Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

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2012 could be historic for injured patients if the Florida Supreme Court follows the lead of Georgia, Illinois, and other states who have declared caps on damages in medical malpractice cases to be unconstitutional. The courts have reasoned that limitations on damages violate an individual’s access to the courts, treat the medical profession different from all others, and often force the state taxpayers to absorb the cost of future care.

Medical malpractice law has always been a hot topic, especially in Florida, where extensive lobbying by hospitals, doctors, and the insurance industry has led to major changes affecting the rights of injured victims. While medical professionals have argued that malpractice lawsuits have caused billions of dollars to be wasted on unneeded medical tests; yet privately, they admit that these same tests would be ordered if the patient was their family member.

As Florida medical malpractice attorneys we have been closely monitoring the debate over medical malpractice caps, which is set to come before the Florida Supreme Court next year.

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The United States House of Representatives yesterday (10/7/09) took action that will hopefully lead to the end of discriminatory treatment of soldiers injured by medical malpractice.

Since the Feres decision by the United States Supreme Court in 1950, soldiers have not been able to bring actions for medical malpractice against the government; this is true irrespective of the level of disregard for their well being. Since the 1950’s untold numbers of soldiers after serving acting duty have been subjected to substandard treatment in military medical facilities. The House Judiciary Committee has now approved the Military Medical Accountability Act which would allow soldiers the same rights as  private citizens injured by medical malpractice.

The bill named after Marine Sgt. Carmelo Rodriguez, who served his country with honor for nearly a decade, including a tour of duty in Iraq, and died as a result of preventable medical negligence. A blotch on his buttock went untreated and misdiagnosed multiple times by military doctors.  By the time Sgt. Rodriguez learned it was a cancerous melanoma the damage was done. Sgt. Rodriguez, the father of a 7 year old son passed away shortly after a proper diagnosis.

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Back in June of 2007 attorney Jeff Garvin of Fort Myers and Wilton Strickland of Fort Lauderdale successfully argued that medical malpractice was committed when a Broward County otolaryngologist (ENT) failed to diagnose tongue cancer.

A Broward County Jury awarded the Garvin Law Firm client $6.4 Million Dollars after hearing two weeks of testimony. Garvin argued that the Pembroke Pines Doctor was negligent when he failed to notice several recognizable symptoms of tongue cancer. This argument was strengthened when evidence was presented that the client sought a second opinion and this doctor noticed cancer almost immediately. Unfortunately for the client, the cancer had already spread and required extensive surgery to remove the growth.

After this surgery, which required the removal of most of his tongue, the client was left with a difficulty speaking, can’t swallow, and is forced to eat blended food through a tube in his stomach.

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