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.

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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

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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8.10.2018

$35.4 Million Verdict in Mother’s Childbirth Stroke Case Upheld on Appeal

The Massachusetts Appeals Court has upheld a $35.4 million verdict from 2015, in a medical malpractice lawsuit (Larkin v. Johnston) involving injury to a mother during childbirth. The lawsuit was brought by a 28-year-old mother who was left paralyzed by a stroke hours after the vaginal birth of her daughter. Andrea Larkin received prenatal care by the OB/GYN group at Dedham Medical Associates, where previously her primary care physician, Dr. Johnston, had found brain abnormalities including an aneurysm that were never discussed with her or recorded in her medical record's “problem list,” as required by DMA policy.

Lubin & Meyer represented the plaintiff at trial. The total judgment will include the addition of pre-verdict statutory interest. For more information, see the trial report here.

See the appeal document here: Timothy Larkin v. Dedham Medical Associates, Inc.

Attorney Adam Satin represented the plaintiff on appeal.



Questions about injuries to an infant or mother before, during or after delivery?


Our birth injury attorneys and on-staff nurses are available to evaluate the circumstances surrounding your injuries. Please contact us to request a free case review. No obligation.

Our attorneys practice 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

7.19.2018

Lubin & Meyer Sets the Pace with Four Multimillion Dollar Verdicts in First Half of 2018

In the first six months of 2018, medical malpractice law firm Lubin & Meyer PC has achieved four multimillion dollar jury verdicts — including a rarely seen "gross neg­ligence" verdict — more than any other firm in the Commonwealth.

The verdicts are listed below. Click on a link to view more information about any trial.
  • $3.2 Million Verdict for the family of a Mass. General patient regarding a doctor's failure to inform the patient of all treatment options following abnormal biopsy result. (July, 2018)
  • $6.8 Million Verdict for the decedent's family in wrongful death case against a Low­ell General doctor involving a delay in diagnosis of kidney cancer. (February, 2018)
  • $6 Million Verdict for the family of a wom­an who died following hernia surgery at Winchester Hospital. (February, 2018)
  • $1.6 Million Verdict for a patient who suffered 3 years of renal failure and dialysis resulting from a medication error at Dana Farber Cancer Institute. (February, 2018)
 Below is our recent ad in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.


Questions about a possible medical malpractice lawsuit?

Contact Lubin & Meyer for an initial case review or a second opinion at no cost. No obligation.

Our attorneys are licensed and practicing in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

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4.26.2018

Diagnostic Error Study Shows Getting A Second Opinion is Worth the Effort

Misdiagnosis and Delay in Diagnosis of Cancer and Other Diseases Is Common — Especially in Younger and Female Patients


A recent study reveals that among patients who sought a second opinion at the prestigious Mayo Clinic, more than 20% had been misdiagnosed by a primary care provider.

As reported in the Washington Post:
"The researchers looked retrospectively at 286 patients who had seen primary-care physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners in 2009 and 2010. Nearly two-thirds were younger than 64, and most were female.”
The Post article further clarifies:
"In 62 cases (21 percent), the second diagnosis was “distinctly different” from the first, the researchers reported. In 36 cases (12 percent), the diagnoses were the same. In the remaining 188 cases, the diagnoses were at least partly correct but were “better defined/refined” by the second opinion, according to the study.”
The prevalence of misdiagnosis is covered also in this NBC television segment (below)...



When Is Misdiagnosis or Delay in Diagnosis Considered Medical Malpractice?


Cases of misdiagnosis or delays in diagnosis are often the basis of successful medical malpractice lawsuits when a physician or other healthcare provider does not take patient complaints seriously, does not order or follow up on diagnostic tests, or when other problems enter into a patient's care such as lab errors, communication errors, electronic medical records issues, or other hospital system errors.

This is especially harmful in cancer and other diseases where an early diagnosis can make a big difference in the patient’s prognosis — often whether they live or die.

For example, three of the most recent medical malpractice settlements posted to the Lubin & Meyer website are all related to the delay in diagnosis of cancer.

Do You Have Questions About a Diagnostic Error?


If you believe that you or a loved one may have suffered undue injury due to a delay in diagnosis of a medical condition or disease, you should consult with a medical malpractice attorney in your state that regularly deals with such cases and can bring your case to trial if needed, or negotiate the best settlement.

Lubin & Meyer medical malpractice attorneys represent patients in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Please learn more about our firm at lubinandmeyer.com. Or, use the button below to connect with us now.

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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3.26.2018

New Stroke Treatment Guidelines for Thrombectomy and Clot-dissolving Drug

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association has published new guidelines that would make more patients eligible for critical treatments to remove or dissolve blood clots that cause strokes. The guidelines, based on the most recent science available, were published in the Association’s journal Stroke, and the research is published on the NEJM website here. See also the New York Times reporting below.

More time for Thrombectomy


According to the AHA/ASA:
"A major new recommendation increases the window of time for selected patients who are eligible to have blood clots mechanically removed from vessels supplying the brain. Mechanical clot removal is only advisable in clots that block large vessels. The guideline recommends that large vessel strokes can safely be treated with mechanical thrombectomy up to 16 hours after a stroke in selected patients. Under certain conditions, based on advanced brain imaging, some patients may have up to 24 hours. The previous time limit was six hours."

Possible Treatment with Clot-dissolving Drug

 The other recommendation:
"Another new recommendation broadens the eligibility for administering a clot-busting IV drug called alteplase – a type of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) – the only FDA-approved clot-dissolving treatment for ischemic stroke. Previously, patients with mild strokes were not eligible for clot-busting treatment, but new research suggests it could help some of these patients. The guideline says doctors should weigh the risks and benefits in individual patients, because the drug can decrease disability when given promptly and appropriately."

Patients at risk of stroke should discuss the new guidelines with their family and doctors.

Get More Information


American Heart Association /  American Stroke Association

New England Journal of Medicine

Questions About Your Stroke Care?


If you have questions about the diagnosis and treatment of your stroke, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our stroke lawyers can review your stroke case for free in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

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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