In 2008, the Banner Thunderbird Medical Center in Glendale, AZ, experienced a “never event” due to a doctor error that prompted a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Kerry Higuera was three months pregnant when she erroneously underwent a CT scan meant for another patient. She went to the hospital’s ER after experiencing bleeding and was surprised when a nurse came to the waiting room and told her that her doctor wanted a CT scan to be done. Kerry states that she questioned the decision, but the nurse reiterated that the doctor wanted an abdominal and pelvic CT scan conducted.
Kerry had the CT scan and was visited an hour later by several doctors and hospital representatives, including the emergency physician, two radiologists, and a hospital administrator. They admitted to their mistake and explained that the CT scan was meant for another patient who was also named Kerry and was the same age. This error happened because the hospital staff did not check each patient’s identity cards and other identifiers, such as date of birth or case number, to confirm the identity of each patient.
It was explained to Kerry that her unborn child may suffer from growth problems, mental disability, or even a low IQ due to the radiation exposure that she experienced from the CT scan - which is particularly dangerous in the first trimester of pregnancy.
The baby was monitored closely after birth and almost immediately began to show signs of damage, including a small head circumference. The hospital offered her coupons for the cafeteria and flowers to be sent to her home in apology for the error - a far cry from adequate compensation. Kerry Higuera hired lawyer David Patton to represent her and opened a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital.
Doctor errors are often considered “never events” as they are preventable adverse events that should never have happened. These errors must cause you pain or suffering, or do you harm in order for you to be able to open a viable medical malpractice lawsuit.
The best thing you can do when taking this course of action is to consult with a qualified medical malpractice lawyer who can guide you through the lawsuit process. This process requires a series of steps to be taken, which include:
- Contacting the doctor involved and finding out what went wrong and if the problem can be remediated
- Contacting the appropriate medical licensing board if your doctor does not offer you help
- Finding out the statute of limitations to ensure your medical malpractice claim is filed in a timely manner
- Getting a certificate of merit to confirm that your injuries were caused by your doctor’s error
- Discussing the possibility of settling out of court
If you live in NYC, then it is important that you consult with a qualified NYC medical malpractice attorney. This is because the law differs between states, and you will need someone who is knowledgeable of the laws specific to NYC to have the best chance of receiving compensation.
If you believe that you or a family member may have been a victim of a doctor's error, please contact the medical malpractice lawyers of Rosenburg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff LLP in NYC today.
Call 1-866-516-5887 and speak to one of our medical malpractice attorneys for a free, confidential consultation.