Virginia Jury sides with family in medical malpractice lawsuit

Virginia Jury sides with family in medical malpractice lawsuitA Roanoke Circuit Court handed over a verdict on Friday, May 18, that found two doctors were to blame in a childbirth injury, and awarded the family compensation for the medical mishap, the Roanoke Times reports.

According to the media outlet, the trial went on for 10 days, and after roughly four hours of deliberation, the jury concluded that Marsha Simpson and her daughter, Marissa, now 10 years old, should receive compensation. The jury found that two New River Valley obstetricians, David Roberts and Jay B. Terry, working for Southwest Virginia Physicians for Women, were negligent.

The Simpson family’s medical malpractice lawyer stated the complaint was filed in response to an incident in 2001 during the birth of Marissa.

“The allegations were that the defendant violated the standard of care in recommending that Marsha Simpson – who was a gestational diabetic – undergo an induction of labor,” Simpson’s attorney said.

In trial, the lawyer presented evidence that showed one doctor chose to perform an unnecessary medical treatment, which included an amniocentesis to determine the health of the baby’s lungs. The lawyer contended that the physician did not discuss the treatment option with Simpson prior to performing it, and did not take note of complications before sending her to another physician.

According to the news source, the second doctor then ordered induced labor without first consulting Simpson. After delivering the order, Simpson was passed off to a family practitioner.

By the time Marissa was born, she had dangerously low blood pressure and had lost nearly half of her blood, while her kidneys and brain tissue suffered severe damage. Since her birth, Marissa has received two kidney transplants, and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Simpson’s lawyer asserted that the decision to induce labor was negligent, and in the face of complications, the doctors could have done more to mitigate the situation.

Medical costs have risen to $1.75 million so far, and expert witnesses in the trial said the costs could top $8 million in the future.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, the decision to induce labor can come with many risks. The baby may flip to a breech position, making the birth process more difficult, while a prolapsed umbilical cord and infection have also been linked to the process.

Florida Anesthesiologist Sued for Medical Malpractice

Florida Anesthesiologist Sued for Medical MalpracticeA South Florida man has filed a lawsuit against an area doctor, alleging the physician made an error during surgery that had dire consequences.

WSVN Miami reports Enrique Milla hired a medical malpractice lawyer and filed a lawsuit that contends the doctors did not take the necessary steps to uncover his pre-existing medical condition, which he claims led to the amputation of his genitalia. Milla’s attorney argues that the doctors never should have performed the penile implant surgery to treat erectile dysfunction, which Milla received in August 2007.

The anesthesiologist, identified as Dr. Boeru, should have never allowed the surgery to continue, and should have been aware of Milla’s extreme case of diabetes and high blood pressure, Milla’s lawyer stated. On the day of surgery, Milla’s blood sugar levels were reportedly far too high for the elective procedure to be done, according to the news source.

“Why we’re here is because Dr. Boeru, I believe the evidence in this case will show, failed to evaluate properly the risks of this procedure for this patient on that day,” said the attorney. “He put his profit over the safety of the patient because not only did Dr. Boeru provide the anesthesia care in the surgery, he cleared him for the surgery. And guess who owned the anesthesia company that the anesthesiologist worked for that provided the anesthesia care for that surgery? Dr. Boeru.”

After the surgery, Milla developed a gangrene infection – a known problem among diabetics – in his penis, which led to its amputation.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, penile implant surgery is one option for men with erectile dysfunction, and is regarded as a minimally invasive surgery with few risks.

U.S. Highway Fatalities Drop to Record Low in 2011

U.S. Highway Fatalities Drop to Record Low in 2011The number of Americans killed on U.S. highways sank in 2011 to its lowest level since 1949, when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) first began keeping records on fatal crashes around the country, the Los Angeles Times reports. According to the news source, the only area where highway fatalities rose was in the tri-state California, Arizona and Hawaii region, which together saw driving deaths rise approximately 3.3 percent from 2010’s readings. In 2011, the amount of traffic fatalities on highways around the country fell to 32,310, which came as Americans drove about 36 billion fewer miles – a 1.2 percent decrease from the year before. Experts say the growing cost of gas and lingering economic struggles may have kept people from going on unnecessary road trips, thereby keeping the number of potential accidents lower. Last year’s fatality rate is expected to finalize as the lowest on record, as it is projected to drop to 1.09 fatalities for every 100 million vehicle miles traveled, new data from the NHTSA show. According to the media outlet, fatalities stemming from car accidents have dropped by about 26 percent since 2005, when 43,510 traffic deaths were reported. The highest number of traffic fatalities ever reported occurred in 1972, when there were 54,589. In 1949, there were 30,246 fatalities, however the rate was at 7.13 fatalities for every 100 million vehicle miles traveled. Safer Vehicles, Safer Roads The historic decline in car accidents is being attributed to several factors in addition to the still-hurting economy. “Probably people driving less, safer vehicles, safer roads and an improvement in the safety culture across the United States” helped bring the number down, said Jacob Nelson, director of traffic safety advocacy for the AAA national office. Jonathan Adkins of the Governors Highway Safety Association said more drivers across the country are habitually using their seatbelts, buying safer cars and traveling on well-maintained roads. Also, those who are involved in car accidents are receiving improved treatment from emergency medical personnel, keeping the number of fatalities down. In California, officials said the increase in traffic fatalities cannot be explained as of yet, but that they plan to perform further studies to assess the rise once the NHTSA breaks down the data further, which will become available later in 2012. “California has seen remarkable declines in traffic fatalities since 2005, a drop of 37.3% through 2010,” said Chris Cochran of the California Office of Traffic Safety. “The 2,715 fatalities in 2010 was a drop of nearly 12 percent in one year alone. That was the lowest number of fatalities in the state since 1944, when one-tenth the number of vehicles traveled one-sixteenth the number of miles.” Not a Time for Complacency According to Fox News, president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety Jackie Gilland said the lower fatality rate is a welcome statistic, but that the number does not mean the nation can relax just yet when it comes to road safety. “You are still losing 32,000 people a year,” she said. “And we still don’t know whether when the economy comes back and is really robust, what that is going to do.” Historically, when the “economy bounces back and people are doing more discretionary driving and things like that,” highway deaths have risen from reported lows, Gilland added. The sharpest decline in roadway fatalities was measured in New England states – at 7.2 percent – while the five-state region made up of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Mississippi remained flat compared to the previous year.

Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Ends in $78.5 Million Award

Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Lawsuit ends in $78.5 million AwardA jury in Philadelphia has awarded the mother of a child with cerebral palsy $78.5 million in a medical malpractice lawsuit that claimed Pottstown Memorial Hospital was responsible for the child’s condition, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

According to the news source, 34-year-old Victoria Upsey’s medical malpractice lawyer stated in the trial that she was admitted to the health center in August 2008 with signs of complications that allegedly caused her unborn child to be deprived of oxygen. During the trial, a group of medical experts asserted that if delivery had been ordered immediately, the child would not have developed the disabling condition.

Cerebral palsy includes several disorders that can impede normal body functions such as movement, learning, hearing, seeing and thinking, according to the National Library of Medicine. Symptoms of the disease range from mild to severe, and tend to be more pronounced in the arms and the legs.

The lawsuit alleged that Upsey’s physician initially declared the baby dead after performing an ultrasound. However, a short time later, another hospital worker performed a second ultrasound and determined the baby still had a heartbeat, prompting the staff member to call for an emergency cesarean section, the news source stated.

Upsey’s attorney argued that the baby’s condition in the womb continued to deteriorate over an 81-minute period before the C-section was performed, which resulted in cerebral palsy. The lawyer contended that if Pottstown Memorial had a better-trained ultrasound technician and updated equipment, the delay could have been averted.

The jury ruled that the physician was not responsible for the delay, and that blame should fall on the hospital, according to the media outlet.

“Birth injury cases are always emotional matters, but the facts of this case were particularly shocking because the reason this delivery was delayed was that the obstetrician thought the baby was dead,” Upsey’s lawyer said.

The $78.5 million verdict includes payments for impending medical care of the child, lost wages, pain and suffering endured by the baby, and emotional distress Upsey, a single mother, encountered during the ordeal.

While there is no cure for cerebral palsy, current treatment aims to help victims become as independent as possible, and can include help from doctors, dentists, social workers, nurses and many forms of specialists and therapists.

Two-Car Crash In Phoenix Leaves Six Injured

The crash led to a closure of the eastbound lane of Indian School Road near 28th Street, and Northbound 28th street is also closed as a precaution.A two-car crash in Phoenix, Arizona, has impacted the local community as several occupants were injured and delays were caused on Indian School Road on May 4, 2012, CBS affiliate Phoenix 5 News reported.

According to the news outlet, the Phoenix Fire Department noted that the accident occurred at roughly 5:30 a.m. at 28th Street and Indian School Road. Officials from the local government noted that the crash left a total of six people injured, and they were transported to the hospital after they were extricated from the vehicle.

The extent of the injuries is still unknown, as the occupants were rushed to the hospital. The crash led to a closure of the eastbound lane of Indian School Road near 28th Street, and Northbound 28th street is also closed as a precaution.

According to Phoenix 5 News, the cause of the crash is unknown, but nothing has been ruled out.

However, a different crash, that occurred in northern Arizona in March, has recently gained attention, as the driver of the car that was involved in an accident that killed five people was charged with driving drunk.

Carl Otto Nathaniel Holm had a blood alcohol level of roughly 0.19 percent, The Associated Press reported. This represents a number that is more than twice the legal limit in the state.

Individuals who have been injured in a crash may want to contact a car accident lawyer to see if any legal recourse is available.

The Arizona Department of Transportation statistics show that of the 106,177 accidents that took place across the country in 2010, 5,489 were alcohol-related. These crashes resulted in 3,724 injuries and 223 fatalities.