Medical malpractice lawsuits can be challenging for attorneys, which is why it’s such big news–and in some cases, very big sums of money–when juries rule in favor of the plaintiff. That said, a seasoned medical malpractice attorney can help the injured file a claim–and win–as long as the victim is appropriately represented. A few recent medical malpractice cases made headlines as juries found medical professionals guilty of negligence in each case.
Pennsylvania Man Wins $26 Million Medical Malpractice Verdict
Early in November, a Luzerne County jury (Pennsylvania) awarded Edgar Vazquez of Glen Lyon, PA, $26 million in a medical malpractice verdict against Dr. Mark F. Schiowitz, a physician at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, near Scranton. The jury concluded that Dr. Schiowitz mistreated Mr. Vazquez for pain and discomfort in his right leg and foot, leading to the amputation of Mr. Vazquez’s right leg above the knee.
Mr. Vazquez’s lawyers contended that he went to the hospital for his pain on August 3, 2018. Still, reports say Dr. Schiowitz was negligent in his medical evaluation, failed to manage Mr. Vazquez’s vascular condition properly, and failed to perform the proper medical tests and procedures. Due to these failures, Mr. Vazquez’s leg condition continued to worsen, leading to amputation. After a weeklong trial, the jury found Dr. Schiowitz entirely responsible for medical negligence. It awarded Mr. Vazquez $26 million for “past, present, and future pain, suffering, mental anguish, embarrassment, and loss of life pleasures”–as well as future medical and personal care expenses through the year 2071.
Former NY Giants Football Player Wins $28.5 Million Lawsuit
In October, Michael Cox, a former running back for the New York Giants, was awarded $28.5 million by a Manhattan Supreme Court jury in his lawsuit against New York City’s Hospital for Special Surgery and the estate of Dr. Dean Lorich. Mr. Cox, a 2013 NFL draft pick by the Giants, injured his left ankle in a game during the 2014 season, and had it operated on by Dr. Lorich.
According to Mr. Cox’s lawsuit, Dr. Lorich “performed an open reduction of the left pronation-external rotator type IV ankle fracture.” Mr. Cox then claimed that “there were numerous issues with Dr. Lorich’s repair, but one of them was that he did not address the articular cartilage injury to the talus, an injury that was documented to exist on the preoperative radiographic imaging and reports concerning those images.” Thus, Mr. Cox determined that the surgery failed to fix his ankle, thereby ending his professional football career.
The hospital as well as the estate of Dr. Lorich, who died in 2017, plan to appeal the verdict, which awarded Mr. Cox past damages of $12 million in loss of earnings and $1 in pain and suffering, plus $15.5 million in future damages for pain and suffering.
Idaho Couple Wins Medical Malpractice Suit
A couple from Lewiston, Idaho, was awarded more than $15,000 in a medical malpractice lawsuit in October. The suit, filed against Dr. Geneen Bigsby and Catalyst Medical Group, alleged in 2019 that Dr. Bigsby was negligent in her duties when she informed plaintiff Renee Wassell that her right ovary was “surgically absent” after a 2017 laparoscopy.
Ms. Wassell previously had her left ovary removed but was allegedly informed by Dr. Bigsby that both ovaries had been removed. However, in the following months, Ms. Wassell twice visited the emergency room with severe abdominal pain, according to court documents. Testing revealed a pelvic mass–which included a right ovary; the remaining ovary was removed during another surgery.
In the lawsuit, Ms. Wassell alleged that Dr. Bigsby’s negligent diagnosis led her to believe that her condition, identified as endometritis, would be alleviated by the removal of both ovaries; Dr. Bigsby’s diagnosis assured her that both ovaries had been removed, when the right one was still present. Ms. Wassell’s pain and suffering as a result of the missed diagnosis and her remaining ovary compelled her to file the lawsuit against Dr. Bigsby and her medical group.
The 12-person jury ruled unanimously in favor of the Wassells, awarding them $15,500 for “non-economic” damages.
Some Key Factors To Support Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
While medical malpractice claims can be challenging, the right attorney can get the job done. After all, you don’t have to be an NFL player to win a medical malpractice lawsuit. You simply need an attorney with extensive experience in this area, one who can demonstrably show that a doctor or 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)
- Caused actual harm to the patient due to the breach or error
- 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
The experienced medical malpractice attorneys at The Lapidus Law Firm have decades of experience–and expertise–in medical malpractice claims and know exactly how to handle cases such as these.
Your Washington, DC, and Maryland Medical Malpractice Attorneys
You don’t have to be a pro athlete to suffer injuries caused by medical malpractice. It can literally happen to anyone, with any doctor, at any office or hospital–no matter their reputation. If you or a loved one believe you’re the victim of a negligent physician, follow what the plaintiffs in these cases did–contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney. At The Lapidus Law Firm, you’re in good hands. To set up a free, no-obligation consultation, call us today at (202) 785-5111 or (301) 852-7500. We are committed to making justice work for you.
Written by Larry Lapidus