Many people incorrectly believe that “malpractice” describes conduct that is worse or more serious than simple “negligence,” but that is not the case. The words “medical malpractice” and “medical negligence” are interchangeable, because malpractice is just ordinary negligence by a healthcare provider which causes injury. It is no different than negligence by a motorist who does not pay attention and runs a red light, causing an injury.
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 health care 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 health care provider would have done under the circumstances. This decision-making process by the jury is normally aided by the testimony of expert witnesses from both sides, who explain the medical issues during the trial.
Under certain circumstances, in emergency room malpractice cases, the doctor and hospital have immunity from being held liable for ordinary medical negligence or mistakes. They can only be held responsible for injuries they cause if the plaintiff can show they are guilty of “reckless disregard” for the patient’s condition, rather than negligence, which is much harder to prove.
Throughout his highly successful career, Mr. McMillen has been very active in community and professional organizations. He has financially supported and served on the boards of many charitable and community arts organizations.
Mr. McMillen has been a member of the Board of Directors of The Florida Justice Association, which is the large statewide organization of plaintiff trial lawyers in Florida (formerly called The Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers). He has twice served as Chairman of the Florida Justice Association’s Malpractice Committee.
He has been elected by his peers to serve as the President of the Central Florida Trial Lawyers Association, President of the Orange County Bar Association, President of the Orange County Legal Aid Society, and as a Governor of the Florida Bar Association (the statewide organization that, under the direction of the Florida Supreme Court, governs every licensed lawyer in the State of Florida).