Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

Most people believe that if you go to an emergency room, they cannot refuse to treat you. That is not entirely true. Consider the case of the late Barbara Dawson. She died after being forced to leave an emergency room in handcuffs.

Barbara Dawson went to Calhoun Liberty Hospital in Blountstown, Florida. She sought treatment for breathing problems. Dawson was examined and discharged by the physicians. She refused to leave because she was still in pain even though the hospital staff said she was medically stable to leave. Police were called to the emergency room and she was charged with disorderly conduct and trespassing. Dawson was escorted out of the hospital in handcuffs. She collapsed as she arrived at the officer’s car. Dawson was readmitted to the emergency room. She was pronounced dead about an hour later. The Florida state medical examiner ruled that she died from natural causes due to a blood clot in her lung. Dawson’s family has retained counsel to file suit against the hospital and others who may be responsible for Dawson’s death.

In a case such as this, the attorney will investigate whether negligence or medical malpractice took place and whether it caused Ms. Dawson’s death. The investigation will include a review of her medical history as well as her care and treatment. The policies and procedures of the hospital will also be examined. One question will be whether this was an isolated incident or is it a systemic failure. If the policies and procedures place patients at risk then the danger zone extends well past Ms. Dawson.

If you have been operated on, one of the biggest worries a person has is the fear that the doctor might leave something in you.  If that happens, usually if it is an inert object like metal, there will hopefully be less damage.  Nonetheless, leaving a needle or metal object inside a person can be very painful and is simply inexcusable.  As far as items like sponges, it is even worse.  These sort of items can kill in very little time.  If the doctor’s don’t recognize what is going on, a person can die in a matter of days from a sponge left in him or her. 

a blue stethoscope liegtn in a medical book

a blue stethoscope liegtn in a medical book

The Second District Court of Appeals recently affirmed a trial court when it came to the issue of letting a jury see video of a surgery.  In Allstate v. Isensee, 39 Fla L. Weekly D1221, the court upheld a ruling from trial court Judge Linda Babb that let the jury see video of a surgery. Screen Shot 2014-07-01 at 1.40.15 PM In doing so, the 2nd DCA cited Pope v. State, 679 So.2d 710, 713 (Fla. 1996) and noted that “the test for admissibility of photographic evidence is relevancy rather than necessity”.  However, it noted that “relevant evidence is inadmissible if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice, confusion of issues, misleading the jury, or needless presentation of cumulative evidence”.  See Section 90.403, Fla. Stat. (2011).   So, if you are a Plaintiff Lawyer and are trying a case, roll tape.

Medical malpractice is a tough issue that patients all across the country face. In Florida, malpractice rates are slightly higher than those in other states. According to the National Practitioner Data Bank, Florida had the fifth-highest number of malpractice payouts in 2012. Nationwide, there were 12,142 total payouts that year.


Four years ago, a Miami patient died due to Dr. Peter V. Choy’s negligence. Teresita Garrido first visited Dr. Choy in 2008, complaining of pelvic pain. He ordered a CT scan that revealed a pancreatic mass.

Choy failed to inform Garrido of the mass, and he continued to keep her in the dark for several years, until she visited him in 2010, complaining of a more acute pain. Choy ordered another CT scan, and he eventually informed Garrido of the mass.

“I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone.” This line comes from the Hippocratic Oath, which has been taken by physicians for more than 2,000 years. It seems straightforward enough, but not all physicians who take the Oath mean what they say.

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We trust our surgeons and doctors to do their best when treating us. We trust our doctors to take care when making a diagnosis, and we trust our surgeons to be rested and alert for our procedures. Unfortunately, not all that trust is well placed.

When a negligent physician harms a patient, it is the personal-injury lawyer’s job to help them seek justice for their suffering. Medical-malpractice lawsuits serve to compensate victims and spread the word about negligence, hopefully preventing future cases of malpractice.

About one year ago, a Miami mother went in for a breast-augmentation surgery. She was healthy, fit and described as vivacious. Complications during surgery caused her to lapse into a coma. After suffering brain damage, she is now excited when she is able to move her feet or string more than a few words together.


The Miami Herald reports that Linda Perez’s family is filing a medical-malpractice lawsuit against the surgeon who performed the breast augmentation. As the news of the impending lawsuit spread, new details have emerged about the surgeon and Perez’s current physical state.

Her Parents Were Advised To Take Her Off Of Life Support While She Was In A Coma

June, 21, 2013, Miami, FL- A new special report shines the spotlight on the surprisingly large number of medical patients who have had unnecessary procedures that have a negative impact on their lives and subject them to painful, disabling, and sometimes deadly complications.

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According to the report, which appeared in USA Today, doctors in perform tens of thousands needless surgeries; they estimate that 10 percent to 20 percent of operations in cardiac specialties and spinal injuries are unnecessary. Hysterectomies, knee replacements and caesarians are also commonly performed even though they are not required to improve the patients health.

The report states that many of these needless procedures are performed so unethical doctors can defraud insurance companies, Medicare, and Medicaid. These unnecessary surgeries cost insurers and the federal government billions of dollars and those costs are then passed on to consumers and taxpayers.

Screen-shotWEST PALM BEACH – Thomas Floyd, DDS has had his license suspended. He was arrested for hitting a 4 year old patient. One mother, Shayla Barnes, reported that several of her children were abused. Another allegation was from a 7 year old girl who indicated that she was told to shut up and that Dr. Floyd stuffed a dental bib in her mouth, grabbed her by the hair, and pushed on her forehead to hold her back in the chair.  

Cases like this are uncommon. And when children are involved, they are especially upsetting.  Cases against dentists are subject to the notice, service, and stringent expert requirements of Florida’s Medical Malpractice Laws.  Similarly, there are caps to recovery.  When there is unnecessary treatment or treatment for which consent was not obtained, it is usually grounds for recovery.

Now, many times, especially in dental cases, lawsuits are not warranted because the damages do not live up to the amount of time and money that needs to be invested to pursue a case for dental negligence.  However, in such a case, one can file an administrative complaint against the dental practitioner’s license.  To file a complaint with the Board of Dentistry like many of the parents (about 50 or so) did against Dr. Floyd, go to  

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