical instruments could have infected 18 hospital patients with an incurable brain disease. While people can undergo testing to see if they have contracted Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, they must have an operation to remove brain matter, and the dangerous surgery does not always work. Since the disease is not treatable, the surgery could be unnecessary.

Victims can only contract CJD if they are exposed to contaminated spinal cord fluid or brain tissue. Some professionals are questioning whether medical facilities should even tell patients about the possibility of infection since the risk is minor. The deadly disease can take years to manifest, and someone who contracts the disease has a negligible chance of survival and usually succumbs to the illness within six months of showing symptoms.

Woman left with brain damage after routine cosmetic surgery

A Florida cosmetic surgery center is being sued by the family of an 18-year-old woman after a routine breast augmentation surgery went wrong in August 2013. The family claims that surgical errors led to the woman suffering brain damage and falling into a coma that lasted several months.

The woman regained consciousness in November 2013, according to sources. However, she cannot walk, eat or use the bathroom unassisted. She also suffers from bouts of depression and frequently cries as she contemplates her situation. Her relatives describe caring for her as looking after an infant. In addition to the medical malpractice lawsuit, the woman's family is also seeking to become the legal guardians of her 4-year-old son.