Oregon patients who have an operation may have lingering fears that something will go wrong, but most of the time these concerns are put to rest by their doctor. But what if that doctor was known for botching operations? And what if the hospital at which he worked did nothing to stop him? Sadly, in a situation such as that, there may be very little a patient can do.
A long list of patients who found themselves in such a scenario have filed suit after being left with a permanent disability. In some instances, victims died. The spine surgeon accused of botching the operations has been labeled an egomaniac, impaired and mentally ill by a former employer, and at least one other surgeon has tried to intervene during an operation in an attempt to save a patient from extreme harm. The hospital that employed the doctor, which paid him $50,000 a month, is accused of failing to strip him of his hospital privileges and failing to report his negligence to the appropriate medical boards. These failures allegedly allowed the doctor to continue operating on patients, which left many of them paralyzed.
Hospital negligence like this cannot be tolerated. Patients who suffer injuries often require long-term care, which can be costly at a time when physical pain, emotional hurt and immobilization make it impossible to work. In addition to facing these very real, excruciating harms, patients often have to live with the feeling that no one will be held accountable for the instance that left them injured.
Luckily, the legal system offers these individuals a way to recover their losses, punish medical negligence and help protect future patients. An attorney can help victims file a medical malpractice lawsuit, which seeks to show a medical professional or hospital's negligence caused the victim's injuries. If a jury is convinced these elements exist, then compensation may be awarded to the victim.
Then, medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering may all be paid for, allowing the victim to focus on recovering and regaining his or her normal life. These awards, which can sometimes be large, also hurt hospitals and their professionals, sending a loud, clear message that patients are to be cared for in an appropriate and safe manner.
Source: WFAA ABC 8, "Lawsuits allege Baylor Plano let 'dangerous' doctor operate," Brett Shipp, Feb. 11, 2014