Archive for Medical Malpractice – Page 2

Contaminated-scope law

After Richard Bigler’s death due to pancreatic cancer caused by a contaminated Olympus scope, Theresa Bigler filed a lawsuit against Virginia Mason Medical Center. In turn, the hospital filed a case against their supply company, Olympus. However, a 12-member jury determined that the hospital also shared some blame and thus they needed to compensate the affected family. The compensation was set at $1 million whereas Olympus was ordered to pay $6.6 million damage fee for a superbug outbreak which had affected the hospital’s reputation.

Olympus was impressed with the jury’s decision, and one of its officials gave a condolence message to the Bigler family on behalf of the company. In their statement, Olympus appreciated the jury for acknowledging that their duodenoscope design was safe and was not the cause of Mr. Bigler’s death. However, the jury blamed Olympus for failing to give adequate warnings regarding the scope and also instructions on how to safely use it. This, according to the jury, led to the death of Bigler and also ruined the reputation of Virginia Mason Medical Center. One member of the jury claimed that Olympus hadn’t been playing by the rules for a long time and hence the verdict was appropriate since it held the company accountable.

According to the jury, Olympus was supposed to prioritize patient’s safety over their profit gains. One of the Olympus experts admitted that trials and lawsuits could help in behavioral change hence the ruling would most probably convince Olympus and other device managers to work by the rules. Most medical and legal experts were surprised at how Olympus fared in the case considering that there were numerous similar lawsuits against the company.

There are more than 25 families and patients who have sued Olympus due to wrongful deaths, negligence, or fraud. As a result, federal prosecutors are investigating Olympus to determine their potential role in patient infections. Considering that Olympus duodenoscopes are used to treat and diagnose problems in the digestive tract such as bile duct blockages, cancers, and gallstones, it is imperative that the devices are made with utmost precision.

Evidently, Olympus acted recklessly by failing to warn U.S. hospitals about previous superbug outbreaks and also for not fixing an outright design flaw in their scope which made disinfection and cleaning hard. On the other hand, the hospital should have asked for a cleaning and disinfection manual from Olympus to ensure their patient’s safety. All in all, the decision was fair for all the affected parties.

Jury Delivers a $2.9 Million Verdict for Medical Malpractice against Exodus Healthcare

Medical malpractice, negligence, and injury cases often take a long time or even years before they are resolved. Plaintiffs in such cases risk losing roughly one-third of the time because juries are often sympathetic to the difficulties faced by medical doctors and other medical professionals. Here is an example of a medical malpractice case in which the Younker Hyde Macfarlane law firm obtained a $2.9 million verdict against Exodus Healthcare on the 15th of February 2017.

Details of the case

This case was tried in the Third Judicial District Court, Salt Lake County. It’s titled Case No. 140902527, and Krista Wilcox vs. Exodus Healthcare Network, PLLC, were the plaintiff and defendant respectively. Keith Wilcox, aged 55, was an employee of the Utah Transit Authority (UTA). One night he developed chest pains that eventually spread from the chest and to the abdomen.

According to court documents, on November 6, 2011, Mr. Wilcox visited the Exodus Healthcare medical clinic. He was seen by a physician’s assistant (PA) who misdiagnosed his medical condition and determined that he was only suffering from constipation.

Mr. Wilcox never underwent any cardiac tests such as a chest x-ray or an EKG, and was subsequently not sent to the emergency room.

According to court documents, after more than a week of continued pain, Mr. Wilcox returned to Exodus Healthcare on November 15th and met with a different PA. This PA diagnosed him with abdominal pain and constipation, once again failing to diagnose the actual medical issue. For a second time, no cardiac tests were administered and just 4 days after his second visit to Exodus Healthcare, Mr. Wilcox died of aortic dissection.

Offer to settle the case and the jury’s decision

When the lawyers of Younker Hyde Macfarlane took the case to represent Krista Wilcox, the widow of the deceased, as well as Mr. Wilcox’s estate, they first offered to settle the lawsuit prior to trial for $1 million. However, Exodus Healthcare did not respond to the offer resulting in an 8-day civil trial.

The Jury ended up ruling that Mr. Wilcox was 30 percent at fault because he would have potentially visited the ER of his own violation while the Exodus Healthcare was 70 percent at fault for having breached the standard of care. It awarded $2,940,250.21 to Mrs. Wilcox and the heirs of the late Mr. Wilcox.

A Class Action Filed Against Theranos

McCuneWright-Lawfirm-quote-An Arizona resident is suing Theranos for blood testing services that the company offered. The lawsuit, filed in U.S District Court for the Northern District of California by the The plaintiff, M.P.B, bought the said test at a Walgreen’s store in Tempe last December. He says that if he had this knowledge about the Edison testing machines, he would not have bought the test.

Theranos, a California start-up offering cheaper blood testing services for STIs, high cholesterol levels, and celiac diseases is being sued for allegedly producing results that were later voided or corrected. This followed a report that was released by Theranos saying that they had voided or corrected some of the results from their Edison machines and those from other vendors between 2014 and 2015. The company also notified doctors and patients that it had voided some results.

The Wall Street Journal first ran the story on test results correction and voiding. This release was followed by a statement from Theranos saying they had taken “comprehensive corrective measures” to tackle issues raised by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
The lawsuit states that “As a result, tens of thousands of patients may have been given incorrect blood-test results, been subject to unnecessary or potentially harmful treatments, and been denied the opportunity to seek treatment for a treatable condition,” Theranos are not taking this lightly. The company’s spokeswoman, Brooke Buchanan said that the allegations lack merit and that Theranos will “vigorously defend itself against these claims.”

Theranos has several testing centers in Metro Phoenix, in 40 Walgreen stores. The company lobbied for House Bill 2645, which allows consumers to access lab tests without a physician’s order. When signing the bill in April 2015 at a Theranos location in Scottsdale, Gov. Doug Ducey said it “expands freedoms for people across the state to get the lab tests they need.”

A study that appeared in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that Theranos lab results were more likely to fall out of ranges when compared with two other laboratories.