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Bergen County Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Hurt on a cruise ship? Court delivers important med-mal ruling

When most of us think of medical care, we only think of the hospitals and clinics near our home. But what happens when you need medical care while on vacation? How about on a cruise ship out on the open sea?

Cruise ships generally have at least one medical staff member on board, and it is typically understood that treatment resources outside of a hospital setting might be limited. Nonetheless, patients who suffer illness or injury on a cruise ship have a right to expect that they will receive quality medical care or that they will be transported in a timely fashion to a hospital on land.

Daughter of Joan Rivers seeks answers with wrongful death lawsuit

When a patient dies or suffers a negative medical outcome, their families often find that physicians and hospitals are less than forthcoming about the details. In many cases, this is because they want to shield themselves from liability in case the patient or her family decides to pursue a medical malpractice or wrongful death lawsuit.

The irony with this approach, however, is that a lack of answers may be why such a lawsuit is pursued in the first place. If doctors and hospitals won’t disclose details on their own, a lawsuit becomes necessary. This appears to be among the reasons why the daughter of comedienne Joan Rivers is pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit against the physicians and clinic that treated her mother just before she died.

'Tort reform' laws have not lowered health care costs for patients

Since the early 2000s, most states in the U.S. have enacted laws broadly referred to as “tort reform.” Such laws have especially impacted medical malpractice lawsuits by making it harder for plaintiffs to prove medical negligence and/or by putting caps on the amount of money juries can award plaintiffs for non-economic damages.

The fact that these laws were called “reforms” implies that the old system was somehow broken and that new laws would result in better health care at lower costs. According to a recent study, health care costs may be going down, but not for patients.

New Jersey Supreme Court delivers important med mal ruling

In any profession, understanding and learning from past mistakes is crucial to preventing future errors. Health care is no exception. For this and other reasons, the New Jersey legislature passed a law called the Patient Safety Act in 2004.

The goal of the act was to give doctors and hospitals the opportunity to conduct their own thorough, internal investigations into errors without worrying that the results of their investigations could be used against them in a later medical malpractice lawsuit. While this is beneficial for health care providers and perhaps for future patients, it may be detrimental to patients who were the victims of the errors being investigated.

Medical malpractice lawsuit shows medicine errors can be fatal

Prescription and hospital-administered medicine errors are a significant problem in the United States. Because prescriptions and doctors’ instructions get passed down to nurses, pharmacists and others, there are opportunities for errors to be made nearly anywhere along the chain of command.

That being said, some medicine errors are as simple as a nurse administering a drug based on the assumption that a patient should have it. A mistake like this proved fatal at a Pennsylvania hospital in 2007. And last month, the victim’s widow was awarded approximately $1.5 million by a jury in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Expert medical testimony is crucial in medical malpractice cases

Few would dispute the fact that medicine is among the most complex professions one can enter into. We trust and respect doctors not just for the important work that they do, but also for the years of training and study that it took to learn their craft.

But there are times when doctors make serious errors that lead to harm or even death. Because the average person has only a rudimentary understanding of the field of medicine, we don't always know if the negative outcome was the result of error. And if so, whether that error was one that any physician might make. Therefore, in cases of alleged medical malpractice, who better to judge a doctor's actions than another medical professional in that specialty?

An overview on cerebral palsy, its causes and consequences

Giving birth is unique among medical procedures in a number of ways. On one hand, both the mother and her medical team know that the baby is coming and have nine months to prepare for giving birth. On the other hand, there are many things that can go wrong during delivery, even if the pregnancy itself was not complicated.

How quickly and effectively doctors and medical staff respond to problems can mean the difference between a healthy delivery and birth injuries. In today’s post, we’ll discuss a common type of birth injury with lifelong consequences: cerebral palsy.

Plaintiffs win medical malpractice suit alleging retained object

It is one of life's ironies that the simplest and most preventable mistakes are sometimes the most devastating. In medicine, for instance, the most skilled surgeon can cause serious harm to a patient by being careless about collecting tools at the end of a procedure.

When surgical sponges and other tools are left inside of a patient, the consequences can be highly injurious and even fatal. The problem of retained foreign objects is more prevalent than most people realize. It is a surgical error that has affected a significant number of patients here in New Jersey and around the country.

What is needed in order to prove medical negligence

There is a common misconception that patients sue doctors and hospitals simply because they have a bad medical outcome. This is not the case. A patient can suffer a negative medical outcome (including death) in spite of great medical care. As such, it should be noted that there is a difference between a negative outcome due to circumstance and a negative outcome caused by medical malpractice.

Most medical malpractice lawsuits involve allegations of hospital or physician negligence. This is to say that that the doctor or health care facility did not meet an accepted standard of care. Today, we'll discuss what is typically needed to prove a negligence claim.

Compensation is just one goal of medical malpractice lawsuits

Have you ever been ripped off by an auto mechanic? Have you ever paid for a non-refundable product or service that truly didn’t live up to your expectations? Have you ever hired someone for help only to have the problem get worse rather than better?

If you answered “yes” to any of the previous questions, you know what it’s like to feel powerless as a consumer. Thankfully, the internet gives most of us a voice to air our grievances. Many companies are desperate to avoid scathing “Yelp” reviews and other bad publicity, which gives average Americans some leverage to have their concerns addressed. Unfortunately, we don’t really have this power when it comes to health care.

$7.4 Billion Medicaid Recovery

Breslin and Breslin, PA, Donald A. Caminiti, Esq., was one of six law firms selected by the Attorney General of the State of New Jersey to act as special counsel to represent it in its lawsuit against the tobacco industry to recover Medicaid and other health related costs incurred by the state resulting from tobacco related illnesses.