Medical Malpractice

Settlement after first day of trial for failure to diagnose cancer

Settlement against 3 defendants after the first day of a medical malpractice trial for family of woman who died following a lengthy delay in the diagnosis of her bile duct cancer. The patient underwent an ultrasound that revealed an area within the liver highly suspicious for cancer. The radiologist described the area in his report and noted the need for additional imaging to evaluate the area. Three of the patient’s doctors reviewed the report, but none of the doctors ordered the additional imaging and none informed the patient that the area could be a cancerous mass. Over 31 months later, the patient sought a second opinion and her cancer was diagnosed within weeks but it was terminal and inoperable by that time. Following jury selection, opening statements and the testimony of one plaintiff’s expert, the malpractice insurer for the defendants increased its pre-trial offer and resolved the case against its insureds.

Doctors’ failure to diagnose post-operative brain fluid results in death of young girl

Settlement for parents of 11-year-old girl after her tragic and preventable death at a Boston hospital. Following laser surgery to remove a benign brain tumor, the child began vomiting and complaining of nausea that was not helped with medication. She later became extremely sleepy, and the nurse had to shake the patient in order to wake her up. The ICU team decided the patient’s symptoms were a reaction to the anesthesia and medication, and negligently failed to order any testing or imaging to rule out brain swelling or fluid buildup. Hours later the child became unresponsive. It was discovered she had hydrocephalus, a buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain, and she developed severe complications as a result. The girl lapsed into a coma and passed away days later.

Medical malpractice/wrongful death – Patient dies after radiologist fails to detect aortic leak

Pre-suit wrongful death recovery for wife of patient who died of an aortic rupture. The patient presented to a hospital north of Boston after experiencing severe chest pain and nausea. As part of his work-up, the patient underwent a chest CT scan. Although the radiologist interpreted the study as normal, the scan actually revealed a large hematoma surrounding the aorta which should have been highly suspicious for an aortic leak or tear. The patient was discharged to his home after a 3-day hospital admission. A week later, the patient died suddenly after collapsing. An autopsy revealed that the tear or leak had ruptured, resulting in the patient’s death.

Dentist drops file down patient’s throat

Settlement for 50-year-old man who brought personal injury malpractice claims after his dentist caused a 3 cm dental file to drop into his throat during a routine dental procedure, resulting in surgery to extract the file, and lengthy hospitalization and permanent scarring.

Medical malpractice – Orthopedic surgeon ignores signs of hardware failure

Settlement for a forty-six-year-old man following orthopedic surgeon’s failure to use proper technique during shoulder surgery at a Greater Boston hospital, resulting in the bending of implanted hardware. The hardware issue could have been quickly corrected without damage to the patient’s shoulder joint, but was instead ignored by the surgeon leading to breakage and the need for a significant grafting and repair surgery. The case settled during the initial stages of discovery, which is rare for a medical malpractice case.

Medical malpractice stemming from doctor’s failure to relay genetic testing results

Recovery in a medical malpractice claim for emotional distress by parents of a baby born with a genetic blood disorder. The defendant doctor, a labor and delivery physician in the Boston-area, failed to review and inform the parents of the results of a routine blood test until shortly before the baby’s birth. SUGARMAN attorneys were able to settle the case for its clients before a lawsuit was filed.

Surgeon’s improper technique results in patient’s paralysis

Settlement for 35-year-old man and his child following surgeon’s failure to use proper technique during thoracic spine surgery, resulting in the patient’s being paralyzed from the waist down. The surgery took place at a prominent Boston hospital. The case settled following extensive discovery, and just before the depositions of the intraoperative neuromonitoring personnel, whose notes contradicted the surgeon’s timeline of the events that led to the patient’s injuries.

Doctor fails to establish airway following patient’s allergic reaction

Recovery for the family of a 21 year-old man who died at a Boston-area hospital when an Emergency Department physician failed to establish an airway after the patient had a severe allergic reaction resulting in anaphylactic shock. The physician and others unsuccessfully attempted intubation multiple times but delayed placing a surgical airway, which would have prevented the patient’s death. Following extensive discovery over several years, the defendant resolved the case a short time before trial.

SUGARMAN obtains one of the largest reported medical malpractice settlements in Massachusetts for 2022

Substantial recovery in medical malpractice for a 14-year-old girl and her parents when, following removal of a benign brain tumor as a toddler, several doctors at a major Boston hospital failed for years to order any imaging studies to monitor the patient for recurrence of a brain tumor. While going without an MRI for over four years, the tumor recurred in the patient and grew undetected, resulting in permanent neurological injury requiring lifelong medical care. The case, which was one of the top 3 reported medical malpractice settlements in Massachusetts for 2022, resolved just before trial after SUGARMAN attorneys successfully limited the scope of the testimony of the defendant physicians’ medical experts at trial.

Aorta pierced during routine surgery

Just prior to scheduled trial, SUGARMAN’s personal injury attorneys were able to obtain a substantial settlement for a patient who suffered catastrophic blood loss when the defendant surgeon pierced the patient’s aorta with a surgical instrument during a surgery to treat diverticulitis. The surgery occurred at a hospital near Worcester, Massachusetts. The patient’s blood loss led to the development of severe neurological injuries and personality changes that ended his work career and had a devastating effect on his marriage and family life.

Recovery for young child who suffered hypoxia following discharge

SUGARMAN attorneys were able to reached a settlement during trial of a medical malpractice case on behalf of a now young girl and her parents. Weeks after her birth, the infant presented to a Boston-area hospital with respiratory distress. Despite showing signs of continued problems with breathing, the hospital staff discharged the infant home with her parents. Within 10 hours, the infant was found not breathing and suffered a severe brain injury due to lack of oxygen. SUGARMAN alleged through expert testimony that the infant’s brain injury would have been prevented or severely lessened had she been in the hospital when her respiratory condition became critical.

Improper transport of patient

Settlement reached against a transportation company which dropped a disabled 77-year-old plaintiff off at base of driveway instead of escorting him to his door. Patient fell while walking to door.

Failure to follow fall prevention protocols causes patient’s death

A nursing home resident at high risk for falls sustained a hip fracture when she fell as a result of the nursing home medical staff failing to follow the appropriate fall prevention measures when assisting the patient to the bathroom. Rather than reporting the incident, the medical staff placed the patient back in her bed with a fractured right hip. The patient subsequently suffered a heart attack due to the trauma and died.

Patient dies after hospital administers wrong medication

Pre-discovery settlement in wrongful death medical malpractice case for family of a 91 year old man who died in a Boston-area hospital as a result of the medical staff giving him a high dose of a psychiatric medication intended for another patient. Soon after filing suit, SUGARMAN’s attorneys served a demand letter on the hospital’s insurer for its failure to make a settlement offer when liability was clear. The case settled soon after.

Failure to review ultrasound leads to stroke

In a medical malpractice case, SUGARMAN attorneys obtained a pre-discovery settlement on behalf of a patient who was admitted to a Worcester-area hospital with classic symptoms of an impending stroke. The emergency room physician failed to review the results of the patient’s carotid artery ultrasound, which showed severe blockage, and discharged the patient. The patient unfortunately suffered a massive stroke two days later.

Paralysis following back surgery

In 2017, the plaintiff underwent surgery at a Boston-area hospital to correct a herniated disc in his back. SUGARMAN’s attorneys demonstrated that the neurosurgeon performed the procedure with improper technique, resulting in permanent paralysis which could not be reversed with additional surgeries. The surgeon’s operative note was written and signed weeks after the initial surgery and the neuromonitoring records conflicted with the surgeon’s version of events. The case settled on behalf of the plaintiff and his minor son after discovery was nearly complete.

Wrongful death of nursing home patient

Settlement for family of elderly patient whose C. Difficile illness went untreated for several days when the staff at her nursing home in Boston failed to review critical laboratory results and failed to transfer the patient to a hospital for immediate care. By the time the patient was transferred to a hospital, four days after her symptoms began, she was septic and she passed away shortly thereafter.

Death of twenty-one year old after allergic reaction

Just before the start of a scheduled trial and after significant discovery, SUGARMAN’s attorneys were able to obtain a settlement for the Estate of a twenty-one year-old man who died after the emergency room physician in a hospital outside of Boston failed to intubate the man for over an hour. The man had arrived at the emergency room barely able to breath due to an allergic reaction. Instead of performing a surgical airway, the physician attempted multiple incorrect methods of airway management, causing the patient’s death.

Wrongful death following liver transplant

SUGARMAN Principal Marianne LeBlanc obtained a jury verdict in a medical malpractice claim against a Boston-area transplant surgeon for wrongful death as a result of negligent liver transplant surgery.

Medical malpractice by doctor and nurse midwife

Wrongful death settlement for the death of baby shortly following birth. The OB/GYN doctor negligently used Pitocin during labor and left the mother in the care of a midwife.

Medical malpractice during shoulder surgery

Settlement for a 26-year-old man who underwent surgery to treat a shoulder dislocation and suffered a brachial plexus injury as a result of the surgery that caused arm paralysis.

Hospital’s electronic medical records reveal physicians aware of patient’s condition

Recovery for the family of a 47 year-old man who died from pulmonary emboli following hip replacement surgery at a northeastern Massachusetts hospital. The patient’s family brought suit against multiple defendants responsible for the patient’s care during his recovery from surgery, including a nurse who failed to properly administer one of his medications. The case settled following extensive discovery, including multiple depositions of medical personnel who did not examine the patient, but were noted in audit logs to have accessed the patient’s electronic medical records shortly before his death and thus were aware of his condition.

Nerve injury during doctor’s removal of birth control device

Settlement in medical malpractice case on behalf of client injured when a Cambridge, MA doctor negligently removed an arm-implanted birth control device without confirming its anatomic location prior to removal. The client suffered significant deficits in the use of her arm and hand in the months that followed.

Wrongful death following failure to report lung mass

Pre-trial settlement of medical malpractice case for widow against radiologist and his medical practice. The client’s fifty-seven year-old husband had undergone an abdominal CT scan relative to gastrointestinal issues. The CT scan incidentally revealed a suspicious mass in the patient’s lung which was missed by the radiologist and never reported to the patient until it was found on a subsequent scan, resulting in a delay in diagnosis of lung cancer for nearly a year and a half. He underwent a resection, but the cancer returned months later. The patient was subsequently diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer and died the following year.

Medical malpractice – kidney failure

Settlement for client and wife against urologist for failure to properly monitor for urinary retention due to enlarged prostate over the course of several years, resulting in kidney failure.