On September 28, 2018, the attorneys at Leeseberg & Valentine obtained a $44.5 million verdict on behalf of Bradley Metts and his family. Bradley was injured after Athens Medical Lab failed to timely return stat labs causing a rare infection to progress from his ear to his brain. This infection caused significant pressure to build up in his head and resulted in a catastrophic brain injury. While Bradley is still cognitively intact and able to communicate, he is completely paralyzed and has no voluntary movements of any muscles other than those in his face and eyes - a condition known as locked-in syndrome. Bradley requires 24/7/365 nursing care and this verdict will go a long way in helping him obtain the care he needs.
There is a reason so many ads are out there telling people to "Look Twice for Motorcycles". They are exposed and do not have all the safety features of a car. There are no airbags or seatbelts. If a motorcyclist is involved in an accident, the odds of it being serious are great. This same principle applies to the electric scooters popping up in cities across the country. These scooters, while a fun and convenient way to travel short distances, can be very dangerous - especially when sharing the road with other automobiles. Over the weekend, a young woman in Cleveland was struck and killed while operating one of these scooters. The crash happened around 10 p.m. on East 9th Street near St. Clair Avenue.
When someone is severely or fatally harmed due to medical errors the first concern should always be about the patient and their families. Unfortunately, that is rarely the case as many hospitals immediately engage in the "deny and defend" model. This approach just makes the experience that much more difficult for the victims of medical errors to find out what happened. In fact, most patients never learn that they have been injured due to a medical error. This is corroborated by a recent study that found that 77 percent of 300 primary-care doctors admitted they would not fully disclose to a patient when there had been a delayed breast cancer diagnosis.
One of the most common conditions for patients who are immobile or otherwise bedridden is bedsores (also known as "pressure ulcers" or "decubitus ulcers"). Bedsores generally develop along bony areas of the body, such as the hips or tailbone, because immobile patients are constantly putting weight or pressure on that part of their body. This condition is easily preventable by simply rotating the patient to change their position or using a medical air mattress, which inflates and deflates intermittently to change a patient's pressure points. Unfortunately, even though bedsores are easily preventable, this condition is not uncommon for many patients in hospitals and nursing homes.
Last month, a neurosurgeon from Texas was convicted of harming an elderly patient in his operating room. Dr. Christopher Duntsch was indicted on five counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of harming an elderly person, however the prosecution decided to only try the latter. The patient, 74-year-old Mary Efurd, was supposed to be undergoing a routine fusion of two vertabrae, but instead suffered severe pain from fusion hardware being misplaced in her soft muscle causing nerve damage. So how did this become a criminal case instead of a medical malpractice claim? Because Dr. Duntsch had done this before and he knew that his outcomes were so poor that Ms. Efurd was likely to wind up injured under his care.
Earlier this week, Gerry Leeseberg testified in front of the Ohio House of Representatives Judiciary Committee against House Bill 559. H.B. 559 is proposed legislation designed to provide even more protections to negligent doctors and hospitals. Specifically, Gerry addressed two provisions of the bill - expanding the apology statute and reducing "shotgun" lawsuits.
"It wasn't like, I'm going to lie." It was, "I'm going to support my colleague."
Last April, we posted a blog entitled "What Steps Do Hospitals Take to Avoid Retained Surgical Items?" While this remains a necessary component of patient safety in the OR, new technologies have been released in recent years to further minimize this risk. These new technologies are an important step to help prevent these surgical "never events" from happening. These technologies include computer-assisted sponge count devices, radiofrequency detection systems, and radiofrequency identification systems.
Last month, attorney Craig Tuttle of Leeseberg & Valentine settled two cases on behalf of his clients against The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. The first case settled for $75,000 and the second case settled for $125,000. Both cases, while formally filed with the Court of Claims, were able to be resolved before commencing litigation. Craig commends OSU for its willingness to acknowledge something went wrong and proactive attitude in working to reach an agreement.
The medical malpractice attorneys at Leeseberg & Valentine obtained a $1.2 million settlement against the City of Columbus for their client. This is the largest personal injury payout in city history and sets an important legal precedent that will hold public employees responsible for their egregious conduct. This settlement exceeds the prior record payment of $1 million, which was also obtained by Leeseberg & Valentine, in the case of Wagner v. City of Columbus, on behalf of a young boy electrocuted by a defective lamp post on one of the City's bridges.