In Georgia, some Attorneys have become reluctant to take on Emergency Room Medical Malpractice Cases since the Standard of Care in Georgia for negligence in such Emergency Room cases has risen from the Plaintiff having to prove by a preponderance of the evidence the negligence of the Physician, Hospital or other Defendant in a typical Medical Malpractice case, to the Plaintiff having to prove gross negligence of the same Defendants in a Medical Malpractice case involving an Emergency Room.
I have discussed this is in a prior blog post. In fact, very few, if any, cases have been won in Georgia since the standard was risen to that of gross negligence.
Recently, a very interesting case has come out of Florida that may cause some Medical Malpractice Attorneys to start reconsidering taking Emergency Room cases since, although the Plaintiff’s burden of proof for negligence has risen in Georgia to having to show gross negligence, there is still a Standard of Care that must be followed in Emergency Room Medical Malpractice Cases, just as there is in a typical Medical Malpractice case.
This is clearly illustrated in the case out of Florida that awarded a woman, Muriel Tenney, age 36, mother of two, $ 8M for being paralyzed after being seen in the Emergency Room (ER) and not properly treated under the Standard of Care for ER doctors that sent her home without knowing the cause of her pain. The case in point is out of Florida, Muriel Tenney, et al v. Marc Shapiro MD, et al, Case no: CACE10034040, Description: Medical malpractice, Filing Date: Aug. 20, 2010, and Judge: Broward Circuit Judge Jack Tuter.
The Plaintiff had been originally seen in the ER in good health with a complaint of an abscess in her back. She was treated at this time and sent home with antibiotics. She returned two (2) days later to have her wound repacked, and the next day saw a doctor who noticed heavy drainage and she was then redirected to the ER. Five (5) days later she was seen again in the ER, and was seen by a surgeon and told to return in two (2) weeks.
The Plaintiff, however, began to experience chest pain that radiated down here right side and so she returned to the ER. Her chest x-ray and EKG were normal and she was sent home again. There was no discussion at that time of her back wound for which she was previously treated in the ER. Two (2) days later she again returned to the ER with worsening chest pain, was given a pain reliever, and a scan was performed for a blood clot in her lungs and the findings were normal, and she was again discharged only to return later that night. At that time, she was taken to a surgical room, seen by a doctor, and kept overnight.
By the middle of the next day, the Plaintiff was complaining of numbness in her feet. In less than nine (9) hours, this once young healthy 36 year old woman had lost all the feeling in her legs, lost bladder and bowel control, and was permanently paralyzed below the waist.
At Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law, & Affiliates, we are experts at all Medical Malpractice cases, and even cases involving the Emergency Room, so if you or a loved one has been injured or died in an Emergency Room incident at any time in your treatment, then you may Contact Us for your free legal consultation. We are here to assist you, and we will not turn our back on you no matter how your injury occurred as we are here to serve you!
The discussion of this case will be continued in my next blog post titled,”Hospital Emergency Room Medical Malpractice Brings $8 Million For Woman Paralyzed After Visit to the ER ~ part two.”