medical malpractice lawyers in florida
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Common Medical Malpractice Mishaps

Doctors looking over brain scan images

    Under Florida law, a healthcare provider must exercise that level of care, skill, and treatment which is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar healthcare providers under similar circumstances. In other words, the standard of care is often described as doing what a reasonably prudent doctor (or nurse, dentist, etc.) would do under the circumstances.  In a malpractice trial, the judge tells the jury about this definition, and after hearing the evidence of what happened the jury decides what they believe a reasonably prudent similar healthcare provider should have done under the circumstances. This article will discuss some doctor...

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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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$7.9 million dollar medical malpractice verdict for 77-year-old stroke victim

Florida Medical Malpractice Specialists

The Plaintiff, a woman in her seventies, had been on the anticoagulant drug Coumadin for years. This was due to a propensity for developing dangerous blood clots.  She had a heart condition known as “AFib,” or atrial fibrillation. This means that her heart sometimes beat irregularly, and too fast, which can cause the heart to throw off clots that could travel to other parts of the body. The patient also had a pacemaker to help control the AFib. Her pacemaker provided monitored heart data, which showed she was still having frequent intermittent episodes of AFib, yet her physicians inexplicably took her off the...

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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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Appeals court invalidates release form the surgeon made a patient sign BEFORE surgery

Surgeon's Face

 Before performing spinal fusion surgery, the surgeon had the patient sign a release form stating the following: As of January 1, 2013, [the doctor] will not carry any medical malpractice insurance.  Being of sound mind and sound body, I hereby acknowledge this fact and agree not to sue [the doctor] for any reason.  My reason for doing this is that I realize that [the doctor] and his staff will do the very best to take care of me according to community medical standards. During the surgery, the patient’s ureter was allegedly cut, causing significant injury.  The patient sued the surgeon, and the...

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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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Florida Court declares caps on malpractice injury cases unconstitutional

Court room to set caps on damages

In a much-anticipated decision, the Fourth DCA holds that statutory caps in medical malpractice cases imposed by §768.118, Fla. Stat. (2005) are unconstitutional in medical malpractice injury cases, even when there is only one plaintiff. The court found that the caps violate the equal protection provision of Art. I, §2, Fla. Const. The Florida Supreme Court had previously found damage caps in medical malpractice death cases to be unconstitutional. This is the first appellate court to address whether malpractice caps are constitutional in medical malpractice cases that result in injuries which do not cause the death of the patient. This...

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