6.16.2022

Cauda Equina Syndrome: Dangerous Spinal Condition Results in Permanent Injuries When Patient Complaints Are Not Taken Seriously

Recent medical malpractice lawsuit results in $2.5 million settlement in Massachusetts 


Medical malpractice attorney Robert M. Higgins recently settled a medical malpractice case involving a woman who suffered permanent injuries from cauda equina syndrome. Despite her symptoms including severe back pain, numbness, and bladder incontinence, two different doctors failed to order an MRI of her spine or refer her to a specialist.

Attorney Higgins who has represented individuals in similar lawsuits, said that, "Unfortunately, failing to diagnose the dangerous spinal condition known as cauda equina syndrome is more common than it should be. It happens when health care providers do not take patient symptoms and complaints as seriously as they should, and misdiagnose their condition as common back pain."

What is cauda equina syndrome?


Medical imaging of a spine showing the spinal condition of caudal equina syndrome.

Cauda equina syndrome is a serious medical emergency involving extreme pressure and swelling of the nerves at the end of the spinal cord. If patients with cauda equina syndrome do not get appropriate treatment, debilitating adverse results can include:
  • difficulty walking
  • permanent paralysis
  • impaired bladder and/or bowel control
  • other neurological and physical problems.
"Doctors and members of the healthcare team must accurately and timely diagnose this emergent condition before the nerves become permanently damaged," said Higgins. In this case, the patient's physiatrist dismissed her complaints as lumbar radiculopathy without requesting a consultation or imaging study and scheduled her for steroid injections. A second emergency room doctor also discounted her worrisome symptoms providing her with pain medicine and diagnosing her with sciatica and sending her home. Finally, after a second emergency room visit by ambulance, a new ER physician immediately ordered imaging and made the diagnosis of cauda equina syndrome and referred her to neurosurgery for emergency surgery to relieve the pressure on her nerves.

Read the full trial report here: Failure to Diagnose and Treat Cauda Equina Syndrome.

More Cauda Equina Syndrome Medical Malpractice Settlements


Lubin & Meyer has extensive experience successfully pursuing claims involving cauda equina syndrome, including but not limited to:


Questions about Medical Malpractice?

If you believe you or a loved one was injured due to improper medical care, please contact our law firm to request a free case evaluation. 

Lubin & Meyer attorneys and staff nurses are available to review your case. No fee. No obligation.

We represent individuals and families in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

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View our main website at LubinandMeyer.com - Lubin & Meyer PC - New England's Leader in Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law

5.25.2022

Record-setting $14 Million Medical Malpractice Settlement in Laboratory Error Case in Massachusetts

Lab Error Results in Advanced Cancer at Diagnosis


Attorneys Andrew C. Meyer, Jr., William J. Thompson, and Maria L. Mazur achieved a record setting laboratory error settlement in a case that resulted in a patient's advanced cancer at the time of diagnosis. 

The case involved a lab result that was reported as normal, but was not. The plaintiff was not notified of the error, which went undiscovered for a number of years until the plaintiff was diagnosed with advanced cancer.

The case, which was resolved in just over a year, involved aggressive discovery as to how the lab error occurred, and settled for $14 million at mediation.


Lubin & Meyer PC - New England's Leader in Medical Malpractice Law

Questions about an injury or death due to medical malpractice? Contact our medical malpractice lawyers for a free case review in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, or Rhode Island. (617) 720-4447.

Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney

3.31.2022

Medical Malpractice Attorney Confronts Nursing Home Negligence

Lubin & Meyer's Robert M. Higgins was featured in the recent Best Lawyers: The Injury & Malpractice Issue, in an article on litigating claims of nursing home abuse and neglect. The article, When Neglect Turns Fatal, discusses the challenges of patients who are immobile or suffering from dementia, limits on damage awards, and proposals for meaningful change.

The article, by Justin Smulison, highlights a recent nursing home settlement Higgins obtained on behalf of the family of a nursing home patient in Massachusetts who was strangulated when he became entangled between the bed and the bed rails. Higgins achieved a $2 million settlement in the wrongful death case. Details of the settlement are available at the link below.

Improper bed rails at nursing home results in death of 84-year-old man from strangulation


article on nursing home neglect
Quoted in the magazine, Higgins said, "The facility had already violated numerous regulations regarding [its] use of bed rails. They were warned about the existing danger and simply did nothing to address the issue. They put people into beds with ill-fitting side rails, creating very dangerous situations for the patients." 

The article reports that state officials had found that 173 of the 176 beds in the nursing home had improper bed rails.

"This is not a case you see every week," said Higgins, "but poor healthcare for the elderly, unfortunately, happens more than it should. Our elderly population is extremely vulnerable. It is critical that we expose and correct problems in the care they receive, making condition safer and more reliable for the next family that puts a loved on into a nursing home."

Five attorneys at Lubin & Meyer were listed in the publication's directory as having received the Best Lawyers® designation in Massachusetts for medical malpractice law and personal injury litigation.

Questions about Medical Malpractice?

If you believe a loved one was not provided the proper care nursing home care, please contact our law firm to request a free case evaluation. 

Lubin & Meyer attorneys and staff nurses are available to review your case. No fee. No obligation.

We represent individuals and families in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

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View our main website at LubinandMeyer.com - Lubin & Meyer PC - New England's Leader in Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law

11.29.2021

New Colon Cancer Screening Guidelines: 45 Is The New 50

New Screening Guidelines for Colorectal Cancer

The American Cancer Society and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) in May of this year updated the guidelines for colon cancer screenings recommending that all men and women (with average risk of colon cancer) begin screening at age 45 (instead of 50), using tests such as:

  • Colonoscopy
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy
  • CT colonography
  • Stool test
  • As well as other colon cancer tests.

According to the American Cancer Society, colon cancer, or colorectal cancer, is the third most frequently diagnosed cancer in the U.S. and the second leading cause of cancer death

Colon Cancer Demographics
Source: American Cancer Society

The rates of the incidence of colon cancer and death from colon cancer have declined in recent years due to increased use of colon cancer screenings to detect and remove precancerous polyps. That's the good news. 

The bad news: While the overall incidence of the disease is down, the rates of colon cancer in younger populations is increasing. Colorectal cancer is predicted to become the top leading cause of cancer death in people aged 20 to 49 by the year 2030, according to reporting by Good Morning America.

Colorectal Cancer and Black Americans

Black Americans are at an even greater risk for colon cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, and reported in STAT News,

"Black men are 24% more likely to develop the disease and 47% more likely to die from it than white men. Black women are 19% more likely than their white counterparts to develop it and have a 34% higher rate of dying from it."

Colon Cancer Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

When a physician fails to screen for colon cancer based on symptoms, or fails to screen for colon cancer based on recommended guidelines, and there is a delay in the diagnosis of colon cancer, the patient may have a medical malpractice claim. Investigating the circumstances surrounding a delay in the diagnosis of colorectal cancer should be conducted by attorneys experienced in colon cancer cases. 

Some our firm's recent medical malpractice settlements related to colo-rectal cancer lawsuits include:

Questions?

If you believe you or a loved one was not provided the proper care and/or cancer screening related to a colon cancer diagnosis, please contact our law firm to request a free case evaluation. 

Our attorneys and staff nurses are available to review your case. No fee. No obligation.

Learn more on our Colon Cancer Information Page.

We represent individuals and families in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

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View our main website at LubinandMeyer.com - Lubin & Meyer PC - New England's Leader in Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law

6.09.2021

Patient Dumping: Lubin & Meyer Files Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Massachusetts

Report from Disability Law Center Finds Abuse and Neglect in Death of Woman Discharged from Hospital and Left on Boston Streets 


Attorney Robert Higgins
Lubin & Meyer medical malpractice attorney Robert M. Higgins has filed a lawsuit in Worcester Superior Court seeking damages related to the death of CaSonya King, a mental health patient who died in 2018 shortly after she was improperly discharged from the hospital where she was being treated. Named in the complaint are High Point Hospital, CVS, the attending physician and a social worker at the hospital. 

In an exposé by Shira Schoenberg, for CommonWealth Magazine, Attorney Higgins, who represents CaSonya's mother Angela King in the civil action, said,
“They essentially decided they didn’t want to have her anymore, and they decided to dump her at a shelter. She had mental health issues, she needed help. She didn’t need to be dumped on the streets near the Pine Street Inn to fend for herself.” 
— Robert Higgins, Medical Malpractice Attorney

 


A report released on June 8, 2021 by the Disability Law Center (DLC),  the federally mandated protection and advocacy agency for Massachusetts, criticizes the Department of Mental Health (DMH), which licensed High Point Hospital, for its failure to get answers to critical questions about the incident:
  • Why was CaSonya King discharged in a deeply disoriented state? 
  • Why was she discharged to the street and against her will without adequate supports? 
  • Why couldn’t the hospital wait until a placement with adequate supports could be arranged, especially since CaSonya King did not wish to be discharged to a shelter or to the street? 
  • Why was she brought from Middleborough to Boston, 39 miles away, a community where she had no meaningful supports? 
  • Where exactly was CaSonya King left and why did she never make it inside the homeless shelter? 
In announcing the report, DLC stated:

The report, “Out of Time: The Tragic Death of CaSonya King and the Practice of Patient Dumping” is available on the DLC website. It contains a detailed analysis of hospital medical records, DMH investigative records, and legal records, along with photographs, tables and additional graphic material, and information gathered from interviews and fact investigation. The report also describes CaSonya’s death against the backdrop of so-called “patient dumping” incidents across the country. Following its investigation, undertaken as the designated Protection and Advocacy (“P&A”) system for the Commonwealth, DLC finds that the actions of High Point Hospital, in discharging CaSonya King without a meaningful and effective discharge plan, constituted neglect and a dangerous practice that contributed to CaSonya King’s tragic death. 

 

Questions about medical malpractice? 

Lubin & Meyer can evaluate your case at no cost, with no obligation. Please contact us at (617) 720-4447. Or click the button below to fill out a form and we will contact you.

Representing individuals and families in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

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View our main website at LubinandMeyer.com - Lubin & Meyer PC - New England's Leader in Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law

2.19.2021

Lubin & Meyer Achieves 32 Verdicts and Settlements of $1M or More Despite Pandemic

In 2020, Lubin & Meyer PC again stood alone as the demonstrated leader in medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury law in New England recording more verdicts and settlements of $1 million or more than any other firm in the region. As much of the world was brought to a halt by the Coronavirus pandemic, Lubin & Meyer maintained its place as the leader — seamlessly and skillfully moving cases through the courts, continuing to engage new clients, and recording 32 verdicts and settlements of $1 million or more in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

Boston Medical Malpractice Attorneys

Featured among them was the $3.15 million verdict, Antonio v. Medlock: This medical malpractice lawsuit claimed a neurosurgeon botched the screw placement during spine surgery that resulted in new injuries and subsequent surgery for his patient. The case was highlighted in the Boston Magazine article, The Secret Truth About Boston Doctors, and was the topic of an interview with Attorney Andrew Meyer on NECN. The defendant neurosurgeon served as a board member of the Board of Registration in Medicine and the Massachusetts Medical Society. 

Notable settlements include:

$7 million personal injury settlement
Construction site accident causes upper body fractures

$4.5 million birth injury settlement
Baby suffers brain damage during prolonged labor with signs of fetal distress

$4.5 million cancer diagnosis delay settlement  
Failure to follow up on abnormal PSA result leads to prostate cancer death

$4 million maternal death settlement
Mother dies after delivery of baby from failure to monitor bleeding and repeat labs in order to diagnose and treat HELLP syndrome

$3.5 million wrongful death settlement
Physician assistant and supervising physician fail to recognize patient’s risk of sudden cardiac arrest and to refer patient to cardiologist or ER, results in death

To see the full listing of all 32 verdicts and settlements with links to each of the trial reports, click on: Largest Verdicts and Settlements of 2020.

Questions about medical malpractice? 

Lubin & Meyer can evaluate your case at no cost, with no obligation. Please contact us at (617) 720-4447. Or click the button below to fill out a form and we will contact you.

Our medical malpractice and personal injury attorneys represent individuals and families in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

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View our main website at LubinandMeyer.com - Lubin & Meyer PC - New England's Leader in Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law

2.17.2021

CBS News Investigation Confirms What Attorney Andrew Meyer Has Been Saying About Dangerous Doctors Avoiding Discipline

A two-part investigation by CBS News delves into the problem of dangerous doctors avoiding discipline for medical malpractice by state medical boards. According to the reporting, "Less than 2% of doctors account for more than half of all malpractice payments."

The same issue exists here in Massachusetts. Lubin & Meyer founding partner, well known patient safety advocate and medical malpractice Attorney Andrew C. Meyer, Jr. has been speaking out on this issue for years. He was featured in a recent Boston Magazine exposé, The Secret Truth About Boston Doctors, criticizing the Massachusetts medical board for its failure to discipline bad doctors. The board, says Meyer, is more interested in protecting bad doctors than protecting patients. He also appeared on NBC10 Boston as a follow-up on the topic.

"We see the same names on a regular basis," said Meyer. "We see the same hospitals show up time and time again with the same problems, and one of the major issues is there’s no corrective action being taken. There’s much more of a "circle the wagons" mentality to protect the reputation — the insurance company is trying to protect their own financial interest, and there’s no effort to expose the mistakes, make changes, change policies and procedures to protect patients."

Meyer says that there is very little in Massachusetts that patients can do to protect themselves, other than get a very good recommendation. "In Massachusetts you can find out more about your refrigerator or your toaster than you can about your doctor. You can’t find out the history of your doctor. You’d have to really know your way through the court system to find out how many cases have been filed against a doctor."

Link to the Boston Magazine article here: The Secret Truth About Boston Doctors.

See Andrew Meyer on NBC10 Boston discussing the topic: Lack of Disciplining Bad Doctors in Massachusetts

Questions about medical malpractice? 

Lubin & Meyer can evaluate your case at no cost, with no obligation. Please contact us at (617) 720-4447. Or click the button below to fill out a form and we will contact you.

Representing individuals and families in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

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View our main website at LubinandMeyer.com - Lubin & Meyer PC - New England's Leader in Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law

1.11.2021

Maternal Mortality in America - Hospitals Know What To Do, They Just Aren't Doing It

From our Patient Safety Resource Center

What expectant mothers need to know to properly advocate for themselves during pregnancy

 

Pregnant women visiting with her Ob-Gyn

Even before our healthcare system faced the extreme stress of a global pandemic, hospitals have stumbled in meeting one of healthcare's most basic callings — providing for a safe childbirth. An unfortunate statistic owned by hospitals in the United States is having the highest rate of women dying during childbirth in the developed world.

"What's most disturbing about the increased trend in maternal deaths and injuries is that the medical profession knows how to prevent most of these harms," says Boston birth injury lawyer Krysia Syska. "Hospitals aren't following recommended guidelines to identify high-risk pregnancies, and monitor and respond to a mother's well-being before, during and after delivery."

Attorney Syska along with her partner Attorney Robert Higgins settled a maternal mortality malpractice case last year for $12 million on behalf of a family of a 34-year-old woman who died shortly after childbirth. It was found that the hospital had violated its own procedures and policies, was not credentialed to care for high-risk patients, and should have transferred the high-risk patient immediately upon arrival. The case settled quickly before a lawsuit was filed.

Lubin & Meyer has published an information page on Maternal Mortality in its Patient Safety Resource Center to help inform mothers-to-be. The article highlights recent investigative reporting and research into women dying related to childbirth. Additionally, it provide links to tips and best practices to help pregnant women understand the risks and communicate effectively with their obstetrician and healthcare team in order to best advocate for themselves and their baby during childbirth. It also includes a link to the New York Times educational resource: A Guide for Black Mothers: Protecting Your Birth - How racism can impact your pre- and postnatal care — and advice for speaking to your Ob-Gyn about it.

Go to the maternal health article here:

> Lifesaving Tips for Safer Childbirth


Questions about medical malpractice? 

Lubin & Meyer can evaluate your case at no cost, with no obligation. Please contact us at (617) 720-4447. Or click the button below to fill out a form and we will contact you.

Representing individuals and families in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

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View our main website at LubinandMeyer.com - Lubin & Meyer PC - New England's Leader in Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law

12.17.2019

The Leader in Medical Malpractice Law — By Any Measure

Lubin & Meyer, Boston's perennial powerhouse in medical malpractice law and catastrophic personal injury litigation, is again on pace to lead the Commonwealth in results on behalf of injured clients. In just the first 10 months of 2019, Lubin & Meyer achieved over $150 million on behalf of its clients in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.


The firm's strength lies in its demonstrated record of consistently obtaining more multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements in the areas of medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury law than any other law firm in the region. 

Lubin & Meyer has been awarded two Tier One "Best Law Firms" rankings for the Boston metro area in both medical malpractice law and personal injury litigation by Best Lawyers® / U.S. News & World Report in the 2020 edition.

Notable Highlights of 2019


Wrongful death settlement = $12,000,000.00

Radiology error verdict = $11,500,000.00

Post-surgical infection verdict = $10,700,000.00

Product liability settlement = $8,900,000.00

Birth injury settlement = $7,500,000.00

Surgical error settlement = $5,100,000.00

Surgical error settlement = $5,000,000.00

Post-surgical infection settlement = $4,000,000.00

Wrongful death verdict = $3,750,000.00

Neurological birth injury settlement = $3,500,000.00

To view of search hundreds of additional case results and trial reports, visit the firm's firm's website at: Verdicts and Settlements Case Archive

Questions about medical malpractice?


Lubin & Meyer can evaluate your case at no cost, with no obligation. Please contact us at (617) 720-4447. Or click the button below to fill out a form and we will contact you.

Representing individuals and families in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

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View our main website at LubinandMeyer.com - Lubin & Meyer PC - New England's Leader in Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law

11.18.2019

Boston Medical Malpractice Lawyer Andrew Meyer Speaks Out About Massachusetts Medical Board

As Boston's top medical malpractice lawyer, Andrew C. Meyer Jr. has been outspoken about the Massachusetts medical system's shortcomings that put patients at risk. Most recently he was featured in the Boston Magazine exposé, The Secret Truth About Boston Doctors, in which he called out the Massachusetts Medical Board, charged with the duty of disciplining doctors for bad behavior and practicing bad medicine. As a follow up to that article, Meyer was interviewed by Sue O'Connell on NBC10 Boston / NECN.

Boston medical malpractice lawyer Andrew Meyer on NECN

In the interview, Meyer faults the board for taking a soft approach to discipline and for appointing to the board a physician with a pending medical malpractice lawsuit against him. Meyer says that the Board of Registration is a licensing authority, and it should be run more by consumers who understand what bad medicine is about, rather than doctors.

Says Meyer,
"It’s the Governor and the Department of Health and Human Services are putting these people on the Board, and the Board, unfortunately, for the most part, not in total, but for the most part is controlled by the Mass. Medical Society. They put the people they want on the Board. They protect the doctors in Massachusetts, and there’s very little protection for the patients."
"We see the same names on a regular basis. We see the same hospitals show up time and time again with the same problems, and one of the major issues is that there’s no corrective action being taken. There’s much more of a 'circle the wagons' mentality to protect the reputation — the insurance company is trying to protect their own financial interest, and there’s no effort to expose the mistakes, make changes, change policies and procedures to protect patients."

To view the full interview, go to: Massachusetts Medical Board Complaints.

To view the Boston Magazine article, go to: The Secret Truth About Boston Doctors.

Questions about medical malpractice?

Lubin & Meyer can evaluate your case at no cost, with no obligation. Please contact us at (617) 720-4447. Or click the button below to fill out a form and we will contact you.

Representing individuals and families in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

Contact Us button

View our main website at LubinandMeyer.com - Lubin & Meyer PC - New England's Leader in Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law

7.08.2019

Andrew Meyer Holds Massachusetts Medical Board Responsible for Failing to Protect Patients from Dangerous Doctors

Boston's Top Medical Malpractice Attorney Featured Prominently in Boston Magazine Exposé 


Andrew Meyer Boston Attorney
Boston med-mal attorney and patient safety advocate Andrew C. Meyer, Jr.
Boston Magazine features an exposé by writer Michael Damiano who reports on the secretive world of Boston doctors. A world where physicians who have had multiple claims of medical malpractice brought against them, continue to practice medicine and avoid accountability or punishment. In The Secret Truth About Boston Doctors, Damiano turns to Andrew Meyer to provide perspective on the situation.

Writes Damiano:
“Meyer is not only Boston's most prolific medical malpractice attorney, but he also has one of the best views of how the system that is supposed to protect patients from bad doctors consistently fails. Every month, his firm, Lubin & Meyer, fields hundreds of calls from people who believe they have been harmed by negligent care.”
Damiano cites sexual misconduct, sloppy mistakes often with catastrophic consequences, and a medical board that often looks the other way. The article is built around the medical saga of Lubin & Meyer client, Charles Antonio, who suffered a serious injury during spine surgery by surgeon, Michael Medlock, MD. Antonio was unaware that his physician had settled several medical malpractice lawsuits filed by other patients also injured during surgery. To make matters worse, Damiano reveals that this same doctor was recently appointed to the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine, the independent state agency that oversees licensing, regulation and the discipline of physicians that have harmed patients.
“When physicians with histories of bad outcomes do face consequences, the sanctions tend to be temporary or easily circumvented. Doctors quietly leave one hospital, only to pop up at another. In severe cases, a doctor with a history of problems might leave Massachusetts altogether and reboot his or her career in another state,” reports Damiano.

Who Will Protect Patients from Dangerous Doctors?


According to Meyer, the medical board and state government have never adequately protected patients. He describes the work of his medical malpractice law firm as the only recourse against the powerful medical regime, serving in essence as a consumer protection bureau for patients.
“Many medical professionals approach their work with the seriousness, preparation and abundance of caution that we as patients would expect. But there exists among physicians a culture of protecting one another, a lack of transparency, and an ultimate failure to self regulate when serious behavior problems and bad outcomes occur. It's a dangerous situation with repeat offenders being allowed to move from facility to facility and continue to do harm under a shroud of secrecy.”
“We often are the only defense for patients and their families whose lives have been forever changed as a result of a preventable medical error. Our important work on behalf of our clients holds medical professionals responsible, exposes dangerous medical practices and advocates for the safety of all patients.” — Andrew C. Meyer, Jr.


To read the full Boston Magazine feature length article, see below.



Questions about medical malpractice?


Lubin & Meyer can evaluate your case at not cost, with no obligation. Please contact us at (617) 720-4447. Or click the button below to fill out a form and we will contact you.

Representing individuals and families in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

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View our main website at LubinandMeyer.com - Lubin & Meyer PC - New England's Leader in Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law

4.14.2019

Recent Medical Malpractice Verdict and Settlement Reports Now Available

Year after year Lubin & Meyer PC outpaces all other medical malpractice law firms achieving more verdicts and settlements than any other firm in New England. (See related story: Lubin & Meyer Stands Apart in Medical Malpractice Verdicts and Settlements.)

Search medical malpractice trial reports
Search medical malpractice trial reports

We publish on our website summaries of some of those cases. Most recently, we have added the following trial lawyer reports as follows.
  • $10.7 Million Verdict
    Lawrence General Hospital Surgeon for Failing to Treat Intestinal Leak

    Failure to recognize signs of intestinal leak and retained surgical sponge, results in infection, colostomy and additional surgeries
    Attorneys: Nicholas Cappiello and John Carucci
  • $3.75 Million Settlement
    Paralysis Following Spinal Hematoma 

    Delay in the diagnosis and treatment of a spinal cord hematoma while recovering from stroke results in paralysis
    Attorneys: Andrew C. Meyer, Jr. and William J. Thompson
  • $2.25 Million Settlement
    Delay in Spinal Surgery Results in Injury/Death

    Failure to timely operate on epidual hematoma results in paraplegia, bowel and bladder abnormalties, sepsis and death
    Attorneys: Robert M. Higgins and Barrie S. Duchesneau
  • $2 Million Settlement
    Perforated Bowel Infection
     

    Perforated bowel during weight loss surgery causes massive infection, host of injuries and additional surgeries
    Attorneys: Andrew C. Meyer, Jr. and William J. Thompson
  • $1.5 Million Settlement
    Failure to Diagnose Perforated Intestine

    Wrongful death lawsuit alleged 58 year old man should have been admitted to the hospital for abdominal CT scan and surgical consult
    Attorneys:  Andrew C. Meyer, Jr. and Krysia J. Syska
  • $1 Million Settlement
    Death of 3-day-old from Birth Injury

    Lawsuit claims delay in delivery and failure to recognize changes in fetal heart rate tracings resulted in death of baby from severe diffuse anoxic brain injury
    Attorneys: Andrew C. Meyer, Jr. and William J. Thompson
  • $1 Million Settlement
    Lung Cancer Claim Settles Prior to Filing of Lawsuit  

    PCP's failure to follow up on radiologist's recommendations denied patient earlier treatment that would have prolonged patient’s life.
    Attorneys: Andrew C. Meyer, Jr. and William J. Thompson
Many more trial reports are available on our website:
Search Verdicts and Settlements.

You can search our archive of verdicts and settlements by keyword. Please note that the archive does not include every result. Also, past performance does not guarantee future results.

View our main website at LubinandMeyer.com - Lubin & Meyer PC - New England's Leader in Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law

Questions about a medical error? Contact us for a free case review. Representing patients in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode  Island.

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3.13.2019

Massachusetts: Avoidable Hospital Errors Continue To Plague Quality Care

Tracking 29 Things That Should Never Happen in a Hospital


Despite a reputation for excellence and innovation, Massachusetts hospitals can sometimes be dangerous places. In an effort improve patient safety, the state Department of Health tracks “serious reportable events” also known as "never events" — avoidable adverse events that should never happen in a hospital.


As defined by Massachusetts law,* a serious reportable event (SRE) is an event that results in a serious adverse patient outcome that is clearly identifiable and measurable, reasonably preventable, and that meets any other criteria established by the department in regulations.
* Section 51H of Chapter 111 of the General Laws

The total number of SREs in Massachusetts acute care hospitals in 2017 was 922. Some of the most common avoidable errors included:

  • Falls = 308
  • Pressure ulcers = 294
  • Surgery on wrong site = 49
  • Medication errors = 52
  • Foreign objects left in patient = 31


Total Number of SREs in Acute Care Hospitals by Year


** Two events in 2015 and 2016 affected a large number of patients and is reflected in the increase in SREs reported. Data abstracted on Jun 15, 2018 from the Health Care Facility Reporting System.


Massachusetts Serious Reportable Events


Below are the 29 preventable adverse events that Massachusetts tracks and must disseminate publicly in an effort to improve patient safety. This is the most recent data from 2017, which shows still too many SREs — over 900 for the year.

Surgical or Invasive Procedure Events
1. Wrong body part, side or site surgery of procedure = 49
2. Wrong patient surgery or procedure = 1
3. Wrong surgery or procedure performed = 8
4. Foreign object left in patient after procedure unknowingly = 31
5. Death of ASA Class I patient during surgery or within 24 hours = 0

Product or Device Events
6. Contaminated drugs, device or biologics = 21
7. Device misuse or malfunction = 21
8. Intravascular air embolism = 3

Patient Protection Events
9. Patient discharged to unauthorized person = 0
10. Serious injury or death during patient disappearance = 2
11. Suicide or self-harm = 25

Care Management Events
12. Serious injury or death from medication error = 52
13. Unsafe blood transfusion = 1
14. Maternal serious injury or death associated with labor or delivery = 7
15. Newborn serious injury or death associated with delivery = 11
16. Serious injury or death after a fall = 308
17. Stage 3, Stage 4 or unstageable pressure ulcer = 294
18. Artificial insemination with wrong egg or sperm = 0
19. Serious injury or death from loss of irreplaceable biological specimen = 2
20. Serious injury or death from lack of follow up or communication of lab result = 10

Environmental Events
21. Serious injury or death from electric shock = 0
22. Oxygen or gas delivery error = 2
23. Serious injury or death from burn = 25
24. Serious injury or death from physical restraints = 2

Radiology Events
25. Serious injury or death from metallic object in MRI = 0

Potential Criminal Events
26. Impersonation of a health care provider = 0
27. Abduction of patient = 0
28. Sexual abuse or assault of patient or staff member = 7
29. Serious injury or death after physicial assault of patient or staff = 41

Data source: Serious Reportable Events in 2017 Acute Care Hospitals, Non-Acute Care Hospitals and Ambulatory Surgical Centers, Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality, Public Health Council, July 11, 2108

For more information, download the full report.

Previous reporting on Massachusetts SREs on the Patient Safety Blog:
View our main website at LubinandMeyer.com - Lubin & Meyer PC - New England's Leader in Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law

Questions about a medical error? Contact us for a free case review. Representing patients in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode  Island.

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9.10.2018

Sepsis: Raising Awareness of the Number 1 Killer of Patients in Hospitals


 

What is sepsis?


Sepsis is the body’s extreme response to an infection. It is life-threatening, and without timely treatment, sepsis can rapidly cause tissue damage, organ failure, and death. According to information compiled by the Sepsis Alliance, sepsis is the leading cause of death in U.S. hospitals.

Sepsis happens when an infection you already have, commonly
  • lungs (pneumonia)
  • kidney (urinary tract infection)
  • skin
  • gut
triggers a chain reaction throughout your body.

Sepsis is most frequently identified with infections such as:
  • Staphylococcus aureus (staph)
  • Escherichia coli (E. coli)
  • Some types of Streptococcus.  
Sepsis can be related to many diseases and conditions such as cancer, c.diff, urinary tract infections, and many more. Click here to read about conditions that can put a patient at risk for sepsis.

 

Who is at risk for sepsis?


Anyone can get an infection, and almost any infection can lead to sepsis. It is also sometimes called "blood poisoning". Those with chronic conditions such as diabetes, lung disease, cancer, and kidney disease, are at higher risk of developing infections that can lead to sepsis. (See list of other diseases and conditions related to sepsis.)

At highest risk of developing sepsis are those:
  • Age 65 and older
  • Age 1 and younger
  • With Chronic medical conditions (stated above)
  • With weakened immune systems.


What are the symptoms?


There is no single symptom of sepsis. Symptoms of sepsis can include a combination of any of the following:
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Shortness of breath
  • High heart rate
  • Fever, or shivering, or feeling very cold
  • Extreme pain or discomfort
  • Clammy or sweaty skin.
Get medical help immediately if you suspect sepsis, or if your infection is not getting better or is getting worse.

What to do if you suspect sepsis?


Sepsis is a medical emergency. Time matters. Call your doctor or go to the emergency room immediately if you suspect sepsis.
  • It’s important that you ask, “Could this be sepsis?”
  • If you are continuing to feel worse or not getting better in the days after surgery, ask your doctor about sepsis.
  • If you have an infection and don’t get better or start feeling worse, ask your doctor, “Could this infection be leading to sepsis?”

Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention - CDC.gov/sepsis

For more information, go to https://www.cdc.gov/sepsis

See also: Sepsis Alliance - https://www.sepsis.org

View our main website at LubinandMeyer.com
Lubin & Meyer PC - New England's Leader in Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law

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We are available to answer your questions regarding possible medical negligence related to sepsis. Contact us for a free case evaluation in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island

8.29.2018

Our Healthcare System Is Failing Mothers in Childbirth

US Hospitals Show Increasing Trend in Preventable Injuries and Deaths To Mothers During Childbirth


Did you know that the United States currently has the highest rate of women who die during childbirth in the developed world? Women in our country are suffering life-altering injuries and death — most of which are avoidable injuries — due to hospitals that do not take appropriate steps and care of mothers leading up to and during and after delivery.
 
Recent in-depth reporting by USA Today, NPR and ProPublica have exposed this national embarrassment: Why in a country with the most advanced medical technology are women dying from childbirth?


The above video is part of the USA Today report, Hospitals Know How To Protect Mothers. They Just Aren’t Doing It.

Avoidable Maternal Deaths in the US


The USA Today article states:
"Doctors and nurses should be weighing bloody pads to track blood loss so they recognize the danger sooner. They should be giving medication within an hour of spotting dangerously high blood pressure to fend off strokes.

These are not complicated procedures requiring expensive technology. They are among basic tasks that experts have recommended for years because they can save mothers’ lives.

Yet hospitals, doctors and nurses across the country continue to ignore them...."
The article includes input from Dr. Steven Clark, a leading childbirth safety expert and a professor at Baylor College of Medicine who says some hospitals follow best practices, but change is slow: “It’s a failure at all levels, at national organization levels and at the local hospital leadership levels as well.”

According to another recent report by, ProPublica and NPR, The Last Person You’d Expect to Die in Childbirth,
"The U.S. has the worst rate of maternal deaths in the developed world, and 60 percent are preventable. The death of Lauren Bloomstein, a neonatal nurse, in the hospital where she worked illustrates a profound disparity: The health care system focuses on babies but often ignores their mothers."

Maternal Deaths in Massachusetts


We recently reported on the situation here in Massachusetts in a previous blog post, Women Dying in Childbirth in U.S. — A Preventable Tragedy, which highlights a Boston Globe investigative report on maternal deaths at MetroWest Hospital. Lubin & Meyer represents the family at the center of that exposé which includes data on the trends of mothers dying in childbirth in the U.S. and in non-developed countries.


Birth Injury Attorney Krysia Syska
"What's most disturbing about the increased trend in maternal deaths and injuries is that the medical profession knows how to prevent most of these harms. Hospitals aren't following recommended guidelines to identify high-risk pregnancies, and monitor and respond to a mother's well-being before, during and after delivery."

Krysia Syska, Birth Injury Lawyer


 

 Share this lifesaving information

The USA Today article includes a link to a printable guide for you and/or a loved one that highlights the most important questions to discuss with doctors and hospital staff related to a mother's safety during childbirth.

Tips included in this guide include ensuring that the medical team:
  • measures blood loss
  • pays attention to blood pressure readings
  • know preeclampsia warning signs that can lead to stroke
  • insist nurses take blood pressure correctly.

Download the Childbirth Safety Guide here for more detailed information.

Questions about problems encountered during childbirth?


Our medical malpractice and birth injury attorneys are available to review your case free of charge.  Our lawyers practice in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. There is no obligation or fee to have your case reviewed by our medical-legal team.

View our main website at LubinandMeyer.com - Lubin & Meyer PC - New England's Leader in Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law

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