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When the medical team you trusted does more harm than good

Do you know that many studies suggest medical error is one of the top three causes of death in the United States? When you need surgery, it's understandable you might feel a bit worried and concerned about many things. Perhaps you will need to take an extended leave of absence from work and are unsure whether you're prepared to meet the possible financial debt that could result.

Of all the various issues that likely cross your mind, you should not have to think about suffering preventable injuries (or worse, death) because a surgeon or other staff member fails to perform according to the highest level of accepted medical safety standards.

Overcoming the assumption of immunity: an analysis of R.C. 2744

The Columbus Dispatch recently published an article regarding a $1.2 million settlement Leeseberg & Valentine obtained against the City of Columbus. Since then, the Dispatch has published an additional four articles, which can be read about here, here, here, and here. For an overview of Bray v. City of Columbus, please see our initial blog post published on June 27, 2016.

While we are grateful for the significant amount of press coverage, all of these articles have failed to focus on a key issue. The City of Columbus is a political subdivision (i.e. a local government created by the State of Ohio), and as such the City is entitled to broad immunity from liability. In other words, the City is free to make mistakes without fear of any repercussions. The rationale behind this grant of immunity is that the burden of paying for these mistakes actually falls on the taxpayers. Of course that rationale has merit, but it ignores the fundamental flaw: if you don't hold people responsible for their mistakes, nothing will get fixed.

Jury Selection in Medical Malpractice Cases

In Ohio, every plaintiff is entitled to a trial by jury should they decide to exercise that right. Civil juries are generally composed of 8 individuals who reside in the community where the case is filed. In order for a plaintiff to win a case, at least 6 of those 8 jurors (or three-fourths majority) must vote in the plaintiff's favor. Because of this, the process of selecting a jury, or voir dire, is very important.

Medication errors: There is often enough liability to go around

Did you know that a division of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does nothing but review reports regarding adverse events involving prescription, over-the-counter, and generic drugs? The Division of Medication Error Prevention and Analysis (DMEPA) works with other agencies and organizations in an attempt to ensure the safety of patients here in Ohio and elsewhere when it comes to medications. Health care professionals with DMEPA and the other organizations review reports of adverse events to determine what happened and compile the data so that recommendations can be made regarding how to avoid the same mistakes in the future. Despite their efforts, people continue to be seriously or fatally harmed.

If you were the victim of medical malpractice, what happens next?

Like many other Ohio residents, you more than likely went to your doctor, hospital or emergency room looking for relief from an ailment or injury. You expected to be accurately diagnosed and prescribed a treatment that would cure your illness or heal your injury. Unfortunately, something went seriously wrong, and now you are facing an uncertain future.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Here's What Women Should Know

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and that means that television shows, magazines, and web articles will be reminding women all over the country to check for breast cancer. Every year in the U.S. more than 200,000 women find out that they have breast cancer and over 40,000 women will die from it. As a woman it is important to check for lumps at home and, once you are over the age of 50, to get a mammogram every other year.

With breast cancer rates so high most people know someone with the disease who wishes they could have known sooner. While some symptoms are obvious, some people have mild or no symptoms at all. If cancer is left unrecognized by doctors then it can start as an easily removed lump and turn to a deadly disease.

Painkillers and anti-anxiety meds are a deadly mix for many women.

Middle-aged white women are at greatest risk.

Over a 15-year span, deaths from opiate overdose have risen 400 percent among middle-aged white women in America. Most of the deaths are attributed to accidental overdose. Some are suicides fueled by addiction and side effects of drugs. The dangers are even greater for women taking painkillers in combination with anti-anxiety medications or alcohol.

In an analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control, the Washington Post found an alarming increase in death rates for white women past the age of 35.

SDepressedWomanPills(2).jpgeeking relief from the symptoms of injury, menopause, arthritis, lupus and other conditions common in middle age, they are frequently prescribed opiates such as hydrocone or Vicodin. And white women are more likely than women of color to be given such prescriptions.

Doctor Admits He Lied Under Oath to Protect Colleague

"It wasn't like, I'm going to lie." It was, "I'm going to support my colleague."

This was the mindset of Dr. Lars Aanning, a retired South Dakota surgeon, when he testified at a medical malpractice trial roughly 20 years ago. At the time, he claimed he had never seen his colleague perform any work that was "substandard". While he hopes his lie did not influence the juries decision to render a verdict in favor of the defendant doctor, there is no denying that his testimony - that of another surgeon in the room at the time the alleged malpractice occurred - likely had a profound effect on the jury.

Genetic testing for breast cancer: When should it be done?

Angelina Jolie's dramatic decision in 2013 to have a preventative double mastectomy raised awareness around the world of the importance of genetic testing for cancer. She reached the decision after tests revealed the presence of a mutated gene that predisposed her to breast cancer.

Researchers responded by trying to understand the influence that Jolie's bold decision had on other women in getting tested for breast cancer, especially women with high hereditary risk. There was also research on whether having both breasts removed really is beneficial for women after a tumor is discovered in one.

The "Jolie effect" (as researchers call it) has made more women aware of genetic testing. But when should such testing be done? And are insurance companies dragging their feet in paying for it?

Not healing? Some postpartum complications are caused by malpractice

Thousands of concerns flash through an expecting mother's mind. While most of these fears dissipate at the sight of your new baby's face, the issue of mishandled tearing can become a lasting impact. It is common for most mothers to tear slightly when their baby is born, but some cases are more severe.

After months of stress and preparation all you will want to do is relax at home with your new baby. It will be a time to rest and let your body heal, but for some mothers the pain and complications will grow. Some issues can occur due to severe tears such as incontinence, infections, and fistulas.

Our Recent Blog Posts

  • Nov 22 : When the medical team you trusted does more harm than good
    Do you know that many studies suggest medical error is one of the top three causes of death in the United States? When you need surgery, it's understandable you might feel a bit worried and concerned about many things. Perhaps...
  • Nov 18 : Overcoming the assumption of immunity: an analysis of R.C. 2744
    The Columbus Dispatch recently published an article regarding a $1.2 million settlement Leeseberg & Valentine obtained against the City of Columbus. Since then, the Dispatch has published an additional four articles, which can be read about here, here, here, and...
Read More Blog Posts

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