Selected Case Summaries – Medical Negligence
Medical Student v. Obstetrician/Gynecologist (2016)
The student had very painful endometriosis. She sought the help of a specialist OB/GYN who suggested that she undergo a laparoscopic surgery to find and ablate the disease. She agreed. During the surgery, the doctor pierced completely through her aorta and she came very close to dying. She required 26 units of blood and 4 hours of emergency surgery. Even after she recovered she was left with a large scar and difficulty pursuing some of her activities. The case was settled for a confidential amount. She now practices family medicine in the northwest.
Cindy Davidson v. Dr. Martin Carpenter and Meadowlark Psychiatric Services. PC (2015)
Cindy began seeing Dr. Carpenter in 2007. She was already taking 50 mg of imipramine. The first time she saw him, Dr. Carpenter doubled the dose of imipramine to 100 milligrams and a month later he increased it again to 150 milligrams. In February 2010 Dr. Carpenter increased the dose to 200 milligrams. Soon, Cindy began having trouble with her memory, fell down repeatedly and had periods where she was incoherent. She next saw Dr. Carpenter in July 2010 and despite these symptoms, he again increased her dose of imipramine to 250 milligrams. All her symptoms got worse and by March 2011, she was stumbling and falling several times a day. She lost her job as the manager of a convenience store because could not do simple math and was incoherent at work. Over the next few months, she was involved in five car crashes. Her family felt she had dementia and was discussing putting her into a nursing home for her own protection and the protection of the public. She saw Dr. Carpenter in October 2011 and told him about the car crashes and the other worsening symptoms. He referred her to a neurologist who ordered a blood test which showed her imipramine level was five times the acceptable amount. She decreased her dosage and over the next several months, all of her symptoms disappeared and she returned to her normal functioning. The case was settled for a confidential amount.
Loa Van Houten, Widow and Administrator of the Estate of Brent Van Houten and Their Adult Children v. Methodist Physicians Clinic, Nebraska Methodist Health Systems Inc., Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner and Physician’s Assistant (2013)
Brent Van Houten was only 61 when he suddenly got a very bad headache, felt dizzy and was dropping things with his right hand. He went to a local clinic, reported his symptoms and was examined by an ARNP. She noted his symptoms and also that he had high blood pressure and marked muscle weakness in his right arm. She ordered an EKG to rule out a heart attack which was negative. A few days later, he returned to a different clinic for a pre-op physical in preparation for having elective rotator cuff surgery. This time, he saw a physician’s assistant. The physician’s assistant did not order any tests to determine the cause of Brent’s symptoms and cleared him for surgery. Over the weekend before the surgery, his symptoms got worse and he was briefly unable to talk, lost his car keys and continued to drop things. That Monday the rotator cuff surgery was performed and he suffered a massive stroke, never regained consciousness and died a few days later. If his earlier symptoms had been correctly diagnosed as a stroke he would never have undergone the surgery, and would not have suffered the massive stroke that killed him. The case was settled for a confidential amount.
SK v. Ob Gyn and Clinic (2011)
In July of 2007, this young mother of a blended family which included seven children was experiencing abdominal pains. She visited her local hospital where she was diagnosed with a “mass.” She sought further treatment and was operated on by the Defendant in September for the removal of her ovaries. She was told she had “benign granulosa cell tumor.” She continued to see the doctor who assured her that she did not have cancer. Less than a year after the surgery to remove the mass, she started experiencing pain in her ribcage and asked to be referred to a specialist. Eventually, she got to an oncologist who diagnosed her with reoccurring granulosa cell tumor. She subsequently learned two things: 1. Granulosa cell tumor is, in fact, cancer, but it is about 95% curable if caught early and treated properly. 2. The tumor, which is usually fluid filled, had broken and spilled its contents into her abdomen; something no one had told her at the time. We brought suit for medical malpractice, negligence fraudulent non-disclosure and lack of informed consent. This was the second nearly identical case we handled involving misdiagnosed granulosa cell tumor and spilled tumor contents. The SK case was settled for a confidential amount.
Z. M., et al. v. Creighton-St. Joseph Regional Healthcare System (2005)
Little Kiera was born prematurely on February 22, 2004. She was transferred from her home hospital to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Creighton hospital. She was doing well until March 13, 2004 when a nurse infused a huge amount of liquid into her tiny body all at once. Her heart stopped immediately, but she was resuscitated. However, her organs failed and she died two days later. Her mom settled the case for a confidential amount.
Widow v. Hospital and Clinic (2000)
After threatening to commit suicide, husband was taken by police to the clinic where he was seen not by a doctor, but by a physician’s assistant. He told her he had been using illegal drugs and abusing his wife and he needed help or he was going to kill himself. Nonetheless, she dismissed him within an hour, with no assessment at all. A few hours later, he was dead by his own hand, leaving behind a wife and two small children. The case was settled for a confidential amount.
James Delp v. Dallas County Hospital and Doctors (1997)
Susan Delp went to the hospital in labor with her first child. Her doctor preformed a C-Section. Shortly after the birth of her little girl, Susan’s blood pressure and heart rate dropped, but no doctor examined her. Her condition continued to deteriorate while the hospital staff tried to reach the doctors. Finally, she was taken in critical condition by Life Flight to Iowa Methodist Medical Center. Exploratory surgery revealed that Susan was bleeding massively from a ligament that was severed during the C-Section. She never regained consciousness after the surgery. She died without ever seeing her little girl, Laura. We settled the case for a confidential amount.
Meskimen v. Three Doctors (1994)
Beginning on December 22, 1994, Stephanie took her three year old, Cline, to the doctor for fever, vomiting, and chills. His nail beds were turning blue. Over several days, Cline’s symptoms continued to worsen and he began to complain of joint pain. John and Stephanie consulted other doctors. Though Cline was examined by three doctors, none gave him antibiotics, none tested him for meningitis and none hospitalized this very sick child, even when his symptoms became clear and ominous. On January 1, 1995 at 1:00 AM, Cline’s parents called to report that Cline had a severe headache and several episodes of projectile vomiting. They were told to give him Tylenol and call back during the day. They checked on him throughout the night. At 10:30AM, when John went to check again, Cline was not breathing. John began CPR, the paramedics arrived and Cline was taken to the hospital, but resuscitation was unsuccessful and Cline was declared dead one hour after his dad found him.
John and Stephanie brought suit against the doctors and their employers, and settled for a confidential amount.
John and Stephanie are very special people. Seeking a way to honor their child, they have used the proceeds of the settlement to become foster parents for nearly a dozen neglected and abused children, keeping them safe and loved for many years. They accept the most challenging children. They have been honored for their devotion to these special children. We are proud to have represented them.
Oshbahr v. Eaves (1985)
Connie was delighted to be pregnant, but concerned because she was much larger then she had been with her first child. She told her doctor she had felt three feet, but he ignored her and he also ignored the nurse who called him when she arrived at the hospital in labor at 7 months gestation and she heard two heartbeats. No arrangements were made for more than one baby. There were only two people in the delivery room, the doctor and the nurse, but there were three babies. The third born, Cindy, died in less then 24 hours. The case was tried to a jury verdict of $150,000.
Benson v. Doctor
Donna Benson’s doctor failed to do anything about a lump in her breast and when she was finally diagnosed with cancer eight months later, it was too late to save her life. Case settled for a confidential amount.
Vandervelde v. Doctor
Lea VanderVelde was a law professor, pregnant with her second child. Everything seemed perfectly normal with her pregnancy and with the birth of her daughter. Less then 24 hours later, Sherry was dead of a virulent bacterial infection delivered to her through her mother’s birth canal. Case settled against the doctor for confidential amount.