Famous Medical Malpractice Cases and their Settlements

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Medical malpractice is a case when there is negligence from the side of the heath care professional while treating his patient medically. If this professional treatment process or technique fall below the standards of practice in medical community and while doing so he causes injury or death of the patient then it is a case of medical malpractice.

Most of these cases happen because of the medical errors. If someone thinks that he is a victim of medical malpractice then he can pursue to the court and ask for claim or settlement. The court mostly sees these lawsuits as civil torts but sometimes medical malpractice can also be seen as criminal act as in the case of Michael Jackson death.

There is professional liability insurance which are mostly taken by the doctors and hospitals, which helps them with the money claimed by these lawsuits. These insurance sometimes fully and sometimes partially pays the amount to the victim or their families as settlement. These insurance companies have rules and regulation while providing money and they do not provide insurance money if the medical malpractice comes under criminal act.

There are millions of medical malpractice cases happening every year in United States. Some of the famous medical negligence, their statistics and settlements are described below.

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Statistical Data on Medical Malpractice

Institute of Medicine (IOM) cited a report according to the two studies which they made from the hospital discharges from New York 1984 and hospital discharges from Colorado and Utah in 1992. In that report they said that approximately 90,000 hospitalized Americans dies each year because of the preventable medical errors.

 According to the report by Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, in a single day about 1 of the 31 hospital have at least one healthcare – associated infection. In 2015, there were 687,000 HIA patients in United States and from these nearly about 72,000 died just because of the injection.

Forbes website wrote an article about medical malpractice cases in United States and stated that there are around 17,000 medical malpractice suits every year in US. They also stated that 75% doctors with low risks specialty have faced malpractice claims at least one time in their whole career. Doctors with high risks specialty have this number to 99%.

Medical Malpractice Cases of Some Famous Celebrities

Hulk Hogan

medical malpractice cases

In 2013, Hulk Hogan filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against a spinal clinic for not providing him full and real information of their services.

Hogan was suffering for tremendous back pain so he went to the spinal clinic and asked them to perform traditional back surgery but the doctors scared him about the later consequences of the surgery and told him to undergo procedures which are less damaging to the body.

Hogan said that they did not tell him that these procedures are not the permanent solution to his problem because the pain keeps on coming back. He keeps on coming back to the clinic for 19 months. Eventually when nothing worked they had to undergo the back surgery which should have been done earlier.

Later he got to know that this clinic is doing this to their other patients also to attract more money and patients. He said that he lost many career opportunities during these 19 months and that is why he is suing the clinic for $50 million as damage resulting for career opportunities.


Julie Andrews

celebrity medical malpractice cases

Julie Andrews a sensational singer and actress of the 90’s was the another famous victim of medical malpractice. In 1997, she had a vocal cord surgery to remove noncancerous nodules or a benign polyp. The surgery did not go as expected and she was left with permanent hoarseness in her voice, which ended her singing career.

According to her biography, when was diagnosed with a lesion in her vocal cord, doctors told her that they will perform a surgery. They told her that it will not affect her voice in any way and she will be able to sing again within weeks.

She did not find any problem because doctors were very confident so in June 1997 she had an operation on her vocal cords at Mount Sinai Hospital. At that time in the 90’s surgery mostly done with forceps and lasers so there was high risks of scarring the vocal cords.

The same happened with the Andrews and she was left with scarred vocal cords. Now her vocal cords cannot vibrate the same way they used to and there was permanent hoarseness in her voice.

In 1999, Andrews filed a lawsuit against her doctors and hospital. She claimed that they did not tell her the risks of the surgery they were performing and the result ruined her whole singing career. Next year an unknown settlement was made between the two parties.


Tiger Woods

celebrities medical malpractice

Tiger Woods had a car accident in November 2009 and was taken to the hospital. When he was in the hospital he accused the former nurse for accessing his personal records from his computer with permission.

According to the report by CBC Miami, the hospital fired David M. Rothenberg because of Tiger Woods allegations.

Later Rothenberg filed a lawsuit against the Orlando hospital for defamation.

He sued the hospital for $400,000 for career and personality damages. He denies that he never looked at any Tiger Woods personal records. According to him he was the victim of same controversy.


Michael Jackson

artist medical malpractice case

Michael Jackson, one of the legendary pop singer in the music industry history also died because of the fatal dose if the drugs prescribed by his private physician.

In his last years he was having trouble sleeping so he always asks his private physicist for drugs to sleep better. Dr. Conrad Murray who was physician during that time was found guilty and was charged with involuntary manslaughter.

The jury found him guilty because he was aware of the Michael condition and whenever he asked, sometime begged for drugs to sleep he gave him without any concern.

He should have taken Jackson to the hospital, where he could have given better treatment and might have not died at the age of 50 on June 25, 2009.

It looks like Dr. Murray do want $150,000 to stop coming to him if he prescribed Jackson to someone else or more professional. Yes, he was receiving that much amount of money for every month, from Michael Jackson touring company for keeping his patient healthy.


John Ritter

celebrities medical malpractice

John Ritter, a well known comedian who used to work on shows such as “8 Simple Rules” and “Three’s Company” died on 11th September 2003 as a result of an aortic dissection.

Aortic Dissection has similar symptoms like heart attack and can only be diagnosed if doctors follow necessary protocols and tests. But in the case of John Ritter doctors repeatedly failed to diagnose his symptoms and ultimately this led to his death.

Doctors misdiagnose his symptoms as heart attack and gave him medication accordingly. Aortic Dissection is a fatal condition because aorta in the main blood vessel which transports blood to your heart and rest of the body.

If doctors have taken a heart X-ray they would have easily diagnosed the condition. Instead they gave him blood thinners which are very harmful in this condition.

The two doctors who were involved in this case were put on the medical malpractice trail for negligence and liabilities. They were also asked to provide $68 million for damage by John’s widow.

But they were released and not charged because according to the jury if even doctors have caught the aortic dissection they would not be able to save the life of the patient.

Whatever been the outcome but the doctors surely failed to diagnose John Ritter condition which led to his death.


Dana Carvey

medical negligence cases

Dana Carvey, a well known comedian had a surgery to clear his blocked artery in 1998. But the doctor made the blunder mistake and operated surgery on the different artery.

Carvey has a family history of high cholesterol so he met with the doctors and performed three unsuccessful angioplasties in 1997. Later his doctors said the best way to resolve the problem is to perform a open heart surgery.

So he had an operation in Marin General hospital in 1998, which was performed by Dr. Elias Hanna. But few days after the surgery when his pain did not go away, his personal doctor told him the unexpected truth.

According to the report by SFGATE, the doctor botched Bypass surgery of the comedian. 

Carvey was terrified knowing that he have to again go through the second bypass surgery.

In 2000, he filed a lawsuit against Dr. Elias Hanna and claimed $7.5 million as damage.


Dennis and Kimberly Quaid Twins

medical malpractice settlements

A star actor of “Vantage Point”, Dennis Quaid two newly born twins were given overdose of drugs by the nurses of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, California.

On November 18, 2007, nurses at the hospital gave 1,000 times the recommended dose of blood thinner heparin. These newly born babies were under treatment for staph infection and small dose of heparin helps in blood clotting.

The drug comes in labels – 10,000 units for adults and 10 units for babies. On that particular day someone put the 10,000 unit bottle in the 10 unit drawer. Since both the bottles are alike in characteristics, this mishap happened.

One most frightening thing to notice is that the hospitals did not told the parents about the mishap on the night it happened. The Quaids only get to know about this medical malpractice when they reached the hospital the next morning.

According to the interview given by Dennis Quaid to LA Times, “Our kids could have been dying, and we wouldn’t have been able to come down to the hospital to say goodbye”.

With the help of the hospital Dennis Quaid filed a lawsuit against the drug Company Baxter Health Corp., one of the manufacturers of heparin. According to the Quaids there is no difference between the bottles for adult and babies. They also bring to notice that already three infants have died in Los Angeles previously because of the same error which happened in their case.

According to the Reuters, there was the $750,000 settlement in between the Quaids and hospital for the life threaten overdose of drug to their newly born babies.


Joan Rivers

celebrity medical malpractice cases

In 2014 comedian Joan Rivers died because of the medical negligence of some doctors when she went for her sore throat examination.

She was suffering from hoarse voice and sore throat, so she went to Yorkville Endoscopy for examination.

According to the report by The New York Times, Joan has to undergo an examination of vocal cords, voice box and upper digestive system. Everything was performed under anesthesia.

But doctor during examination was so negligent that they violated protocols. One of the doctors Dr. Cohen even took out his phone to take pictures of Joan on the operating table.

Dr. Bankulla firstly noticed there was something wrong with the procedure and told the doctors that her vocal chords are extremely swollen and could seize up. Other doctors, Dr. Cohen and Dr. Korovin ignore their follow anesthesiologist.

Soon, Ms. River’s vocal cords closed and she stopped breathing.

Then they called 911 and she was taking immediately to the hospital, where she died one week later.

Doctors accepted that this was the case of medical malpractice and accepted the punishment.

In 2015, Ms. Rivers’s daughter, Mellissa, filed a lawsuit against the doctors and the clinic. Later they reached with the publicly unclosed settlement for the death of the comedian.


Kylie MInogue

celebrities medical malpractice

In 2008, Kylie Minogue revealed that earlier doctors failed to diagnose her breast cancer during Ellen DeGeneres show.

She never revealed this information to anyone before but when she got to know that the host of the show, Ms DeGeneres has also been affected with the same disease, she opened up his experience.

She did not tell about the dates and the clinic or doctors but said sometimes professional also make mistakes.

According to the People report, she said “Listen, this is an opportunity for me to say something that I have not said before, I was misdiagnosed initially. So my message to all of you and everyone at home is, because someone is in a white coat and using big medical instruments doesn’t necessarily mean they are right”.

She said if you have doubt with something then you should go back again to professionals.

Later she found a lump in her breast and had it removed.


Dick Schaap

medical malpractice cases
Image Credit: Charlie Rose

According to the report by the Washington Post, the family of the award winning sports journalist was awarded with $1.95 million as a settlement for the death of Dick Schaap.

The jury decided the death was due to the medical negligence by one of the doctor named Neil L. Coplan, who performed the hip surgery.

Schaap’s attorney presented the information that the journalist was already on powerful medication for his heart condition and lung damage.

He said that he was taking amiodarone, which is known to cause pulmonary toxicity. Doctors have already taken the X-ray which revealed that he had lung damage. So doctor should have waited for some months so that his lung could heal and then performed the surgery.


Ed McMahon

medical malpractice

Ed McMahon whom you have seen in the late-night show with Johnny Carson, “The Tonight Show” also faced a medical malpractice case when his doctors failed to diagnose his broken neck after a fall and discharged him without even taking the X-ray. On the contrary they also botched two subsequent spine operations.

This happened in 2008 when he was taken to the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after a fall at his friend’s house.

According to the Reuters UK, because of this misdiagnose he was left in so much pain and discomfort that he was unable to work for many months.

He filed a lawsuit against the hospital and few months’ later hospital settled the malpractice claim. Information regarding the amount of the settlement was not made public.


Freddie Prinze

medical negligence cases

Prinze, an actor and comedian, shot himself at home because of drug overdose in 2016 at age 57. In April 2018, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced a civil settlement with Prinze’s Minnesota doctor who had prescribed narcotics to the musician’s bodyguard knowing that they were intended to be used by Prinze.

The settlement included approximately $1 million, which was awarded to the family and Drug Enforcement Administration monitoring for two years.

Prinze’s family filed a civil suit against the doctor for wrongful death and medical malpractice – claiming that he ignored the musician’s addiction and gave him narcotics days before his death – as well as the Illinois hospital and doctor who treated Prince for an initial overdose six days before he died, alleging that they all “had an opportunity and duty during the weeks before Prinze’s death to diagnose and treat Prince’s opioid addiction, and to prevent his death”.


Andy Warhol

medical malpractice cases

The Prolific Artist, Director and producer died after gallbladder surgery when hospital personnel essentially drowned him with fluids.

In 1987, Warhol died from heart failure at New York Hospital the day after a gallbladder operation.

His family sued the hospital and medical personnel, claiming that doctors and nurses essentially drowned the 58-year-old icon by putting too much fluid into his body.

More specifically, there was a “constant flow of intravenous fluid into the 128- pound Warhol, who had lost part of his lung and other organs as a result of a bizarre 1968 shooting. Warhol’s abdomen was wrapped tightly following his surgery and he was given morphine for pain, which could hamper breathing. As his partial lung filled with fluid, the combination was suffocating,” causing him to thrash around helplessly and drown in his own hospital bed, according to the lawsuit.

The case settled in 1991 for an undisclosed amount.


Anna Nicole Smith

medical malpractice

The model and TV personality was found overdosed on drugs which were illegally prescribed by her doctor.

39-year-old Smith died in a Florida hotel room in February 2007 after ingesting a lethal mix of at least nine prescription drugs, including powerful, rarely prescribed sleep syrup.

Her psychiatrist had authorized all 11 prescription medications found at the scene – none written to Smith – with over 600 pills, including 450 muscle relaxants, missing from prescriptions that were no more than five weeks old.

In 2009, California’s Attorney General charged the psychiatrist and Smith’s primary doctor with having “repeatedly and excessively furnished thousands of prescription pills to Anna Nicole Smith, often for no legitimate purpose” in violation of “their ethical obligations as physicians.”

According to the report by CNN, Anna Smith doctor and boyfriend, Howard K. Stern both were part of this conspiracy of providing more drugs to Anna. They were charged and arrested but later released when both posted a $20,000 bond.

Smith’s primary doctor was acquitted, but her psychiatrist was convicted of misdemeanor conspiracy for illegally providing Smith with narcotics prescribed under false names and was sentenced to a $100 fine plus one year’s probation.

In addition, the California Medical Board suspended the psychiatrist’s license for 90 days and put her on five years’ probation.


Glenn Frey

medical malpractice settlements

The Eagles guitarist and co-founder, Glenn Frey, died after numerous hospital mistakes surrounding his ulcerative colitis and other medical conditions.

Frey died in early 2016 after seeking medical treatment at a NYC hospital for ulcerative colitis and other ailments in fall 2015.

His widow filed suit against the gastroenterologist and hospital, alleging a myriad of medical mistakes, including failure to promptly diagnose and treat several medical conditions leading to severe illness, pain and mental anguish until he died.

According to the report by The Blast, Mount Sinai Hospital and Dr Steven Itzkowitz claims that the injuries were caused in whole or in part by the culpable conduct of the plaintiff.

Frey passed away in early 2016 due to complications from acute ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis and pneumonia.

The doctors and hospital wanted to have case dismissed because there is no proof that this Frey’s passing was the case of medical malpractice.


Matt Roberts

medical malpractice lawsuit
Image Credit: Rolling Stones

The 3 Doors Down lead guitarist died after overdosing on drugs which was overprescribed by his doctor.

Roberts was found dead in a Milwaukee hotel hallway in 2016. He was 38-years-old. The cause of death: an overdose involving fentanyl, hydrocodone and alprazolam.

Roberts’ doctor was indicted on 13 counts of unlawful distribution of drugs and health care fraud, with prosecutors alleging that he prescribed drugs to Roberts knowing the musician had addiction problems.

After the doctor’s acquittal, his family continued to pursue their civil lawsuit against the doctor, alleging that he had given Roberts excessive levels of opioid painkillers for years, causing and perpetuating his addiction. The case is still pending.


Marty Balin

medical negligence cases

Jefferson Airplane’s co-founder and lead singer entered a hospital for heart problems and left with half a tongue, a paralyzed vocal cord and an amputated thumb, ending his career.

In March 2016, Balin was admitted to a NYC hospital ER with cardiac problems and had emergency open-heart surgery. Three months later, he left the facility with half a tongue, a paralyzed vocal cord and an amputated thumb.

Balin filed a lawsuit against the hospital and several doctors, claiming his career-ending injuries were the result of a botched tracheotomy performed while he was recovering from heart surgery and an inadequately-staffed ICU.

Case is still in progress but Marty is unable to sing and play guitar. Instead he has devoted himself to writing songs.


Maurice Gibb

singer medical malpractice case

The Bee Gees’ star died after a Florida hospital failed to notice that his bowel and intestine were twisted.

53-year-old Gibb died three days after checking himself into Miami Beach’s Mount Sinai Medical Center for stomach pains in 2003. His intestines burst the first night, causing cardiac arrest.

As Robin Gibb told the Scotsman, it “took more than 10 minutes to retrieve the equipment to restart his brother’s heart, by which time he had suffered massive brain damage.”

Maurice’s bowel and small intestine had become so twisted they restricted his blood flow, a condition that went undetected by doctors, according to his brothers.

The family reportedly settled with the hospital out of court for an undisclosed amount.


Travis Barker

celebrities medical malpractice

In June 2018, Travis Barker was diagnosed with blood clots in his arms and later with staph infection.

According to the report, Travis told in his lawsuit that issues began after receiving a routine MRI at the Medical Imaging Center in Santa Monica, California.

Travis said he was to be sedated but technicians were unable to find the vein and struck him with the dirty needle at least 40 times. This terrifying process caused nerve damage and staph infection.

The case is still ongoing.


Bill Paxton

medical negligence

The actor died after high risk, unconventional heart surgery which caused multiple, untreated complications.

Paxton died in 2017, ten days after undergoing heart surgery at a California hospital to repair an aortic aneurysm and replace a heart valve.

His widow and two children filed suit against the surgeon and hospital, claiming wrongful death and negligence.

According to the complaint, the doctor didn’t disclose that he “was going to use a high risk and unconventional surgical approach with which he lacked experience” and wasn’t in the operating room when Paxton began suffering multiple complications.

Moreover, he allegedly “failed to timely return to the operating room upon notification of the complications, causing a delay in treatment resulting in damage.”

It is still pending in whose favor this case will go.


Elvis Presley

medical negligence

The king of rock and roll died from a lethal mixture of drugs overprescribed by his doctor.

On August 16, 1977, Elvis died at age 42 from a fatal mixture of drugs. After toxicology report showed high levels of prescription painkillers in Elvis’ body, Tennessee’s Board of Medical Examiners launched an investigation and brought charges against his personal physician, Dr. George Nichopoulos (a.k.a. “Dr. Nick”).

The Board heard evidence that Dr. Nick had written 199 prescriptions totaling over 10,000 doses of sedatives, amphetamines and narcotics to Elvis in the eight months before he died. Moreover, the prescription count came to 19,000 doses of drugs from January 1975 until Elvis’ death.

In 1980, the Board found Dr. Nick guilty of overprescribing, but he received little punishment – a three-month license suspension and three years’ probation. That same year, he was indicted on 14 counts of overprescribing drugs to Elvis, singer Jerry Lee Lewis and numerous other patients but was acquitted.

It wasn’t until 1995 – 18 years after Elvis’ death – that Dr. Nick was permanently stripped of his Tennessee medical license for overprescribing addictive drugs to numerous patients for years.


Geraldo Rivera

medical malpractice lawsuit

The TV personality’s foot was mangled following back surgery.

In 2010, Rivera underwent a back operation at NYC’s Hospital for Special Surgery. He left with a crippled right foot, prompting him to file a lawsuit against the surgeon and hospital.

The case settled for undisclosed terms before trial, with Rivera having publicly pledged to donate all proceeds to charity prior to the agreement.

Biggest Medical Malpractice or Negligence Settlements in United States History

$217 million awarded to Tampa man by Florida Jury

In 2000, Navarro, a pro Philippines basketball player was awarded with approximately $ 217 million when doctors failed to diagnose stroke symptoms.

Navarro, who was suffering from nausea, dizziness, double vision and headache, went to the Tampa’s University Community Hospital for checkup.

Doctors at the hospital misdiagnosed his stoke symptoms as a simple sinusitis. They sent him home with some painkillers.

He returned to the hospital the next day because his symptoms have gotten worse in one night. Now, doctors were doing emergency surgery because there was swelling in his brain.

After the surgery he was 3 months in coma.

Navarro and his family sued physician Michael P. Austin and two other doctors who misdiagnosed him earlier.

For this medical malpractice case, Florida jury awarded him with $100.1 million as punitive damage and $116.7 million as compensatory damages.

According to the Insurance Journal, Navarro’s brother-in-law, Ed Bilbao made a statement after the verdict saying, “This isn’t about money, this was about the quest for justice and today in this court justice was served.”


Baltimore Judge awarded $205 million to Maryland Woman

In 2019, jury awarded Erica Byrom $205 million because of her daughter brain injury during birth at John Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

According to the report by WAMU 88.5, the doctors gave her inaccurate information about her unborn baby in 2014.

Erica lawyer, Keith Forman said that doctors gave her indication that the baby was non-viable by telling that she could terminate the pregnancy.

This is the reason she declined a C-section and medical staff stopped monitoring her fetus. This is the time when baby didn’t get enough oxygen to her brain.

He baby, who is now 5, requires tremendous care because of cerebral palsy.

But according to Kim hooped who was the spokesperson for the hospital told that the doctors already told her about her condition and her decision making was not influenced by the hospital.

He also said that the jury has paid the woman far more than her expectation.


Johns Hopkins Hospital paid $190 million to more than 7,000 women 

A gynecologist and obstetrician, Dr. Nikita A. Levy of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, East Baltimore, was fired in 2103 when he was caught secretly recording women with pen like device in his neck. Her female coworker noticed him and reported about his camera device.

After this incident, a week later doctor committed suicide.

New York Times covered this news and confirmed that doctor did not share these videos anywhere or to anyone as confirmed by the investigation by the FBI, who found more than 1,000 videos in his personal laptop.

But the lawsuit was filed against the hospital for invasion of privacy, negligence and emotional distress.

Later hospital agreed on paying approximately $190 million to all of Dr. Levy’s victims.


$172 million medical settlement because of bad advice given by Paramedics

The jury awarded $172 million in a lawsuit verdict against the New York City because the paramedics gave the wrong advice which resulted in a 12 year old girl brain damage.

In 1998, Tiffany Applewhite went in a shock and her heart stopped working when a nurse gave her steroids shots for her eye condition. Her mother called 911 immediately and when the paramedics arrived; their ambulance does not have the advance life support and the paramedics forgot to bring the oxygen cylinders.

Tiffany mother told them to take her daughter to the nearest hospital but they suggested waiting for the private ambulance.

But the private ambulance arrived 20 minutes later till then Tiffany has suffered from severe brain damage and was paralyzed.

According to the report by Ross Feller Casey, a medical malpractice litigation firm, jury members decided that paramedics were negligent to wait instead to take the girl immediately to the hospital.


$135 million verdict in favor of Faith DeGrand

A 17 year old girl, Faith DeGrand won $135 million in a medical malpractice case against Detroit Medical Center.

According to the Detroit News, her attorney said in the court that when Faith was only 10 year old she received improper medical treatment which left her with a permanent weakness in her arms and legs.

He also said that she has a loss of bowel and bladder control.

In 2011 Faith went to the hospital for a surgery to correct the sideways curvature of her spine.

The doctor placed rods in her spine but the device instead of providing relief affected her bowel, limbs and bladder.

Another doctor removed the rods after 10 days but it was too late because Faith was left with permanent weakness.

After a two week trial jury gave the verdict in favor of Faith.


Tampa Woman won the $109 million Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

medical malpractice cases
Image Credit: Tampa Bay Times

In 2010, Lisa Maria Carter went for an operation to remove a benign ovarian cyst but she ended up losing both her hands and limbs.

 According to the Tampa Bay Times, the surgery took place at the Tampa General Hospital through USF’s college of medicine because the University employed the surgeon.

The surgeon botched up the surgery and the flesh eating bacteria decimated her lower bowel.

As a result doctors have to perform another surgery, removing all the parts which were infected by the bacteria.

When this surgery ended Maria had no legs or hands left.

She filed the lawsuit against the University of Florida and in 2018 jury gave her verdict in her favor. 


Mother of brain damaged boy Won $101 million in malpractice suit

Tequila Sallis, a mother of Gerald Sallis was awarded $101 million by the Cook Country jury in 2019 in respective of the medical malpractice suit for her son’s severe brain damage.

The medical staff of West Suburban Medical Center ignored the ultrasound results in 2014 which clearly indicated that the unborn baby did not move for six hours during the labor.   

Medical experts testified that a cesarean section would have prevented the brain damage to the boy.

Now, 5 years old boy cannot speak, walk or sit up on his own.

According to the report by CTV News, family attorney said, “To see this young child now suffer every minute of every day when he should be playing on a playground in kindergarten is a terrible thing.”

The jury gave the verdict in favor of the mother awarding $101 million. But both party already made a deal of $50 million irrespective of whatever the verdict by the court.


Some other Most Disturbing & Controversial Medical Malpractice Cases

Doctors removed the wrong Kidney

Mahesh Goel, a surgeon, and John Gethin Roberts, a consultant urologist, admitted that they made an error looking at Mr. Graham Reeves X-ray report and thought that they have to remove the patients left kidney. But in reality it was right kidney that had failed working.

Mr. Reeves died 5 weeks after the operation. He was 69 at that time. The doctors were found not guilty for manslaughter.

According to the report by The Guardian, they were found guilty for serious professional misconduct and were suspended for 12 months by the General Medical Council in 2000.


Women excreted part of a Surgical Forceps after 3 years of surgery

medical negligence cases
Image Credit: NCBI

A 36 year old patient was diagnosed with a hydatid cyst in her liver. So the surgery was performed and the cyst was removed.

After 3 years, she excreted a part of surgical forceps. She went to the hospital with the complaint of abdominal and pelvic pain. She often has this pain for 3 years after the surgery but didn’t go to hospital until this incident.

She went to another surgery and the broken, corroded turned black forceps was removed from her abdomen.

For detail information on this medical malpractice case, visit here.


Surgical Sponge left in the abdomen after cancer surgery

56 year old mother of three, Geraldine Nicholson was diagnosed with cancer and went to the hospital for surgery.

Two weeks after the surgery doctors discovered that a surgical sponge has been left in her abdomen.

For that reason she has to stay in the hospital for 1 year because of the infection caused by the sponge in her body. This prevented her to take radiation and chemotherapy.

So the operation which was done to prevent the infection to spread eventually made the situation worse.


Medical device left behind after childbirth

medical malpractice case
Image Credit: CBC Canada

In 2018, Laura Jokimen gave birth to a baby but there was tremendous pain in her abdomen for weeks which was becoming unbearable as days progresses.

According to the report by CBC Canada, one day the pain became intolerable and she get down to the floor and screamed for her husband help.

Laura said,” It was at that point I reached down and felt a metal device protruding out of my vagina”.

She freaked because she did not know what that device was and where it came from. She did not even stretch it out because she thought it might have attached to her organ.

She went to the hospital and doctor removed the device.

The device was the electrode that medical team have attached to the head of her baby during labor. This device is used to check the heartbeat of the baby.

They might have removed the monitor but forgot to remove the electrode.


Kenya doctors performed brain surgery on wrong person

Kenyatta National Hospital doctors performed the brain surgery on the different person.

According to the report by BBC, one person needed surgery for blood clotting on the brain and other was there at the hospital only for treatment for swelling.

But there was horrifying mix up in the identification tags and the wrong person was taken into the operation theater for surgery.

After few hours doctors realized their mistake when they found there was no blood clot on the brain of that man.

When this incident reached the social media people were actually shocked by knowing that such type of medical malpractice can also occur. The hospital was criticized all over social media.

Later the CEO, nurses and other staff were suspended at this Nairobi hospital.


Rhode Island Hospital performed wrong-sided brain surgery three times in a year

Rhode Island Hospital was fined with $50,000 by the state Department of Health after doctors at the hospital performed brain surgery on wrong side of the brain.

This was the third time this has happened in a year by the same hospital.

Out of these three one patient died.

According to the report by NBC News, the hospital said it was re-evaluating its training and policies, providing more oversight, giving nursing staff the power to ensure procedures are followed, and other steps.


Cancer Patient has wrong side of bowel removed

The wrong side bowel of the patient was removed at Northern Beaches Hospital, Sydney in 2019.

This mistake was the result of the privately contracted laboratory who mishandled the pathology results.

The story which was covered by the ABC News Australia says, according to the hospital, the private laboratory messed up the pathology results of the patient, which was later, send to the hospital.

The investigation is still ongoing.

Most Recent Medical Malpractice cases of 2020

$10 million award to the Woman killed during Spinal Surgery

In 2014, Sharon Kimble died during the back spinal surgery because of overdose of drugs given to her during the operation.

After the trail in 2018, the jury awarded her husband with the award of $10 million over her wife’s death.

The case is still running because one of the judges was not in the favor of the amount awarded to her husband.

According to the report by Penn Live, the judge says that the money awarded is far greater than that often missed for similar cases. He said that the amount has never exceeded $2.5 million in previous similar cases.


$15 million awarded to 15 year boy for brain injury

A federal judge in Tennessee awarded $15 million in a case of 15 year old boy who suffered brain injury at Fort Campbell Hospital.

According to the AP News, boy parents filed the lawsuit against the hospital in 2015 claiming that he suffered from brain injury during his birth. The boy was born in 2005 at Campbell Hospital.

Court later found out that the hospital did not tell the mother about her baby condition and not monitor the fetus properly.

The boy is suffering from cerebral palsy and neurological deficiencies because his brain did not received enough oxygen during labor.


Parent suing Oregon hospital for $6.3 million for their baby death

The parent of the 7 month old baby filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the hospital claiming $6 million.

The baby was taken to the hospital in 2018 because he was clearly showing the significant signs and symptoms of systemic Meningococcemia. But the doctors at the hospital did not test for the particular disease and send him home just by giving Tylenol.

Few hours later the boy condition got worse and again was taken to the hospital, but died on the way.

The parents accused the hospital staff for medical negligence.


$15, 000 for burning girls mouth by dentist in Las Vegas

dentist equipments

According to the news by KIRO 24/7, Nevada dentist set the mouth of 5 year old girl on fire.

The lawsuit was filed against Just for Kids Dentistry and Orthodontics owner Dr. Deep Karan Dhillon. The parents of the girls are claiming $15,000 for damage caused to the girl.

During the procedure, doctor used the tool “diamond bur” which emitted spark and later there was production of fire for couple seconds inside the girl’s mouth.

According to the lawsuit the girl suffered burns to her throat, epiglottis, tongue, lips and surrounding areas inside the mouth.

Final Analysis

In the end, I just want to say that doctors make large amount of medical errors around the world. So even if you have a tiny bit of doubt about your health condition, even after tested by your doctor, you should go again to the doctors for checkup.

In many countries doctors are related with God because they are the only one who can save anyone’s life. But they are just humans and human make mistakes. So you should always be careful if you are going for a surgery.

Try to mark the places on your body where you felling pain. For example, if you are having a head or liver surgery, mark the side which is needed to be operated.

At last if you or someone in your family is also a victim of medical malpractice, then you can also file a lawsuit for the damages it has caused.

Geetesh.S

Hi , I am a computer engineering graduate and a professional Digital Marketing Expert.

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