Medical malpractice cases often turn on medical expert testimony. Both sides in the lawsuit must hire experts to render opinions about liability (i.e., was there malpractice) and damages (i.e, did the malpractice result in the injuries and damages that the plaintiff is complaining of in the lawsuit). Many times, a client is allergic to an antibiotic or other drug, and despite the client listing this in the medical intake sheet when treatment begins at the doctor or dentist’s office, they are prescribed the anti-biotic which they are allergic to. Often the results can be catastrophic enough to support a dental malpractice or medical malpractice case because the signs and symptoms caused by the negligently prescribed drug, coupled with the illness or injury the patient was being treated for join forces to wreak havoc on the patient in very short order. Defense experts in Infectious Diseases, General Medicine and Pharmacology are often retained to testify in medical malpractice trials in an attempt to insulate the negligent prescribers from liability. For instance, the signs and symptoms when a patient is prescribed a strong antibiotic that he or she is allergic to that specific drug are: severe allergic reactions which can last for weeks or even months, including red man’s syndrome, DRESS syndrome (Drug rash with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS) syndrome is a distinct, severe, idiosyncratic reaction to a drug characterized by a prolonged latency period. It is followed by a variety of clinical manifestations, usually fever, rash, lymphadenopathy, eosinophilia, and a wide range of mild-to-severe systemic presentations), skin exfoliation, rashes on many parts of the body, whole body edema, including the trunk, torso, arms, hands, legs, face, and head., difficulty breathing and anxiety caused by the medication reactions.
Since these cases really do deal with clear liability, i.e., doctor who prescribes a drug to someone who is allergic to the drug and the patient has listed the allergy in his or her chart is negligent and not even a hired defense expert will risk opining otherwise, the role of the defense expert in these cases is to obfuscate the link between the malpractice (i.e., prescribing and administering a drug that someone is allergic to) and the signs and symptoms that are related above. Obviously the plaintiff’s expert, if it is true, will link the malpractice with the injuries that the plaintiff is complaining of in the lawsuit.
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 harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 20 years in and around Atlanta, Georgia and its surrounding areas, including Alpharetta, Austell, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, College Park, Conyers, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, and Smyrna. If you have been seriously injured and would like quality legal representation, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.