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Pittsburgh Personal Injury Law Blog

Daughters seek compensation for father's alleged wrongful death

Most Pennsylvania children would go to great lengths to ensure the proper medical care of their elderly parents. Two women from outside of Pennsylvania allegedly made multiple requests to have their father transferred to the ICU, but they claim that hospital officials ignored their repeated requests until it was too late. Both women are now seeking compensation for the alleged wrongful death of their father.

In Nov. 2012, their 85-year-old father was admitted to an area hospital after reporting to the emergency room with chest congestion. At the time he was diagnosed with pneumonia, as well as a fever, and hospital staff later discovered that he was also suffering from a staph infection. At one point health care workers administered fluids intravenously in response to decreased kidney function and a continual build-up of lung fluid.

Victim loses sense of taste, wins medical malpractice case

A Pennsylvania restaurant owner was awarded $1.5 million after his tonsillectomy left him unable to do perform one of the essential tasks required of most restaurant owners -- actually taste the food. He filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the surgeon who performed the operation, pointing out that he never gave any sort of informed consent before undergoing the surgery. Although a jury determined that the surgeon had not been negligent during the operation, failing to receive informed consent was a serious act of negligence. 

Virtually every procedure and operation is accompanied by some amount of risk. Not only must doctors and surgeons weigh these risks, but patients undergoing surgery must also be given the opportunity to understand the full breadth of potential side effects before consenting to an operation. This gives patients the right to reject the surgery based on possible risk factors, a right that the victim never received.

Spinal cord injury victim hurt by epidural receives $4 million

From putting away groceries to simply walking to another room, spinal cord injuries can impact a victim's ability to complete seemingly innocuous tasks that were once easy to accomplish. Some Pennsylvania women in labor may be unaware of the potential risk of permanent spinal cord injury that can accompany an epidural, the use of which is widespread. One woman now understands just how serious that risk can be.

An anesthesiologist was accused of being in a state that was not conducive to performing his duties in a medical malpractice lawsuit. That suit, filed by a woman who was allegedly injured by an improper epidural injection, claimed that the anesthesiologist had already worked for longer than 24 hours before he arrived to give her an epidural. She was in labor with her third child at the time and unaware that he had gone without sleep for such an extended period of time.

Family of car accident victim could file wrongful death suit

A Pennsylvania community is in mourning following the death of a local police officer. The officer's K-9 partner was in the vehicle with his handler at the time of the fatal accident. Although no action has been taken yet, it is possible that the family of the deceased police officer might choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of his estate.

Shortly before the wreck, the man was on patrol with Blek, his K-9 partner. At the same time, a van was traveling the wrong way on the road. The two vehicles collided head on, killing the officer and seriously injuring the dog. Staff at a veterinary hospital said the dog arrived in critical condition.

Jury agrees with brain injury victim, awards her $14 million

The notion of being a functional, independent adult one day and a severely injured individual wholly reliant on others for care the next might seems farfetched, but it is a reality that one woman must live with every day. Bariatric surgery is not all that uncommon of a procedure in Pennsylvania, but according to a medical malpractice claim filed by a woman in another state, a mistake made during her bariatric procedure resulted in her brain injury. After successfully litigating her suit in court, a jury awarded her $14 million in damages. 

Suffering from obesity, the victim initially sought medical help at a specialized bariatric clinic in 2010. She was approved for a gastric bypass to help her lose weight, and her doctors did note that she was taking prescription blood thinners at the time. To combat the effects of the blood thinner, she was prescribed an anti-coagulation to take before surgery.

Jury awards $7.4 million to brain injury victim

Most patients in Pennsylvania trust that their physicians will listen carefully to any and all symptoms and consider what the possible causes could be. This trust is a vital aspect of the patient-doctor relationship and is also important for detecting certain illnesses as soon as possible. Unfortunately, an out-of-state man says that trust was violated when his doctor did not take some of his troubling symptoms into account. He later suffered a stroke that resulted in a permanent brain injury.

One of the patient's troubling symptoms was exceptionally high blood pressure. This had occurred before in 2008 and 2010, and his doctor prescribed a blood pressure medication and scheduled a follow-up appointment. However, the victim believes that there were other troubling symptoms besides his high blood pressure that should have been clues to his doctor. 

Victim says he lost surgery opportunity after failure to diagnose

A timely diagnosis can be essential in treating Pennsylvania patients for treating serious injuries. A failure to diagnose an out-of-state patient's fracture might have led to further complications, continual pain and a less favorable outcome. In a medical malpractice suit filed against multiple defendants who oversaw his care, he alleges that he did not find out about the fracture until over a year had passed since he first sought treatment for significant pain.

The patient developed serious chest pain a mere two weeks after being treated for broken ribs from a serious fall. After two more weeks passed, the pain had progressed significantly, rendering him unable to walk or even change positions on his own. Additionally, breathing had become painful and difficult. After being transported to the hospital by ambulance in Dec. 2011, he reported this pain as well as a pulling sensation in his chest and ribs. He underwent several scans and X-rays, but the medical professionals who reviewed the scans allegedly missed a fracture in his spine.

Anesthesia injuries require medical malpractice action

Thanks to the development of anesthesia, surgeries and other medical procedures can proceed in the most efficient and least painful way possible. There is little doubt that, when used properly, anesthesia is an enormously beneficial tool in a surgeon's kit. However, when proper care and consideration is not taken, anesthesia use can have a devastating effect on patients, and the resulting injuries often require a properly litigated medical malpractice claim to address the related damages.

Pennsylvania patients who underwent a successful surgery but suffered serious ill-effects of improper anesthesia use likely understand how serious these types of injuries can be. Many of the related injuries are suffered in the brain, which can impact every aspect of a victim's life. From serious brain trauma to permanent brain damage, anesthesia injuries are a serious matter.

Auto accident with Pittsburgh doughnut store injures 2

While purchasing breakfast from a local doughnut store, multiple Pittsburgh residents became the unsuspecting victims of a car wreck. Authorities plan to charge the driver who caused the collision with reckless driving. Those who were injured in the auto accident may also choose to pursue civil claims for damages against the man. 

There is currently no indication that the driver was under the influence at the time of the wreck, and he claims that he was simply panicked when he drove his van into the doughnut store. According to his account, he was attempting to pass a car in front of him, but noticed a vehicle in the oncoming lane before he could complete the pass. Instead of merging back into his own lane, he veered off of the road and straight into the side of the building. 

Who can be held liable for medical malpractice?

The aftermath of a serious instance of medical malpractice can be a confusing time for victims and their families. Victims in Pennsylvania may understand that a medical malpractice suit may be an option for receiving just compensation, but the process can seem overwhelming at first. For instance, some victims may be unsure of whom to hold responsible.

In medical malpractice claims, multiple liable parties can be named. A health care professional who acted negligently may be an obvious party, but he or she may not be the only liable party. Hospitals are responsible for making sure that all employees hold the correct and necessary licenses for practicing medicine. A hospital must also take reasonable care when looking into an applicant's credentials. 

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