Medical Malpractice and other Professional Malpractice
Advocating for Safe Medicine for our Families
Medical malpractice occurs when a patient is injured because a doctor or other health care professional fails to follow generally accepted standards of care.
A bad medical outcome alone is not enough to have a medical malpractice case. The doctor or other professional must have acted negligently, or must have failed to act where necessary, and the patient must have suffered a severe injury.
The great majority of Massachusetts doctors, nurses and other health care professionals are well trained, compassionate, and provide excellent care, but a small group of doctors and others are responsible for a large number of mistakes. Most of our clients are motivated by the desire to prevent other patients from being injured in the future. We have seen changes in hospital policies and procedures, and we have seen some truly bad actors leave medical practice, as a result of cases we have brought.
We work with the very best experts from major teaching hospitals and medical centers across the country to carefully review malpractice cases, advise us as we prepare your case, and provide expert testimony at trial.
While we often advise clients against litigation, when we do accept a case, we know that our client is fully justified in filing a lawsuit.
Medical Malpractice in Massachusetts
Malpractice may occur in the following contexts:
- Birth trauma from delayed Cesarean section, resulting in shoulder dystocia, hypoxic brain injury, cerebral palsy, developmental delays, cognitive difficulties, and physical handicaps
- Misidentifying the mother’s heart rate for the baby’s heartrate
- Obstetrical negligence resulting in injury to the mother
- Delayed diagnosis of cancer
- Surgical errors
- Contraindicated or unnecessary surgery
- Anesthesia errors
- Radiology mistakes in misreading x-rays, CT scans, MRIs and mammograms
- Pathology errors in misreading biopsies and surgical specimens
- Delays in treatment or improper treatment due to miscommunications between physicians
- Medication errors in prescribing, filling or administering medicines
- Infections resulting from poor sanitation or other lapses
- Administrative mistakes
Statute of Limitations
Generally, Massachusetts allows three years from the date of the malpractice to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, but the particular facts of your case may result in shorter or longer periods of time, and there may also be special notice requirements.
=Due to the time necessary to properly gather evidence, retain experts and investigate a case before filing suit, a patient should retain an attorney immediately upon suspecting malpractice.
How We Use Evidence to Win Medical Malpractice Cases
From the inception of a case, we consider the types of "demonstrative evidence" that will bring alive key pieces of evidence and help a jury understand your case:
- Medical calendars, story boards and timelines with the important dates when malpractice occurred
- Medical calendars summarizing our client’s medical treatment
- Charts explaining good medical practice and the dates when published standards took effect
- Case-specific medical illustrations showing pertinent anatomy, steps in a surgical procedure, or progression of a disease or illness
- Color enhanced CT scans, MRIs or x-rays that show our client’s injuries
- Animated fetal monitor strips with time markers for key points during labor
- Special photography that clarifies alterations in medical records
- Enlargements of microscopic images
In addition to our own inventory of anatomical models, we have model makers create case-specific anatomical models, such as models showing the progression of a tumor that had been missed by a doctor.
Results in Medical Malpractice Cases
We have over 20 years experience winning medical malpractice cases:
- $2.5 million recovery against obstetrician and nurse practitioner for child injured due to birth trauma from shoulder dystocia and delayed Cesarean section
- $2.3 million settlement against surgeon and hospital for high school athlete whose leg was amputated after substandard surgical repair of a major artery following accident
- $1.25 million recovery against obstetrician and nurses for family of child who died from oxygen deprivation because of delayed Cesarean section after mother attempted VBAC delivery
- $1.25 million verdict in medical malpractice case against pathologist for grandfather who unnecessarily had half of lung removed due to mistaken diagnosis of lung cancer
- $750,000 recovery against radiologist who missed suspicious mass on mammogram, resulting in woman’s death from breast cancer
- $750,000 recovery against orthopedic surgeon for pipefitter who underwent unneccessary knee surgery, which was improperly performed, resulting in need for total knee replacement
- $500,000 recovery for conscious pain and suffering and wrongful death of 72 year old woman against primary care physician who failed to order screening colonoscopy. Physician claimed he had recommended a colonoscopy many times, but recommendation was not written in patient’s medical record. Patient had multiple underlying illnesses including gastroenterological conditions.
- $500,000 recovery against emergency room physician who failed to diagnose heart attack
- $250,000 settlement for grandfather who lost sight in eye for 6 months after top of irrigation bottle came off and penetrated eye during cataract surgery; nurse improperly attached top to bottle
- $500,000 settlement for family of elderly woman who died from delayed diagnosis of colon cancer after primary care physician failed to order screening colonoscopy
- $450,000 recovery against obstetrician for failure to perform timely Cesarean section resulting in stillborn birth.
Other Professional Malpractice
Holding other Professionals Accountable
Like physicians and surgeons and other medical providers, other professionals must also follow generally accepted standards of practice. Lawyers, accountants, financial advisors, and others can also be held responsible for financial losses suffered by their clients when they depart from accepted standards in their fields or act without proper authorization.
We have helped many clients in such situations.