Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

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The United States of America has the highest mortality rate for women during childbirth than any other developed country.  Pregnancy-related deaths in the United States have risen since 2000 while other countries’ rates have gone down.  Recently, the New England Journal of Medicine has called for standardized care for the treatment of women in labor in an attempt to reduce the number of pregnancy-related deaths due primarily to heavy bleeding after delivery, elevated blood pressure, and blood clots before or after delivery as reported in a recent article by NPR.ORG.

The reports and results are disturbing as the birth of a child should be one of the most beautiful moments of a parent’s life. Many people associate medical malpractice during childbirth as causing injuries to the infant.  However, as those familiar with New York Medical Malpractice law know, there are numerous reported cases of injuries sustained by the mother giving birth, with many of those injuries resulting in death.

At Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, our New York medical malpractice lawyers have decades of experience handling medical malpractice lawsuits involving injuries to woman as a result of medical negligence during the birthing process.  As is evident from the above article, there appears to be a growing disconnect between the medical profession and the proper medical care of woman giving birth.

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U.S. News & World Report released their annual listing of “Best Law Firms” rankings. Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, LLP was included in the New York City rankings in three practice areas – Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs and Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs. The partners and staff are truly honored to receive this recognition and wish to thank everyone, especially our satisfied clients and legal peers.

For over 50 years, Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, L.L.P., has served injury victims in New York City and the surrounding area. Today, we focus our practice on complex cases involving catastrophic accidents and injuries, worker injuries, construction accidents, vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, premises liability, police misconduct and wrongful death. Our reputation as one of the premier personal injury and medical malpractice firms in the city remains as strong as ever.

All of the attorneys at Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool are extremely experienced and well versed in handling all types of personal injury claims. Indeed, personal injury law is the only type of law that we practice. We understand that your individual matter is your only case and the outcome can be critical to the future of yourself and your family. Our attorneys are selective about the cases we take, which allows us to concentrate on representing clients who have been seriously injured or killed in New York.

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Most people approaching the age of 50 knows that their doctor will recommend a colonoscopy to screen for colon cancer.  The risk of developing colon cancer increases as you get older. Traditionally, the screening test involves a colonoscopy which requires a bowel prep the day before and a procedure under anesthesia in a hospital or colonoscopy clinic.  In an article published on May 30, 2018, The American Cancer Society has now recommended that the screening should take place when a person turns 45 and it does not have to involve a colonoscopy initially.  Tests such as home stool tests can be prescribe and could be used as potential screening tests in lieu of a colonoscopy at age 45.  It must also be noted that certain populations, such as African-Americans, are at increased risk of developing colon cancer and various medical groups have recommended colorectal cancer screenings for African-Americans be the standard of care at age 45.

The next question will be whether insurance companies will allow their customers and network doctors to perform these tests at age 45.  The reality is that colon cancer is the 4th most commonly diagnosed cancer among adults over the age of 55, but it is the second leading cause of cancer death.  Medical reports have shown that early detection and removal of colorectal polyps and lesions decreases the incidence of cancer and mortality.  Simply stated, colon cancer is a cancer that often can be effectively treated with early detection and intervention.  From an insurance company perspective, the cost of an early screening test could potentially save the costs of a delayed diagnosis resulting in cancer metastasis and extensive medical treatment.

From a legal perspective, a medical malpractice attorney will be interested in determining whether the recommendation of the American Cancer Society becomes the standard of care, particularly in New York.  The medical malpractice attorneys at Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, LLP have over 50 years of experience handling cases arising out of a failure to timely and properly diagnose cancer.  We have also handled numerous cases involving colon cancers and colonoscopies.

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As a firm with decades of experience handling medical malpractice cases, the law firm of Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, LLP has represented victims injured due to various types of medical malpractice.  Unfortunately,  a medical error involving the incorrect administration of medicine is a scenario that arises more frequently than most would believe.  These situations do not typically garner headlines such as the recent report wherein a Russian woman was mistakenly injected with formaldehyde instead of saline according to a published news article.  Formalin contains formaldehyde which is used to preserve or “embalm” dead bodies.

The woman was apparently undergoing a procedure for the removal of ovarian cysts.  During the procedure, she as injected with formalin, which contains formaldehyde, instead of saline because the staff at the hospital failed to read the name on the vial.  By the time the mistake was realized, it was too late and the woman died as a result of the poison being introduced into her system.  Those responsible for this tragedy have apparently been terminated or otherwise held accountable.  In all likelihood, various members of the hospital staff, and the hospital itself, would be liable for medical malpractice and the wrongful death of this woman.

The reported situation is unique in that it is a clear case of medical malpractice and would likely fall under the category of hospital negligence.  Medical malpractice involves a breach of the duty of reasonable care by a medical professional or medical facility which results in injury or death to a patient.  If this happened in New York, the expert opinion of a doctor would be required prior to the institution of a lawsuit, despite the obvious nature of the medical malpractice to the general public. New York, and many states, require this expert review in order to prevent the filing of frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits.

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In New York, a medical malpractice action for “Wrongful Birth” has been recognized since the New York Court of Appeals rendered their 1978 decision in the case Becker v. Schwartz. This cause of action allows parents to recover monetary damages from a negligent physician for the extraordinary care and treatment expenses of a child with a congenital disability resulting from the failure of their doctor to properly warn of their risk of conceiving or giving birth to a child with serious genetic or congenital abnormalities.

There have been a variety of issues surrounding this rather unique cause of action. One of these issues dealt with the accrual date of the applicable Statute of Limitations period for such an action. Negligent physicians would argue that the 2 1/2 year Limitations period began on the date of the medical malpractice, which usually occurred months before the delivery date. In an opinion released today, the Court of Appeals clarified that the statute of limitations for the claim of the parents begins to run on the date of the child’s birth, not on the date that the malpractice occurred. The Decision can be found in the case B.F. v. Reproductive Medicine Associates of New York, LLP. This Decision marks a fair and balanced approach to the analysis and helps parents secure justice for their disabled child and the extraordinary expenses associated therewith.

The value of birth injury lawsuit can vary from case to case. Compensation for a birth injury can range from several thousand dollars to well over $1 million. The cost of medical bills, effect on future earning potential, and extent of pain and suffering caused by the injury are some of the factors that go into determining how much a medical malpractice lawsuit may be worth.

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Congratulations to Barry Washor who recently settled a Bronx wrongful death action arising out of medical malpractice committed at a hospital in Manhattan which resulted in the death of a 35-year married mother of 2 children. The action settled just prior to trial in the amount of $2,400,000. He was assisted in the preparation of this matter by our partner, Matthew Maiorana.

The plaintiff-decedent was 34 years old and with no significant medical history. She was not feeling well December 31, 2011 and went to the emergency room at a hospital in New York City at approximately 10:30 pm with complaints of pain, (10/10), body aches, diarrhea, nausea, blue finger tips, and low grade fever. She was diagnosed with tachycardia with a heart rate of 111 and blood pressure of 100/50. Over the course of the night tests were done that showed that she had a deceased white blood cell count and she was being worked up for an abdominal issue. By 1:30 am on January 1, 2011 her blood pressure was 95/50 and her heart rate was 118. At 2:30 am her heart rate was 127. At 4:30 am her heart rate was 212 and her temperature was 104.3. At 6:30 am the decedent was given antibiotics but continued to deteriorate. She was intubated at 11:00 am. At that time her blood pressure was 80/40 and dropping. At 12:30 pm she was given pressors to bring up her blood pressure and she lost consciousness. She was then brought to the operating room for a laparotomy and a hysterectomy was performed. She never regained consciousness and was placed on life support which was discontinued on January 8, 2011, when she died of complications relating to sepsis.

It was alleged that defendants failed to properly diagnose and treat sepsis. It was plaintiff’s contention that the decedent had sepsis from the time she arrived at the hospital and should have been given antibiotics and pressors immediately. Had antibiotics been given immediately there would have been less than a 20% chance of death. For every hour that is delayed the risk of death goes up 7.6%. Inasmuch as there was an 8 hour delay in giving antibiotics and a 4 hour delay in giving pressors the likelihood of death increased to 70-80%.

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The partners and staff wish to congratulate our partner, Barry Washor, for settling a Brooklyn Medical Malpractice case during trial for the amount of $10.85 million dollars. It is believed that this result ranks among the highest medical malpractice settlements of 2017. Congratulations also to our Partner, Kevin McDonald, and all of our exceptional staff, who assisted Barry with the preparation and trial of this matter.

The case involved a 32 year old construction worker who became paralyzed due to medical negligence in September 2012. The plaintiff was suffering from an aortic dissection, which was not diagnosed until two days after presentation to the hospital. During that two day period, he became paralyzed from the chest down and incontinent of bowel and bladder. He was transferred to another facility and underwent emergency repair of his aortic dissection. Unfortunately, the paralysis and bowel and bowel incontinence, secondary to the dissection, could not be reversed and is permanent. Since the surgery to repair the dissection, the plaintiff has remained paralyzed and incontinent and has undergone seven additional surgeries. He underwent a small bowel resection and now has a permanent iliostomy. Because of his immobility and fecal incontinence, he developed very painful sacral decubitus ulceration and has undergone surgeries to repair those. He also developed a condition called heterotopic ossification, a condition in which there is abnormal bone growth on various parts of the body. He underwent a series of surgeries to resect the heterotopic ossifications in his hips and knees. He is permanently disabled and he has been unable to return to work in any way.

During the trial of this matter, a settlement agreement was reached for the amount of $10.85 million. When asked about this incredible result, Barry stated that “This has been a long, hard-fought process and I am happy that we were able to achieve justice for our client.” Since he began practicing law in 1981, Barry has established a reputation as one of the top medical malpractice and personal injury lawyers in New York. His reputation stems from exceptional results and his integrity. His track record of success places him among the elite medical malpractice attorneys practicing in New York today.

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Congratulations to Barry Washor who recently settled a Bronx wrongful death action arising out of medical malpractice committed at a hospital in lower Manhattan which resulted in the death of a 36-year old unmarried mother of 4 children. The action settled just prior to trial in the amount of $2,700,000. 

The case involved a 36 years old woman who was admitted to the hospital on September 8, 2011 with complaints of leg pain and swelling. She initially presented to the emergency room where she was given an ultrasound and diagnosed with a large DVT (blood clot) which ran from her knee to hip. A hematologist was called in and she was admitted under the care of an internist. She was then started on a regimen of Lovenox, an anti-coagulation medication, as well as Coumadin. She was discharged from the hospital the next day and went home by taxi cab with her aunt and cousin. In the cab she became very uncomfortable and was experiencing chest pain and shortness of breath. When she reached her front door she collapsed and lost consciousness. She was taken to a different hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival. She died as a result of a saddle embolism in her lungs which had caused cardiac arrest.

The claim in the case was that because the DVT was so large, the defendants should have done a work up to investigate the possibility of a pulmonary embolism. A CT scan was indicated and plaintiff’s experts opined that had it been done it would have shown some “showering of emboli” which would have required continued admission where it is likely that the pulmonary embolism would not have occurred or least could have been treated had it occurred. It was plaintiff’s contention that the decedent was deprived of a reasonable opportunity for a chance of survival had treatment been done immediately.

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U.S. News & World Report released their annual listing of “Best Law Firms” rankings. Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, LLP was included in the New York City rankings in three practice areas – Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs and Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs. The partners and staff are truly honored to receive this recognition and wish to thank everyone, especially our satisfied clients and legal peers.

For over 50 years, Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, L.L.P., has served injury victims in New York City and the surrounding area. Today, we focus our practice on complex cases involving catastrophic accidents and injuries, worker injuries, construction accidents, vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, premises liability, police misconduct and wrongful death. Our reputation as one of the premier personal injury and medical malpractice firms in the city remains as strong as ever.

All of the attorneys at Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool are extremely experienced and well versed in handling all types of personal injury claims. Indeed, personal injury law is the only type of law that we practice. We understand that your individual matter is your only case and the outcome can be critical to the future of yourself and your family. Our attorneys are selective about the cases we take, which allows us to concentrate on representing clients who have been seriously injured or killed in New York.

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The partners and staff at Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, LLP wish to offer a heart-felt congratulations to the five (5) attorneys in our office who were named as Personal Injury Super Lawyers in New York for 2017. Barry A. Washor, Dallin M. Fuchs, Jonny Kool, Christopher L. Sallay and Matthew Maiorana each were recognized in this way and have been so recognized for multiple consecutive years. We are proud to have these outstanding and well-respected attorneys leading our firm.

The partners would also like to thank the staff at Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, LLP for their incredible support and years of service to our office. Their efforts and skills are a major reason our firm is able to accomplish the results we have been able to achieve.

All of the attorneys at Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool are extremely experienced and well versed in handling all types of personal injury claims. Indeed, personal injury law is the only type of law that we practice. We understand that your individual matter is your only case and the outcome can be critical to the future of yourself and your family. Our attorneys are selective about the cases we take, which allows us to concentrate on representing clients who have been seriously injured or killed in New York.