So much drama on reality TV. Believing how much is real and how much is scripted is for the viewer to decide. But one recent headline involving a reality TV star is most definitely real, and she may be in for a long legal battle in the near future. Dr. Jen Armstrong, from the Bravo hit reality show Real Housewives of Orange County, is being sued for medical malpractice after a patient alleged that she botched a cosmetic surgery procedure, leaving her face “disfigured.”
Details of the Medical Malpractice Suit
According to the lawsuit, a patient named Judy Hecht received a non-invasive procedure from Dr. Armstrong in October 2019; this procedure was meant to tighten and firm her facial skin and reduce wrinkles. A few days later, Ms. Hecht was advised to visit Dr. Armstrong for a follow-up appointment, which wound up including another $2,500 in corrective injections to her cheek and eye areas. According to court documents, Ms. Hecht was unaware of “the need to administer new or additional fillers.”
Additionally, the suit contends that a follow-up procedure wouldn’t have been necessary in the first place if Dr. Armstrong wasn’t “negligent” and didn’t insert the fillers in the “wrong location.” Ms. Hecht alleges that several follow-up appointments with Dr. Armstrong produced increasingly worse results but was told that she was experiencing “normal side effects that would go away with time and further treatment.”
Finally, Ms. Hecht claimed that all of these procedures left her with a “permanently looking disfigured face.” She claims she was “rendered injured and disfigured, suffered multiple injuries, pain and mental anguish, was compelled to seek medical care, incurred expenses, and was permanently injured and disabled.” Ms. Hecht had demanded $15,000 in refunds for her follow-up procedures before filing suit.
Making the Case for Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice cases can be challenging to prove, and they require extensive attorney expertise and experience in this area. To prove medical malpractice, a lawyer must demonstrably show that a doctor or other healthcare provider:
- Had a duty of care to the patient
- Breached the standard of that care (or acted in a way that a reasonable, similarly trained person would not have acted)
- The breach or error caused actual harm to the patient
- Failed to diagnose (or incorrectly diagnosed) a condition that any other reasonably competent physician would have identified
- Committed surgical malpractice
- Failed to refer a medical specialist
So, Ms. Hecht’s attorney(s) will have to prove conclusively that Dr. Armstrong failed in her duties as a physician, which led to harm. Will she win her case? That all depends on how diligent she was in keeping detailed records and timelines and how well her attorney can demonstrate that Dr. Armstrong’s negligence or incompetence resulted in the harm of Ms. Hecht. And that’s just the beginning.
Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Caps
What is a medical malpractice lawsuit cap? It’s essentially a law (that varies from state to state) that limits the amount of money a plaintiff can receive from a successful medical malpractice lawsuit. Most of these laws have a cap on non-economic damages only, which includes compensation for pain and suffering, for example.
Some states have an umbrella cap on all types of damages in medical malpractice cases. In the case of Dr. Armstrong and Ms. Hecht, this could come into play as California is prepared to vote in November on increasing the state’s current $250,000 cap on non-economic damages, and allow judges and juries to award damages over the cap for catastrophic injuries.
Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Maryland & Washington, DC
You don’t have to be the patient of a reality TV star to suffer injuries caused by medical malpractice. It can happen at any time, during any visit to a doctor or during any type of procedure. If you or a loved one believe you were the victim of a negligent physician, do just what Ms. Hecht did–contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney. At The Lapidus Law Firm, we have decades of experience handling medical malpractice cases, so you know you’re in good hands. To set up a free, no-obligation consultation, call The Lapidus Law Firm today at (202) 785-5111 or (301) 852-7500.
We are committed to making justice work for you.
Written by DC & Maryland Medical Malpractice Lawyer Larry Lapidus