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Medical Malpractice Archives

Medical Culture Encourages Doctors to Avoid Admitting Mistakes Reporting Medical Errors to Improve Patient Safety

Each year, 250,000 patients die from medical errors - more than motor and air crashes, suicides, falls, poisonings, and drownings combined - according to John Hopkins published research. Medical error is the third leading cause of death in the United States, yet a study shows most doctors would not tell patients or accept responsibility for their mistakes.

Hospital Sued for Deaths of Babies

Two families filed suit this week against Clear Lake Regional Medical Center over the deaths of their newborn babies. Both allege that the hospital and various doctors were responsible for the "negligent evaluation, treatment, and management" of their infants.

YouTube's Dancing "Dr. Booty Baby" Sued for Medical Malpractice, Invasion of Privacy

Dr. Windell Boutte, a Georgia dermatologist who posted videos on her YouTube channel of herself dancing and mugging for the camera while performing surgery on unconscious patients, has been sued by multiple, both before and after the posting of her videos. The patients allege that they suffered injuries ranging from infections and disfigurement to brain damage following surgery performed by Boutte, and some also allege that they did not give Boutte consent to publish videos of them undergoing surgery.

Woman Eaten by Scabies

According to the autopsy, 93-year-old Rebecca Zeni died of "septicemia due to crusted scabies" while a resident Shepherd Hills Nursing Home, which is operated by Pruitt Health. The family has filed suit. State health officials were notified about the scabies outbreak at the facility, but it was never inspected.

Antipsychotics Found to Be Overprescribed in Nursing Homes

Human Rights Watch published a study finding that approximately 179,000 nursing home residents are medicated with antipsychotic drugs, even though they do not have schizophrenia or other serious mental illnesses.

Lawsuit Filed After Woman "Eaten Alive" by Scabies Mites at Nursing Home

A woman was literally eaten alive by parasitic mites while the staff at her nursing home looked on. In 2015, forensic pathologists found 93-year-old Rebecca Zeni had died from "septicemia due to crusted scabies" after millions of parasitic mites, known as scabies, essentially ate Zeni alive over several months or possibly years while the nursing home did nothing to stop it. The forensic pathologist described her death as "one of the most horrendous things [he's] ever seen in [his] career" and believes she died a most painful death.

Psychiatric Hospitals and Their Safety Records Regarding Suicide and Assaults

A local newspaper reviewed several public records and lawsuits and found that around half of the psych hospitals in the Dallas-Fort Worth area have had at least one major safety incident since 2011. A major safety incident was defined as a suicide or significant attempt, a report of unwanted sexual contact, or a serious physical attack.

Recent Report Says Diagnostic Errors are Largest Source of Medical Malpractice Claims

According to a recent report, errors related to diagnostic studies were the largest source of medical malpractice claims across a five-year period. The report was prepared by Coverys, a malpractice services provider. In preparing the report, the authors reviewed 10,618 medical malpractice claims made from 2013 to 2017. The authors found that 33% of malpractice claims were related to errors made during patient diagnosis and more than half of those claims involved poor clinical decisions. Claims involving surgical procedures came in second at 24% followed by medical management claims at 14%. Of the 10,618 claims, researchers noted that 54% of diagnoses-related claims were high-severity and 36% resulted in death. Researchers noted that vulnerabilities in the diagnostic process can begin with the first patient visit and continue all the way through to the follow-up phase after evaluation, testing, and treatment. For example, 33% of diagnostic-related claims occurred because the doctors failed to appropriately evaluate the patient, including obtaining a detailed patient and family history and performing a physical examination of the patient. Approximately 52% of claims involved diagnostic tests and lab tests, including errors in ordering, performing, transmitting. and interpreting the tests. Coverys researchers found that the majority of diagnosis-related claims stem from general medicine (24%), followed by hospital and facility-related claims (19%), radiology (14%), medical subspecialties (11%), emergency medicine (11%), and surgery (9%). According to the report, of the 3,466 closed claims from 2013 to 2017 with diagnosis-related allegations, claims involving cancer were the most prevalent, followed by infections, cardiac/vascular conditions, fractures/dislocations, and myocardial infarctions. To improve accuracy in making diagnoses, the authors recommended a team-based approach in which doctors are encouraged to discuss clinical cases with others.

Doctor was Accused of Performing Unnecessary Surgery

Cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Christopher Stone, was hired to treat patients for the Medical College of Wisconsin. It is alleged that just before he was to start, another physician informed the dean that there were allegations against Dr. Stone that he had performed unnecessary surgery at another hospital.

Antipsychotics Found to Be Overprescribed in Nursing Homes

Human Rights Watch published a study finding that approximately 179,000 nursing home residents are medicated with antipsychotic drugs, even though they do not have schizophrenia or other serious mental illnesses.

Awards & Recognition

  • 2016-2017 Equal Access to Justice Champion

    The Equal Access to Justice Champions Program was started by the Houston Bar Association in 2006, to help ensure placement of Houston Volunteer Lawyers cases with pro bono volunteers. Originally, firms were tiered according to size, and firms within each tier committed to accept a certain number of pro bono cases from HVL each year for five years.

  • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers

    The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state or region who meet stringent qualifications as civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense trial lawyers. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase objective and uniformly applied process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research.

  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum

    Established in 1993, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum (which includes the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum) is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States. Membership is limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. There are over 4000 members throughout the country. Fewer than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members.

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers America | Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz | 2017

    Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Their methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.

  • Lead Counsel Rated

    In order to earn the Lead Counsel Rating, an attorney must not only demonstrate significant legal experience, but must also receive multiple peer recommendations advocating his or her ability. This is a key component in the screening process.

  • Texas Super Lawyers | Texas Monthly

    Each year, Super Lawyers recognizes the top lawyers in Texas via a patented multiphase selection process involving peer nomination, independent research and peer evaluation. The Texas lawyers who receive the highest point totals during this selection process are further recognized in Texas Super Lawyers Top Lists.

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    The firm successfully represented 270 plaintiffs', taking a lead role in the plaintiffs' steering committee, who suffered injuries in a large plant explosion resulting in a settlement of nearly $80 million.

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    The firm successfully represented 45 personal injury victims in a plant fire and explosion, serving on the plaintiffs' steering committee, concluding with a settlement of more than $50 million.

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    The firm prevailed in a personal injury trial for a worksite injury client with the jury returning a verdict and resulting in a judgment of over $22 million for the firm's client.

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    The firm successfully achieved a $12 million settlement for the family of a man who died in an 18 wheeler collision.

  • $30 Million Personal Injury Burn Victims

    The firm prevailed on behalf of three burn victims with settlements totaling nearly $30 million.

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