A New York jury awarded $55.9 million to a woman and her spouse in a lawsuit that alleged a spinal surgery left her paralyzed.
On December 8, 2018, a 23-year-old leukemia patient died, two days after receiving a transfusion tainted with a bacterial infection at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas due to the uncovering of systematic safety lapses. The patient had a history of acute lymphoblastic leukemia and her complications included viral-induced bladder inflammation and the placement of a tube that allows direct drainage from the kidney, so she needed daily blood transfusions. Unfortunately, it was unbeknownst to the medical staff that the infusion the patient received one day was contaminated with a harmful human pathogen called Serratia Marcescens, which is rarely found in blood transfusions.
Several patients have filed suit against Porter Adventist Hospital and claimed that they went in for surgery, but left with infections. The suit states, "This lawsuit is premised upon allegations of corporate negligence by Defendant Porter and its leadership and staff, resulting in systemic and ongoing infection control breaches at Porter Adventist Hospital from mid-2015 through late 2018."
Kyle Evans, an HIV positive registered nurse in Texas, has been charged with two felonies for tampering with a consumer product and drug conversion. The charges stem from an incident in February 2019 when Evans was caught stealing five vials of hydromorphone, a pain reliever, from his employer Northeast Methodist Hospital. The Department of Health was notified and an investigation launched immediately. During the investigation, a video was found that also showed Evans stealing the drugs.
A North Texas physician was recently sentenced to twenty years in prison in connection with the death of seven patients from 2012 to 2017. Pain management doctor, Howard Gregg Diamond, is the former principal physician at the Diamondback Pain & Wellness Center in Sherman, Texas. In July 2017, Diamond was indicted by a federal grand jury after authorities found evidence that Diamond had written countless prescriptions for addictive opioid medications without a legitimate medical purpose since 2010. In July 2014, Diamond distributed or dispensed morphine, oxycodone, alprazolam, and zolpidem to a patient that resulted in the patient's death just ten days after the medications were prescribed. Law enforcement authorities also linked six other overdose related deaths to prescriptions written by Diamond between 2010 and 2017. The overdose deaths occurred in several cities in both Texas and Oklahoma.
Carla Miller has sued Vanderbilt University Medical Center and alleged the hospital operated on the wrong kidney during surgery. Ms. Miller claims that Vanderbilt doctors were supposed to implant a mesh tube from her left kidney to her bladder. However, physicians mistakenly implanted the tube in her right kidney. As a result of the error, Ms. Miller has claimed her urinary system was permanently damaged and she will now require dialysis for the rest of her life. Ms. Miller has asked for $5.5 million in compensatory damages and another $15 million in punitive damages.
A report by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services revealed a pattern of blood labeling errors at St. Luke's in Houston during the past year. The report followed a yearlong investigation by both the Houston Chronicle and ProPublica that had documented several lapses in patient care.
Several lawsuits have been filed against various mental health facilities across the State of Texas by former patients who claim they were held against their will without cause. According to one lawsuit filed in federal court, nine individuals were held against their will after voluntarily agreeing to seek treatment at various mental health facilities including Mayhill Behavioral Health, Millwood Hospital, DeSoto at Hickory Trail, and Behavioral Hospital of Bellaire. The plaintiffs have alleged that the defendants held them against their will through a series of fraudulent and illegal acts, including falsifying documents to secure detention orders from a judge. The lawsuits also allege that the defendants use intimidation, manipulation, and fear to keep voluntary and involuntary patients from leaving the facilities.
In 2003, Texas voters narrowly approved a constitutional amendment to allow the Legislature to impose sweeping changes to the medical malpractice law in Texas. The stated purpose was to alleviate a medical malpractice insurance crisis.