November Sees Important Medical Malpractice Decisions Issued
During the month of November, two particularly important medical malpractice decisions were made, with one of them taking place here in the Florida Supreme Court. Both will have effects on future malpractice and injury claims, as discussed below in more detail.
Florida Supreme Court Makes Landmark Decision Preserving Privacy Rights in Litigation
On November 10th, the Florida Supreme Court ruled against a doctor being sued for malpractice in his argument that the alleged victim no longer had a right to privacy concerning his records because the victim had died. As a result, the Court effectively ruled that the state constitution’s right to privacy extends beyond death, regardless of the circumstances.
Specifically, Florida citizen Emma Weaver challenged Dr. Stephen Myers, who had provided her late husband with medical treatment. Myers, as the defendant, wanted to review the victim’s previous medical records and interview his previous health care providers as part of the investigation. In response to this request, the Court pointed out that other medical information—which would be pertinent to the victim but unrelated to the claim—would likely be revealed in the process, violating the victim’s right to privacy.
Jury Awards $26 Million in Medical Malpractice Verdict
During the same week, a jury also awarded one family more than $26 million after a child was born deaf and with other health problems—and her twin sister died—due to mistakes made during the early monitoring of their mother’s cervix. The jury decided to award the family $20 million for future pain and suffering, $4 million for past pain and suffering, $1.6 million for future lost wages, and $500,000 for the wrongful death of the child’s twin sister, who died 28 days after childbirth.
The girl’s mother had visited the hospital prior to giving birth, complaining of painful cramping and a dangerous-looking discharge, but the hospital proceeded to send her home each time, allegedly without any assistance or instruction. One week later, her sonogram revealed that important changes with her cervix had occurred, and she proceeded to deliver the twin girls later that month, one suffering from hearing loss and vocal cord paralysis, the other being too weak to survive. According to the expert who testified, the tragedy could have been avoided had the doctor ordered the mother to stay in bed and take hormones, such as tocolytics.
Consult With Experienced Boca Raton Medical Malpractice Attorneys Today
Medical malpractice claims can be beyond complicated, and doctors and hospitals often mount aggressive defenses in these types of cases. At the law offices of Lavalle Brown & Ronan, our Boca Raton medical malpractice attorneys have extensive experience assisting families who have sustained injuries and tragedy as a result of medical malpractice. Contact us today for a free consultation.