Articles Tagged with Fort Lauderdale medical malpractice lawyer

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Caps on non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits – set at $250,000 per incident under Gov. Jeb Bush – are unconstitutional. The Florida Supreme Court decided this soundly – first in the 2015 case of Estate of McCall v. U.S. (medical malpractice wrongful death cases) and again in 2017 with its ruling in North Broward Hospital District v. Kalitan (medical malpractice personal injury cases).

But hospitals in Florida have found a loophole to this in the form of arbitration agreements. This was recently underscored in a case decided by Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal. In Plantation General Hospital v. Belzi, the appellate panel reversed a $4 million damage award and remanded to the lower court for a recalculation of damages – specifically to be in accordance with the provisions of F.S. 766.207, which still allows the $250,000 non-economic damage cap in cases handled by “voluntary arbitration.”

The Belzi case involved the death of a 24-year-old wife and mother who lost so much oxygen during childbirth, she was left in a vegetative state and died three months later. Her family filed a wrongful death medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor and the hospital alleging their medical negligence resulted in the young woman’s death. Her child, delivered via emergency c-section, survived.  Continue reading →

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In a complex medical malpractice case involving the death of a baby born after just 23 weeks of gestation, a jury awarded the child’s parents $4.3 million. 

The case, Dean v. Central Georgia Women’s Health Center, was against two obstetricians alleged to have failed in abiding by the standard of care, given the mother’s medical condition and history of miscarriages. Each doctor was found 50 percent liable for the child’s death, which the parents contended was foreseeable and preventable.

Although jurors listened to mountains of evidence over eight days, including expert witness testimony and extensive medical records, they deliberated just over two hours before reaching a verdict in favor of plaintiffs.

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Claims of medical malpractice are litigated differently than those involving general negligence. It’s not enough that a patient suffers an adverse outcome while under a doctor’s care. There must be evidence indicating the physician (or other health care professional) deviated from the applicable standard of care and thus proximately caused or exacerbated injury to the patient.

This is a much higher burden of proof than in other kinds of cases.

In general negligence cases, the issue of foreseeability is often a central one. The court will weigh whether a hazard was known or should have been known in determining the duty to protect others from it. In medical malpractice cases, foreseeability might still be an issue, particularly when determining whether a doctor exercised reasonable care.

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