Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

Published on: down by other law firms, a young widow whose husband had been abhorrently ignored by ER doctors at a Florida Hospital turned to Leesfield Scolaro for help. Ten months later, Partner Thomas Scolaro and Attorney Mason Kerns were able to secure a multi-million dollar settlement during the claim’s pre-suit period, for the loss of her husband and for her young son’s loss of his father.

Earlier this year, Scolaro and Kerns reached another multi-million dollar settlement on behalf of an adolescent girl whose doctor failed to recognize that his patient had sustained a stroke. The doctor’s unbelievable failure to diagnose caused delay in administering known effective treatment. Due to this physician’s negligence, our 17-year-old client was left with permanent cerebral sequelae which have drastically altered the quality of the remainder of her life.

These catastrophic medical malpractice cases were the main target of previous Administrations who actively sought (and succeeded to) limit the recovery of medical malpractice victims through arbitrary and unconstitutional laws. Indeed, since 2003, Justice for medical malpractice victims has been very hard to obtain due to insurance company-friendly laws. Governor Jeb Bush at the time forced the passage of statutory caps for plaintiffs who had been victims of medical malpractice, limiting the monetary compensation they rightfully deserved. The preeminent argument was that malpractice insurance premiums for Florida doctors were skyrocketing and causing good doctors to flee the state as a consequence.

Published on:

medical malpracticeWith the prices you pay at the hospital, you shouldn’t have to worry about asinine medical errors. Yet they abound. As quality medicine standard-bearer Johns Hopkins recently reported, medical errors are now the THIRD leading cause of death in the United States. The Johns Hopkins study was a follow-up to a similar report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  Startlingly, medical errors kill 250,000 people per year in the United States—trailing only (1) heart disease (614,000) and (2) cancer (591,000), and ahead of (4) stroke (133,103), (5) Alzheimer’s disease (94,000), (6) diabetes (76,000), (7) flu and pneumonia (55,000), (8) kidney failure (48,000), and (9) suicide (43,000). Not a good list to be near the top of, to say the least.

Perhaps the most avoidable of all medical negligence is the Unintended Retained Foreign Object (URFO)—a euphemism for “surgeon leaves [scalpel/sponge/forceps/clamp/scissors] in patient and sews her up.” A 2013 study found that hundreds of these events occur each year, many causing death. Ninety-five percent of UFROs resulted in additional care and/or an extended hospital stay. The total costs related to a UFRO is said to be $200,000 per incident.

Thankfully, the legislature and courts have rightfully decided that URFOs are a “never event” in a hospital—an event that, if people are being reasonably careful, will never, ever happen. In that vein, under Florida law, “the discovery of the presence of a foreign body, such as a sponge, clamp, forceps, surgical needle, or other paraphernalia commonly used in surgical, examination, or diagnostic procedures, shall be prima facie evidence of negligence on the part of the health care provider.” Fla. Stat. § 766.102(b).