medical malpractice lawyers in florida
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Statute of Limitations vs. Repose

working over numbers to buy

The Statute of Limitations legal definition: A type of federal or state law that restricts the time within which legal proceedings may be brought. When civil lawsuits are filed in Florida the state’s statute of limitations provides the deadline for when a potential plaintiff who has suffered harm must file their claim. The statute varies from state to state and by case type. In Florida, the statute of limitation is typically around 2 years from the initial incident.  Not every case is easy to identify when or if the limitations have started. Many states use a so-called “discovery rule”, which essentially...

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Florida Supreme Court strikes down caps on noneconomic damages in other types of medical malpractice cases.    

Court room to set caps on damages

Back in 2004, a law was passed by the Florida Legislature placing severe caps on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases.  In a Florida Supreme Court case decided back in 2014, the Florida Supreme Court found those caps to be unconstitutional in malpractice cases involving the death of the patient.   (Estate of McCall v. the United States, 134 So. 3d 894 (Fla. 2014).  That earlier decision technically left open the question of whether the caps were still in effect for malpractice cases when the patient was only seriously injured but did not die because of the medical malpractice.   Now, in...

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Florida Supreme Court holds Florida patients are entitled to access to hospital adverse incident reports, in spite of federal statute.   

Scales of justice for injury lawyer

Florida Supreme Court holds Florida patients are entitled to access to hospital adverse incident reports, in spite of federal statute.    For many decades, there were laws on the books in Florida which specifically prevented patients from having access to information about adverse medical incidents and patient injuries within hospitals, including even information about mistakes made in the patient’s own medical care.   In 2004, Florida voters approved an amendment to the Florida Constitution changing the law and allowing wide access to hospital adverse incident records.  This change to the Florida Constitution is often referred to as the “Patient’s Right to Know”...

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Florida Supreme Court strikes down an obstetrician’s “mandatory” patient arbitration agreement.

Florida Medical Malpractice - Surgeon

Florida Supreme Court Strikes Down A pregnant patient was having contractions but because she showed up a few minutes late for the appointment with her obstetrician, they turned her away without an examination and rescheduled her for another date.  Unfortunately, she delivered her stillborn son before the new appointment.  After she and her husband filed a malpractice law suit, the doctor tried to get the case thrown out, arguing that they had waived their rights to file a law suit by signing his medical office’s mandatory arbitration agreement. Naturally, the arbitration agreement the doctor was using contained very unfavorable terms for his...

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Congrats to UCF on Their New Teaching Hospital, But….

UCF's Hospital and Medical Malpractice

Congratulations to the University of Central Florida on obtaining state approval for building a new teaching hospital to go along with its new medical school.  We are fans of UCF and wish them great success with their medical school.  Unfortunately, there are two concerns that affect consumers that aren’t being mentioned in most of the news stories. The first is that they chose HCA (Hospital Corporation of America) as their partner building and running the hospital.  It’s a shame they chose a “for-profit” hospital chain when there are so many outstanding non-profit hospital systems they might have partnered with, like Orlando...

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Payouts Decline for the 15th Straight Year

Medical Malpractice in Florida

Medical Malpractice Payments Decline for the 15th Straight Year Insurance companies and doctors frequently complain that the rising cost of malpractice claims is a reason to place restrictions on malpractice law suits.   They claim there are too many law suits and claim a need to place caps on the amounts patients can recover for severe injuries because the costs of these awards are onerous, and climbing. However, for the 15th year in a row, malpractice payouts both in Florida and nationwide, have declined, according to statistics released from  The National Practitioner Data Bank.   Insurance companies, of course, are interested in maintaining their bottom line and their stock holders' dividend payouts are more important than covering...

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Jury verdict for patient overturned on appeal because the patient’s expert gave surprise testimony at trial

A patient died of meningitis caused by an ear infection, and his widow sued for medical malpractice.  Up until trial, there was no allegation in the pleadings or by the patient’s experts during their pre-trial depositions that the defendant doctor had been negligent by giving the patient samples of Levaquin, an antibiotic. However, during the trial, two of the patient’s expert witnesses testified for the first time that they believed that the doctor had been negligent by giving Levaquin.  The package insert from Levaquin was also admitted into evidence over the defendants’ objection, and the plaintiff reemphasized the Levaquin issue...

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Appeals court holds that a claim brought against a hospital

Appeals court holds that a claim brought against a hospital alleging failure to properly screen its staff members, one of whom then sexually assaulted the patient, is a medical malpractice case and must follow all of the medical malpractice procedural rules.    The patient’s lawsuit had two parts.  The first part claimed that the hospital was negligent and failed to exercise reasonable care for her safety.  A second part of the lawsuit was based on §766.110, Florida Statutes, titled “Liability of Healthcare Facilities.”  §766.110 is a law that says there is a duty on the part of hospitals “to … assure...

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Court order reinstating medical malpractice complaint after dismissal

Appeals court quashes trial court order reinstating medical malpractice complaint after dismissal based on failure to comply with presuit expert “same specialty” requirement.   There is a statute in Florida that says that in a medical malpractice case, the parties can only bring in expert witnesses to testify about the appropriate standard of care who are in the exact same medical specialty as the defendant health care provider who is being sued.   So, for example, even though neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons may both perform an identical type of spine surgery, the law would prohibit a neurosurgeon from testifying an orthopedist did...

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