Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

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High-velocity neck manipulation has been known to damage an artery in your neck, which can result in a stroke. Two pairs of blood vessels in the neck (the cervical arteries) carry blood to the brain. A tear in the lining of one of these vessels, called a cervical artery dissection, can occur if your chiropractor attemps a cervical adjustment and performs the procedured below the standard of care. While the vast majority of chiropractors can perform this procedure skillfully and safely, some do not have the appropriate skill, training or technique–and this can reuslt in a horrific injury and sometimes even death. The is one of the most common causes of stroke in people under the age of 50. While the tear can occur spontaneouely from some sort of injury to the neck, or even during sports such as weight lifting or golf, I have seen it most often associated with improper chiropratic care.

The American Heart Association (AHA) warns of this risk. i.e., the quick, thrusting neck movements some chiropractors and other health care professionals use to treat neck pain. The technique, known as cervical manipulative therapy, has been linked to cervical dissections in both younger people, according to an AHA statement. It is also seen in older patients who undergo cervical manipulative therapy.

Most Georgia patients who seek chiropractic care each year walk away injury-free, but medical experts caution that chiropractors need to better communicate the potential risks of cervical adjustments, . Such neck adjustments, also known as cervical manipulative therapy (CMT), might be linked to strokes in relatively young people, according to the AHA. The authors of the statement reiterated that while the overall probability of a stroke is still low, patients undergoing CMT should be informed of the risks.
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Experts serve an important role in Georgia medical malpractice and dental malpractice lawsuits. In malpractice cases, doctors an dentists and other experts are frequently asked to offer expert opinions regarding standard of care, causation and damages. The subject matter of their testimony often relates to the the injuries that the plaintiff complains of in the lawsuit, the medical and/or dental treatment rendered to Plaintiff and the resulting injuries, limitations and damages.  The subject matter of the tyestiony also includes, in almost all cases,  testimony addressing changes in Plaintiff’s quality of life and future needs for medical and dental care due to the injuries sustained as a result of the negligence of the defendant doctor or dentist.

Experts base their opinions on their training, education and experience in their fields of expertise, the medical and dental records relating to Plaintiff, their examinations and treatment of the Plaintiff (if they have, in fact, examined the Plaintiff either as a treating doctor, expert or during an independent medical examination “IME”), information disclosed during discovery (including depositions, interrogatories, requests for admissions and other pleading in the case) and the testimony of other witnesses who have have knowledge of facts of the case or any other types of information that experts typically rely upon in forming their opinions.  

The facts on which the experts base their testimony include, but are not limited to, past medical history, histories taken of the patient by other medical and dental providers, history of chief complaints, physical examinations, medical records, hospital records, death certificates, autopsy reports, operative reports, results of diagnostic tests, therapeutic treatment plans, x-rays, CT Scans, MRI’s, other imaging studies, photographs, results of therapy and medication, either performed or prescribed by each of the experts or by others in the medical or dental profession that the testifying expert takes into account when rendering the opinion. 

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I don’t know if it is a product of the pandemic, or something else is going on, but as a lawyer in Atlanta who concentrates on medical malpractice and dental malpractice cases, I have seen an uptick in both types of these cases. What is especially disturbing though, is the rise in case of malpractice that are so aggregious that they border on criminal. One example is dentist who actually tried to extract a patient’s tooth while he was on a hoverboard and was sentenced to 12 years for Medicaid fraud and other crimes. Not only is this heinous, he bragged about it afterwards in texts, according to the judge who sentenced him.

The 2016 hoverboard incident, while not so much a factor in a serious injury, shows that something has changed in the way that doctors and dentists and their respective practices are controlling quality of care.  Performing a tooth extraction on a sedated patient while on a hover board has been described as outrageous, narcissistic and crazy. Yet, over the last year, I have seen far worse, including failing to perform biopsies and other tests to catch obvious cases of cancer, performing procedures which were not consented to by the patient and failing to recognize that a patient was bleeding severally during an outpatient procedure, leading to his death. All of these unfortunate incidents are unusual, at least to me, and seem to be evidence that these types of horrific medical and dental negligence cases are on the rise in Georgia.

The pandemic has created so much uncertainty in our lives. Even a simple thing like a trip to doctors office for an outpatient procedure seems to be riskier than before.  Our firm has the experience to pursue these types of case and is a tremendous resource to you in this pursuit. You should not have to wrestle with these things alone. Often times, the malpractice is covered up with faulty records, and as we have seen recently, changing of the records after the malpractice case has been filed. This should not be tolerated and it takes aggressive pursuit of your case to prove it.

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According to a recent article in NPR news, a veteran has sued the VA hospital for malpractice related to the VA leaving a surgical scalpel in his stomach. While medical malpractice is not uncommon, leaving a surgical tool (in this case a four-inch scalpel used to cut tissue inside the body) is not common due to the hospital protocols and procedures that are now in place in almost all medical care facilities. However, in my opinion, the level of care at the VA hospitals is suspect, at best, and an error like this coming out of a VA institution does not surprise me.

While it is always difficult to get accurate numbers, it is estimated that there are almost 1,500 cases of foreign materials left in the body following surgical procedures in the U.S. Most of these cases, however, involve sponges, gloves or other devices (or more often pieces of materials) made out of pliable material. While a mishap like that is bad enough, leaving a scalpel in someone’s stomach after a surgery and then continuing to leave it in after they complain of stomach pain over the next 4 years is such and egregious act of malpractice, that, in my opinion as an Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer, it rises to the level of gross negligence.

Georgia courts define “gross negligence” as being “equivalent to the failure to exercise even a slight degree of care and the lack of the diligence that even careless men are accustomed to exercise. Said another way, the definition  for gross negligence provided by Georgia courts, and what a plaintiff in an Emergency Room medical malpractice case must prove in order to win a ER medical malpractice case in Georgia, a plaintiff must show by “clear and convincing evidence” that a physician failed to provide even a “slight degree” of medical care or that the physician’s medical care was less than “careless negligence.” These are high standards to prove (and not needed to prevail against the VA in a non-Emergency Room case), but something that is certainly capable of being proven with facts such as a surgical scalpel being left behind after surgery and not being found even while the patient complains of stomach pain after the surgery. Absolutely horrendous care and something that our veterans should not be subject to, for any reason.

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In a never-ending series of examples of just how little the VA cares about the veterans that it provide care to, a USA TODAY investigation has engaged in illegal hiring practices that has resulted in VA hospitals being staffed by doctors who have committed malpractice. For instance, neurosurgeon Dr. John Henry Schneider has been accused of medical malpractice more than a dozen times in two different states, yet the VA found him fit to work in the VA hospital and provide surgical care to our veterans. This, even after the state of Wyoming revoked his license to practice medicine after a surgical patient that he treated died.

According to numerous reports, Dr. Schneider  a number of procedures at the VA including brain surgery as well as lumbar surgeries to treat an infection, apparently caused by a previous Schneider surgery. As the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports, “Schneider’s hiring is not an isolated case. A VA hospital in Oklahoma knowingly hired a psychiatrist who had been sanctioned for sexual misconduct and went on to sleep with a VA patient, according to internal (presumably VA) documents. Additionally, a Louisiana VA clinic hired a psychologist with felony convictions.” This is simply hard to comprehend. How can the VA be putting in place these types of medical professionals operate on and treat our veterans? It is hard to comprehend, yet nothing regarding the VA ceases to amaze me. Clearly, the VA should not be allowed to continue as an organization because is has proven, time and again, that it cannot provide quality and timely care to the veterans that it is charged with servicing. It seems to me, that allowing veterans to obtain this care in the private sector would serve the veterans better, and probably be less expensive to the government in the long run. As a U.S. Army veteran, I have been treated by the VA and can state first hand that the level of care that they provide is sub-standard and is disgraceful. As far as my experience, which admittedly was a long time ago, not only was the level of care not good, but the way that the almost all of the VA staff treated me and the other patients was not good. It seemed to me as if they simply did not care about the patients, and the mentality of the staff was one of “we are doing you a favor and you should be glad that we are even seeing you.” Yes, I know that this is a subjective opinion on my part, but I do believe it to be true and I do believe it accurately reflects that lack of caring that most (not all) of the staff at the VA exhibit toward patients.

For more than 20 years, Attorney Robert J. Fleming has been handling wrongful death cases, automobile accident cases, personal injury cases, dental malpractice and medical malpractice lawsuits for individuals and families who have been injured or died as a result of the negligence of others in and around the Atlanta, Georgia area, including Alpharetta, Austell, Brookhaven, Chamblee, College Park, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, and Smyrna. He is a former U.S. Army military policeman who is active in helping today’s veterans. If you have been seriously injured and would like quality legal representation or if you would just like to consult about your potential case, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.

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As a Georgia personal injury attorney who has handled many VA medical malpractice claims, I have seen a rise in the number of potential claims against the VA as the amount of resources devoted to veterans has not kept up with the amount of medical care needed by our veterans. The sample pleading below is a form complaint to sue the VA for medical malpractice in Georgia, but prior to initiating such action there are a number of unique procedurals hurdles that must be complied with, such as filing a timely administrative claim under the FTCA for damages with the Veterans Administration prior to filing suit or your right to sue may be lost forever:



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The number of vertebral artery dissections and resulting strokes related to negligent chiropractic neck adjustments is alarming. This type of injury occurs more than one might realize and is just now starting to appear in media coverage. To be sure, there are many fine chiropractors who can properly adjust the neck, however, inexperienced, careless, or improperly trained chiropractors can and do cause serious injuries when they improperly adjust the neck of patients.

When this occurs, the injury may have been caused by malpractice and should be investigated by an experienced medical malpractice attorney to determine if chiropractic malpractice occurred (in the form of improper technique while adjusting the neck which puts too much pressure on the carotid artery and causes it to tear) and whether the injury (i.e, stroke) was caused by the malpractice. In litigation, defendants invariably assert that here is an association between the manipulation and vertebral artery dissection/stroke, but no causation and argue that the dissection was there prior to manipulation, they will try to say that there is evidence of tortious vessels on a CT scan or other radiographic test that could be indicative of a pre-existing connective tissue disorder. They will then cite (chiropractic sponsored) literature that tries to correlate studies on animal vertebral arteries to humans.  The literature relied upon by the defense is simply not authoritative peer-reviewed literature that should be relied upon.

In other words, defense “chiropractic experts” (i.e., chiropractors hired by the insurance defense firms to testify on behalf of the defendant chiropractors who caused the injury that is the basis of the lawsuit) are relying on recent “scientific” studies to argue that there is absolutely no causal link between chiropractic manipulation and stroke. If you’ve tried one of these cases recently, you have probably heard the defense counsel and defense attorney claim, “while there may be an association, there is no causation.” As with other studies that are conducted primarily by trade associations and industries to defend litigation but are conducted under the guise of “research” it’s not easy to determine exactly how these studies are funded, but at least one was funded by the primary insurer of chiropractors nationwide – National Chiropractic Malpractice Insurance Company (“NCMIC”). Since this is a chiropractic insurer organization, one cannot seriously argue with the fact that they are biased in defense of the chiropractors, at any cost. After all, if there is a judgement obtained at trial against their insured chiropractor, they NCMIC must pay the judgment. NCMIC obviously has a tremendous interest in making sure these studies come to this “no causation” conclusion. When trying a case, the bias needs to be clear to the jury so that they do not mistakenly rely on this type of study as “independent,” which it clearly is not. NCMIC’s website boasts that it provides millions of dollars of funding for chiropractic research. It is not too big a leap to understand that the researchers are not independent, but rather are beholden to the sponsor of the studies. We have seen this in other industries such as the auto industry, tobacco, asbestos, big pharma…the list goes on.

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Why oh why would those self-professed die-hard conservatives who tout “states rights” over big federal government somehow lose their way and try to push federal tort reform in the form of limits on what juries can award to medical malpractice victims? Surely, it can’t be to protect against frivolous lawsuits, as it is warped rationale, at best, to pass a law that limits what a jury can award to catastrophically injured victims to stop lawsuits that have no merit. Surely, even those blood thirsty conservatives would agree with this: a limit on the amount of damages to be awarded will only hurt those who have good cases and who have been catastrophically injured by medical malpractice. No one can seriously argue against this. So, why the call from the conservative republicans to abandon one of the most basic tenets of conservative republicanism and force limits on the amount of monies that state juries can award to those severely injured victims of medical malpractice. Listen to a few of the scholars and legal minds who have looked into the apparent conflict below:

George Mason University Law Professor Ilya Somin has said, ”Hopefully, at least some Republican conservatives will begin to see that you can’t advocate strict limits on federal power with one hand while trying to impose sweeping federal control over state tort law with the other.”

Georgetown University Law Professor Randy Barnett says, “Senate Republicans are claiming that Congress has power over the judiciary of the states because state courts are an activity that ‘affect[s] commerce.’ With friends like these, constitutional federalism does not need enemies. Can we coin a new pejorative, FINO: ‘Federalists in Name Only’?”

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As an Atlanta personal injury attorney, I routinely retain experts to testify in every case. In fact, in order to file a medical malpractice case in Georgia state court, one must attach an expert affidavit identifying at least one act of malpractice. The following areas of emphasis are typically what I look for from experts who are retained in my cases.

  • A thorough understanding that the standard of care is that degree of skill and care exercised by physicians generally under the same or similar circumstances.
  • Remember, you must be able to definitively answer many questions to reasonable degree of medical certainty, which is legal causation and is much less stringent than medical etiology.
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Vaginal rejuvenation surgery has become a great help in restoring sexual sensation for many women after childbirth. It helps to make the vagina and its cavity tighter by repairing the looseness that can come about from stretching and damage during childbirth. Labiaplasty, in which the outer lips of the vulva are restructured through traditional surgical techniques or lasers, can also be included in vaginal rejuvenation.

Vaginal rejuvenation is a serious medical procedure. Certain risks and complications are to be expected due to its invasive nature. These risks and complications can be reduced if the vaginal rejuvenation procedure is performed with lasers instead of traditional surgical methods.

Numerous risks and potential side effects arise during the recovery phase after the operation has been performed. These side effects can include: bleeding, bruising, infection, lost sensation, redness, and swelling.

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