A bad result in medicine does not equate to negligence (malpractice); rather, it must be shown that the medical provider acted or failed to act in a manner that violated one or more established standards of care, and that negligence caused substantial harm or death. Unless the negligence was common sense obvious (example: letting a vulnerable patient fall), it is necessary to have one or more experts in that area of medicine verify that the standard of care was violated and it caused the harm. With very rare exceptions, settlements or judgments from jury verdicts are paid by insurance coverages.
Please don’t be deceived by the fraudulent “medical malpractice crisis” claims of the insurance industry, read the Minneapolis Tribune guest editorial: WOULD YOU DISREGARD VICTIMS OF REAL MEDICAL MALPRACTICE?
Verdict: $9,566,600 in Perseke v. Ortonville Area Health Services. Brian teamed up with fellow trial attorney Terry Wade to achieve a $9,566,500 verdict in rural western Minnesota for our client’s family, whose son was born with cerebral palsy. The first trial, in the small, rural home county of the doctor and hospital, resulted in a hung jury (jurors unable to agree). With mounting evidence of “hometown” favoritism toward the doctor and hospital, the trial judge moved the second trial to an adjoining small, rural county, where a new jury in the second trial had little trouble finding the doctor and hospital nurses negligent in monitoring a worsening oxygen deprivation of the baby in the hours before birth. Our clients were not able to collect the entire verdict set by the jury, and all of their recovery was paid by insurance coverages of the doctor and hospital, who the jury found 70% and 30% at fault, respectively.
Verdict $415,000, in Kulzer v. Dr. Shirleen Smook and St. Michael’s Hospital. Our client was a 20 year old first-time expectant mother. At an early checkup with the doctor on her pregnancy, a colpolscopy procedure was recommended. The cervix is coated with a 4% acidic solution, and certain infections will appear when viewed with a colpolscope by the doctor. We proved at trial that the doctor, the hospital lab and the registered nurse were all negligent, when they caused her to be coated with 100% acidic acid instead. They continued with the procedure through her crying and begging them to stop, thinking she was just hypersensitive. Then they sent her home, telling her to soak in the tub if her “sensitivity” continued. The jury in conservative Stearns County, Minnesota saw the photographs of the permanent scarring in her pelvic area, and where the acid had drained down onto her buttocks, photos that her grandmother insisted be taken a few days after the ordeal. All of the verdict was collected against the liability insurance carriers of the doctor and hospital, who had refused to offer more than $75,000 to settle.