Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

On December 19, 2012, a doctor performed a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and hernia repair on a patient. The doctor performed the gastric bypass procedure laparoscopically, but he found it necessary to open the abdomen to complete the hernia repair. During his recovery, the plaintiff vomited numerous times, including his intestinal contents. The doctor determined that the plaintiff needed a second surgery to repair an acute small bowel obstruction, which he believed was related to the hernia repair. On December 21, 2012, he operated on the plaintiff for the small bowel obstruction. The doctor and the anesthesiologist discussed whether to use a nasogastric (NG) tube, but the doctor decided against it because of the risk of perforating the fresh anastomosis from the gastric bypass procedure. The plaintiff subsequently aspirated, causing aspiration pneumonitis that in turn caused adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a stage IV bed sore, and neuropathy in the plaintiff’s legs.

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The plaintiff filed a Michigan medical malpractice action against the defendants, alleging that the standard of care was breached by the failure to place an NG tube before the second surgery, although one was placed after the plaintiff aspirated. Both parties retained expert witnesses who disputed whether the doctor should have inserted an NG tube to avoid aspiration before the plaintiff’s second surgery.

Following discovery, the plaintiff filed a motion to strike the testimony of the defendants’ two expert witnesses. He argued that the experts’ opinions that an NG tube should not have been placed before the second surgery were based solely on their own personal opinions and experience. Therefore, he argued the defendants’ experts’ opinions were scientifically unreliable and should be precluded under MCL 600.2955 and MRE 702. Furthermore, the plaintiff argued that one of them incorrectly defined “standard of care” as “[w]hat a prudent individual of similar experience and expertise would do,” and he incorrectly applied a local, rather than a national, standard of care.

The Michigan Court of Appeals recently affirmed the lower court’s entry of a $151,093.23 judgment for a plaintiff, based on the jury’s ruling in a medical malpractice action.

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In August 2011, a dentist extracted one of the plaintiff’s wisdom teeth. From the time of the extraction, the plaintiff experienced numbness on the left side of her tongue. When she returned to the defendant’s office, he treated her for a dry socket and advised her that her lingual nerve may have been injured during the procedure, but it would gradually recover. When the numbness continued, the plaintiff saw various other specialists, who also advised her that she most likely had a lingual nerve injury that would recover.

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The Michigan Court of Appeals recently affirmed the jury’s verdict that a defendant doctor was not professionally negligent in a medical malpractice action.

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Plaintiffs Irwin H. Estrine, D.O., and his wife, Seema Estrine, alleged that defendant Dr. Singer committed malpractice related to Irwin’s spinal surgery. Dr. Singer performed a tubular dilation microdiscectomy on Irwin in April 2010. Immediately following the surgery, Irwin began experiencing intense pain. He alleged that his complaints of pain continued for several days and that Dr. Singer ultimately ordered an MRI late on the third day.

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The Michigan Court of Appeals recently reversed a lower court’s grant of summary judgment to defendants, holding the lower court erroneously found the plaintiffs’ medical malpractice claim to be time-barred.

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In March 2007, plaintiff Richard Krueger visited his primary care doctor, Mr. Giovannucci, after experiencing abdominal pain and diarrhea. Krueger was referred to Dr. Meisner, a gastroenterologist. Tests showed that Krueger had an abdominal aneurysm. In a March 2007 letter, Dr. Meisner advised Dr. Giovannucci of the results of his evaluation, including his discovery of the abdominal aortic aneurysm. At an April 2007 office visit, Dr. Giovannucci discussed the abdominal aortic aneurysm with Krueger. Krueger continued to see Dr. Giovannucci annually for the next seven years, and neither Dr. Giovannucci nor his physician’s assistant ordered any diagnostic testing to check on the status of Krueger’s abdominal aortic aneurysm. Krueger’s aneurysm burst in April 2014.

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The Michigan Court of Appeals recently upheld a prior decision concluding that the lower court improperly granted summary judgment to a defendant in a medical malpractice case, despite the Michigan Supreme Court’s reversal of a case on which the appeals court initially relied. The court reasoned that the reversed case presented a factually distinct situation from the case at hand. operating room

Plaintiffs Alexander Figurski (minor) and Howard Linden (conservator) sued a hospital, a medical group, and doctors, alleging that Figurski suffered a hypoxic-ischemic brain injury and a left middle cerebral arterial ischemic stroke during labor and delivery. The trial court granted the defendants’ motion in limine to exclude the plaintiff’s causation expert concerning claims of malpractice. The trial court therefore granted partial summary disposition as to those claims. The appeals court reversed the trial court’s order and concluded that the trial court exceeded its role as gatekeeper and acted instead as the ultimate trier of fact. It further held that there was sufficient reliable scientific data to support the plaintiff’s expert’s opinion, and summary judgement was therefore improperly granted.

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The Michigan Court of Appeals recently affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of a medical malpractice complaint with prejudice due to the expert’s lack of experience.

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The plaintiffs alleged that Dr. Kenneth Markiewicz, a board-certified specialist in otorhinolaryngology, was negligent while performing a procedure known as a canaloplasty on plaintiff Robert Walworth’s ear canal to remove bony growths. The canaloplasty required Dr. Markiewicz to use a rotating “Skeeter” drill to remove the bony growths. Following the October procedure, the plaintiff discovered that he had lost virtually all hearing in his right ear. The plaintiffs’ theory of the case was that Dr. Markiewicz allowed the Skeeter drill to contact Walworth’s eardrum, injuring it and resulting in hearing loss.

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