Thursday, April 20, 2017

What happens when a doctor medically neglects another doctor?

Estate of John Doe v Medical Institution and Physician State of Michigan, XXXXXXX County Circuit Court Regarding Settlement $2,560,000.00 – nondisclosure Case evaluation amount: $1,100,000.00 Settled following facilitation Facts: This is a medical negligence action resulting in the untimely death of a decedent physician. When the decedent, a much-loved and well-respected physician, discovered blood in his stool, he did exactly what he should have. He called a colleague and had both an upper and lower endoscopy performed. When a tumor was discovered in his colon, he immediately contacted a colleague surgeon and asked him to perform surgery. Surgery was performed and pathology determined that it was a curable Stage II colon cancer. Within 36 hours after surgery the decedent had symptoms of severe complications. Tragically, these symptoms were not reported to the surgeon by the staff and as a result a death ensued from septic shock and organ failure. Subsequent to the surgery, a family friend internal medicine physician, visited the decedent and found him to be stable. On the second day the surgeon saw the decedent and saw he was doing well without evidence of complications. The family friend physician again visited decedent on post-operative day 1 in the afternoon and found decedent was nauseated with abdominal pain with rapid heart rate. By early evening, ominous changes had become evident. There was some confusion as to whether the family friend physician could formally participate in decedent’s care, so the nurses asked the surgeon for a consult so the friend physician could help manage decedent’s pulmonary status. The surgeon did order a bolus infusion and formally requested a consult with the family friend physician. This was the last time any nurse or employee at medical institution or physician contacted the surgeon. Within an hour, things began to significantly deteriorate. The family friend was in to see decedent and noted he was having shortness of breath. Things went from bad to worse, but still no one called the surgeon. Despite the obvious decline in the decedent’s condition, it took at least another three hours for anyone to monitor his vital signs. When they were monitored, decedent’s heart was racing, respiratory rate was up and he was administered oxygen. No one called the surgeon. Another 3 hours went by before his vitals were monitored again. He was noted to be diaphoretic and confused. Almost another four hours passed and then the surgeon was notified. By the time the surgeon arrived the following day, decedent was near death. The surgeon immediately recognized sepsis and took decedent to the operating room for exploratory surgery. Within minutes of anesthesia induction, the decedent went into cardiac arrest. He was stabilized and taken to intensive care. As the day progressed, however, the surgeon knew he had to take the decedent back to the operating room to find out what was causing the sepsis. That afternoon the surgeon returned to the operating room and discovered a tear in decedent’s duodenum, which he repaired. Tragically, however, decedent’s body had been overwhelmed by the undiagnosed and untreated sepsis. He went into organ failure despite heroic attempts to save his life. This vibrant man died prematurely in his early 60’s. This is a claim against the nursing staff and family friend physician for failure to recognize signs and symptoms of sepsis and in failing to notify the surgeon for intervention. The defendants attempted to blame the surgeon as the cause of decedent’s death, or claimed that it was too speculative to know whether early surgery would have saved him, or that he would have succumbed to the colon cancer. The surgeon’s own testimony was dispositive. Had he been informed of the changes in the decedent’s vital signs, he would have come in and would have operated promptly. There was no negligence on behalf of the surgeon, causing a cut in the duodenum in and of itself. It can occur in the absence of negligence. Plaintiff’s experts supporting this claim were in the specialty of internal medicine, colon and rectal surgery and a registered nurse, as well as an economist. Decedent had a successful practice, and had an eminently curable colon cancer. He was survived by his wife, two adult children and grandchildren, who he did assist financially. Submitted by: CHARFOOS & CHRISTENSEN, P.C. DAVID W. CHRISTENSEN P11863 MARY PAT ROSEN P34992 26622 Woodward Avenue, Suite 100 Royal Oak, MI 48067 (248) 399-0350 or (313) 875-8080 / Fax: (248) 399-0351

Woman injured hand in a car accident, awarded $95,000.00, Wayne County Michigan

This is an auto negligence claim. The defendant was traveling southbound on a 5-lane road at which time Plaintiff was traveling northbound. The defendant entered the lane in which Plaintiff was traveling and struck Plaintiff nearly head-on, causing extensive property damage to the vehicle as well as bodily injury to Plaintiff. The defendant was cited. Plaintiff sustained fracture to her hand resulting in surgery for pin placement, the wearing of a compression glove to help reduce swelling, suffered severe loss of mobility and was unable to engage in employment and many daily activities. A second surgery was necessary to remove the pins and apparatus placed. Plaintiff sustained significant scarring, limitations on mobility and range of movement. Injuries sustained were multi-focal hand trauma, including but not limited to displaced metacarpal neck fracture of the right hand, thumb laceration and avulsion fracture which required the above-mentioned surgery and extensive physical and occupational therapy. The case was settled for $95,000 on a $100,000 policy pre-suit. No experts were involved in the case. Negotiations occurred between insurance carrier for the potential defendant. No outside attorneys were involved.

Friends roughhousing at house party causes $97,500 eye injury.

Wayne County Settled at case evaluation for $97,500.00 on a $100,000 policy. Defense attorney: In house counsel for Insurance. No experts utilized Defendant admitted he threw the broom and caused injury. Plaintiff was a guest at the home of Defendant for a housewarming party. The Plaintiff and Defendant had been friends for years. While a guest at Defendant's home, Plaintiff and the Defendant engaged in friendly roughhousing. Both parties admit it got a little out of hand, the roughhousing ceased and they hugged it out. Alcohol was involved. After the roughhousing had ceased for a period of time, Defendant was sweeping in the garage and threw the broom at the Plaintiff, striking Plaintiff in the left eye. Defendant testified he intentionally threw the broom but he did not intend to hurt Plaintiff, however, as a result, the broom hit Plaintiff and he was in need of emergency care. He was taken to the emergency room and then transferred to another hospital after a CT revealed a fractured left orbit injury. Plaintiff has been followed regularly where he has been evaluated for trauma, blurry vision, occular deformity, increased pressures, medication administration, and will continue to need to be seen for elevated pressures associated with glaucoma. An attending physician indicated there is future concerns due to the extent of the initial injury with a medial fracture and the fact that his eye pressure skyrocketed to the 50’s, with the normal being in the 20’s. He was on medications for inflammation and pressures and carries a diagnoses of traumatic glaucoma. His doctor is encouraged because the condition was caught and treated early and because Plaintiff has been such a compliant patient. At the present time, Plaintiff has been taken off medication with no apparent peripheral vision damage loss. However, Plaintiff is considered high risk for the development of glaucoma with elevated pressures. Glaucoma is a process which can damage the optic nerve which can lead to vision loss and blindness. Pressures increase when too much fluid is produced in the eye or the drainage channels are blocked. Damage to the optic nerve and impairment of vision from glaucoma are irreversible. According to his attending physicians, Plaintiff will need to be followed every six months for the rest of his life and if pressures are detected, he will need to be treated accordingly. Treatment ranges from medication to surgery. Plaintiff is 29 years old and was employed part time at the time. He lost his job due to medical restrictions relating to the incident. He is, however, now gainfully employed. He has no dependents.