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Our Law Blog

Serial malpractice offenders: scary when the subject is physicians

A lead-in to today's blog post might be termed "Reasonable assumptions gone awry." The facts that emerge from a recent article in an esteemed medical journal reveal with chilling force how something that should be a reality in the medical profession is far from uniformly being the case.

Here's a question posed to readers across Arizona and elsewhere: Do you believe that doctors generally possess a similar amount of acumen and skill as they examine, refer, treat and sometimes operate on patients?

Erb's palsy: causes, symptoms and dealing with the aftermath

We provided some basic information regarding Erb's palsy in a post from 2014, noting in our October 27 entry of that year that an affected infant's parents "may be entitled to financial compensation through a medical malpractice claim."

We revisit the topic in today's post to both reiterate its seriousness and to remind a birth injury victim's family that Erb's palsy can often result from a medical negligence act or omission on the part of an obstetrician or other member of a delivery team.

Update on superbug infections: materially understated

Many of our readers across Maricopa County and Arizona likely remember with crystal clarity -- and perhaps unchecked horror -- news that began surfacing in 2012 regarding the outbreak in some hospitals in the United States and abroad of a so-called "superbug."

That bacteria -- which included the super-resistant strain known widely by its shorthand designation of CRE -- was traced to tainted medical scopes known as duodenoscopes, which are often used in the diagnosis and treatment of digestive-tract disorders.

A roll call of unflattering numbers relating to VA medical care

Regardless of how the following numbers are massaged, they certainly don't look good for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. This bulleted summary of things gone wrong for the VA will certainly cause many of our readers across Arizona and elsewhere to duly reflect upon the sheer dimensions of substandard medical care that is unquestionably being administered to high numbers of patients at select VA facilities across the country.

We invite readers to consider the following data, as reported in a recent article spotlighting the broad scope of medical malpractice incidents at the VA:

On failure to warn: court weighs in on widely relevant case

We note on a relevant page of our website at the Maricopa County medical malpractice law firm of Harris Powers & Cunningham that medical facility-based negligence occurs across a wide universe of patient-inflicted harms.

On a web page discussing hospital injuries, we point out, for example, that the gamut of patient risks and resulting harm ranges from emergency room errors, surgical mistakes and inappropriate referrals to misdiagnosis, medication error and facility-acquired infections.

How to stay out of mall parking lot accidents

In a prior post, we highlighted the increased risk of accidents in shopping mall parking lots during the holiday season due to the increased volume of traffic as people shop for presents for their friends and loved ones.

Indeed, we all want to avoid fender-benders, and we all want to get in and out of the shopping center expeditiously.  As such, this post will focus on prudent maneuvers and tips that can help drivers avoid car accidents in parking lots.

Weekend crash is telling for the holiday driving season

As we head closer to the Christmas holiday weekend, we hope our readers are having a happy and festive holiday season. It remains to be seen how many people will be arrested for driving while under the influence of alcohol, but it is worth noting because alcohol related accidents are particularly tragic during the holiday season.

Not only can such crashes have criminal implications, there are civil consequences as well. A drunk driver who causes a crash could be held liable for pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses and a host of other costs incurred.

Misdiagnosis: a huge medical problem requiring more focus

Here's a central Catch-22 regarding a key aspect of medical care in Arizona and across the country, according to a doctor who recently wrote an article on care delivery for a national online media outlet.

On the one hand, notes Dr. Art Papier, good physicians are understandably keenly attuned to the medical diagnoses they make in every patient case. That is, the extensive professional training and innate empathy of caring doctors makes them deeply concerned that the diagnostic calls they are making are timely and accurate, with proper treatment being duly prescribed.

Tort reform and damage caps: Really, a crisis?

The subject of so-called "tort reform" is front and center in a recent online article focusing on an alleged medical malpractice crisis that grips the nation.

In that media commentary, the author makes this quick and preliminary point regarding that crisis: It is essentially a fiction and greatly over-hyped by one particular industry that profits greatly from pedaling misinformation.

*Certified Specialist in Injury and Wrongful Death Litigation by the State Bar of Arizona, Board of Legal Specialization