Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

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Jahi McMath went in to the Oakland Children’s Hospital for what has been described as a “routine tonsillectomy” in an effort to treat sleep apnea. Following the procedure, McMath began to bleed profusely from the mouth and nose, entered cardiac arrest, cutting off oxygen to the brain, eventually leading to alleged brain death.

Few details regarding McMath’s medical treatment are known at this time. What exactly occurred during the operation and what actions or omissions occurred remain to be seen. While this tragic incident remains under investigation, it is possible a medical error occurred. More than 200,000 people are killed every year in the United States due to medical errors.

Medical errors kill more than 200,000 people every year in the United States. Victims of medical errors or their families acting on their behalf may have grounds to sue a physician and/or hospital for the death or injury. The primary factors to consider are whether a physician, the hospital or another medical professional acted negligently by deviating from the appropriate standard of care, and whether this deviation caused the injury or death of an individual.

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A Kentucky and Ohio spine surgeon is facing federal charges and has since been suspended by the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure. The suspension of Dr. Atiq Durrani was ordered following a federal indictment relating to health care fraud charges.

According to the latest federal indictment filed in mid-October, Durrani is accused of falsely diagnosing patients and performing unnecessary surgeries on approximately ten patients.

Durrani, who owns and operates the Centers for Advanced Spine Technologies (CAST) located in Mason and Florence, is also facing roughly 160 civil lawsuits filed by patients who claim the surgeries they underwent at the hands of Durrani worsened their conditions.

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Todd Christenson, the famed Oakland Raiders tight end and five-time Pro Bowler, died Wednesday morning of complications while undergoing surgery. Christenson, nicknamed The Renaissance Man, had battled liver disease in recent years and was undergoing a liver transplant at the time of his death.

While it is unknown at this time exactly what complications led to his death, because Christenson died while undergoing a medical procedure and while in the care of a surgeon, questions of liability regarding his death may arise.

Once more is known about the details surrounding his death, it is possible that the estate of Christenson may have grounds to bring a medical malpractice and wrongful death claim against the doctor and hospital whose care he was in at the time of his death.

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An Eastern Kentucky hospital is under fire as a federal investigation is underway regarding its unusually high and disproportionate rates of coronary stenting.

Coronary stenting is the surgical procedure by which metal mesh devices are placed in a patient’s coronary arteries. The devices are designed to prop the coronary arteries open as a means of treating coronary blockages. Such procedures are often paid for by public health programs including Medicaid.

King’s Daughters Medical Center, located in Ashland, Kentucky, has been under investigation by the Department of Justice since 2011 amidst allegations that the hospital is needlessly implanting the coronary stents in patients.

A recent study conducted by researchers with Dartmouth College revealed that the region in which King’s Daughters Medical Center is located ranked fourth out of nearly 2,000 United States regions for the amount of coronary stent procedures conducted. King’s Daughter’s Medical Center is the only facility to perform such procedures in its town of 22,000.

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The Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure has filed a complaint against Dr. John P. Short following the death of an infant in 2010. The complaint alleges that the death of the infant, Derrick Donovan Willis, was caused by suffocated which resulted from an endotracheal tube being improperly placed in the infants throat at an unnamed Kentucky hospital.

The complaint follows a medical malpractice claim filed by estate of the deceased infant. The medical malpractice claim alleged that Short acted negligently in the treatment of the infant for respiratory failure by failing to monitor him after treating him.

A Boyd County jury found that Short, an osteopath, failed to act as a reasonable prudent emergency room physician and as such failed to comport with the standard of care. The jury further found that this breach was a substantial factor in causing the death of the infant and awarded $6 million to the infant’s estate.

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University of Kentucky Healthcare reached a settlement with a former pediatric heart surgeon who previously led the Kentucky Children’s Hospital heart surgery program. Dr. Mark Plunkett will receive $1 million, with over half to be paid within ten days. Per the settlement, Plunkett will also receive a salary supplement.

Plunkett resigned from UK Healthcare shortly after UK suspended its Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery following parent’s concerns over the program and the infant mortality rate. Several media outlets requested data regarding infant mortality rates for the program, but UK refused to release the records in an attempt to keep the records private. Per a court order, the UK later released the data. Plunkett subsequently accepted a job at the University of Florida and a short time later also parted ways with that University.

As of yet none of Plunkett’s patients have filed suit against UK, however per the agreement, Plunkett is barred from suing UK and must cooperate as a witness in any potential lawsuits that may arise.

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The VA may be in hot water after a military paratrooper battling a brutal painkiller addiction died as a result of a drug overdose. The paratrooper, 32-year-old Jeffrey Waggoner was ordered to report to the VA in order to detoxify from a ruthless painkiller addiction. Medical records indicate the VA administered large doses of medication which caused Waggoner to have difficulty staying awake. The VA then bizarrely sent Waggoner home with 19 different prescriptions, including highly addictive painkillers.

Three hours following his release, Waggoner was found dead due to drug overdose. Tragically, The Center for Investigative Reporting discovered such situations are not uncommon. Since 9/11, rather than aid veterans in recovering from traumatic deployments, the VA has fed the addictions of many traumatized veterans and provided the potent drugs to VA patients which has resulted in an increasing number of drug overdoses.
According to the Center for Investigative Reporting opiate medications prescriptions have increased by 270% since 9/11. Such medication includes morphine, methadone, hydrocodone and oxycodone, all of which is highly addictive. Experts say such data indicates the VA is overmedicating veterans while struggling to find and maintain more complex treatment options.

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A Pineville, Kentucky jury recently returned a not guilty verdict in a civil case alleging a Pineville Community Hospital doctor was liable in the death of a patient.

According to reports, Dr. Uyi Idemudia was cleared of liability in a medical malpractice claim filed by the surviving family members of James Gross, who died while in Dr. Idemudia’s care at Pineville Community Hospital. The lawsuit alleged that Gross died as a result of drug-induced respiratory insufficiency.

Per the jury instructions, Dr. Idemudia had a duty to act and care for Gross as a reasonably compete physician acting under similar circumstances would have. This level of care is commonly referred to as the “standard of care” in medical malpractice claims.

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University of Kentucky Medical Center is facing a medical malpractice lawsuit filed by a man who alleges he was misdiagnosed with the HIV virus. Bobby Russell alleges that after presenting to the University of Kentucky Emergency Room with viral-like symptoms in 2004, he was told by medical personnel that he tested positive for the HIV virus, which causes AIDS. Russell began treatment for HIV in 2004 and has said that he subsequently engaged in sexual relationships with HIV-positive partners under the belief that he too, was HIV-positive.

According to reports, Russell said he discovered that he did not have the HIV virus after being tested in 2012 at Bluegrass Care Clinic. According to Russell’s lawsuit, not a single medical provider, including named defendants Kentucky Medical Center, the Fayette County Health Department and the UK-affiliated Bluegrass Care Clinic, performed a full range test for HIV.

In their recently filed response, UK medical officials stated that Russell was properly diagnosed with the virus, using appropriate medical testing. The lawsuit states that Russell immediately began anti-retroviral treatment which has suppressed the virus. According to the response, this is why Russell’s recent HIV test came back negative, because his HIV is suppressed. As such, a UK spokesman, Jay Blanton, stated there is no reason for the suit to continue and it should be dismissed accordingly.

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A Charleston, South Caroline couple are suing a physician for a missed diagnosis which resulted in permanent paralysis. According to the filed complaint, Dr. Ananthan Krishnathas neglected to appropriately detect and care for a sizable epidural abscess that was situated against Timothy Ray Starkey’s spinal cord. Starkey was under the care of Dr. Krishnathas after being admitted to St. Francis Hospital in Charleston, South Carolina in 2011.

According to the suit, Dr. Krishnathas failed to provide appropriate medical care. Further Dr. Krishnathas acts and omissions caused Mr. Starkey to be permanently paralyzed and has further resulted in enduring physical and mental pain and suffering.

The Starkeys claim the defendant had a duty to provide Timothy Starkey with proper medical care and treatment for the injuries from which he suffered as would have been provided by a reasonably prudent hospitalist under the same or similar circumstances.

The Starkeys are also making a claim for loss of income and seek compensatory damages.