7 Most Famous Medical Malpractice Cases in Modern History

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Seeking medical attention is always a scary ordeal for most patients due to the bill and medical procedure involved. However, we have no option but to seek out treatment and demand perfection from the medical staff. Most patients tend to forget one critical aspect — professional medical personnel are humans, and to err is human. Therefore, medical malpractice cases (omission or negligent act by a health care professional that causes harm to a patient) are more common than you might think. The victim faces repercussions due to increasing medical bills, permanent physical/mental suffering, and prolonged lawsuits.

Today, we take a comprehensive look at seven of the most famous medical malpractice cases in modern history.

One of the Famous Medical Malpractice Cases: Teenager Seeking Abortion Delivers a Premature Baby

Sycloria Williams, a teenager from Florida, went to have an abortion at the A Gyn Diagnostic Center only to give birth to a premature baby girl. According to CNN, Ms. Williams received medication from an unlicensed doctor instead of the prescribed abortion procedure. The teenager reported that the baby was alive and killed by clinic staffers who put it in a plastic bag for disposal.

Detectives took a bit of time before finding the remains of the preterm baby and arrested the man behind the entire ordeal. He was charged with several crimes, including tampering with evidence and practicing medicine without having a proper license. The Florida medical board also revoked the license of Doctor Pierre Jean-Jacques Renelique for committed malpractice, the delegation of duties to unlicensed staff, and falsifying medical documents.

Two-Month-Old Develops Cerebral Palsy After a Renal Scan

In March 2006, one of the famous medical malpractice cases included a Michigan woman who took her two-month-old baby for a renal scan. However, the staff at Beaumont Hospital’s Royal Oak facility inserted an IV that changed the boy’s condition drastically. The medical personnel paid no attention to the woman’s reports that her baby was turning blue.

Because oxygen wasn’t flowing to the child’s brain, it led to a severe case of cerebral palsy. According to the Free-Press, the boy requires full-term care due to brain damage. In September, however, the jury awarded the woman a sum of $130 million in damages.

10-Year-Old Partially Paralyzed After Scoliosis Surgery

Faith DeGrand, a ten-year-old, was granted about $135 million in damages after a two-week medical malpractice trial. She allegedly became partially paralyzed after a standard Scoliosis surgery at the Detroit Medical Center Children’s Hospital in 2010. According to MLive, the screws and rods were poorly inserted by the surgeon, thus compressing the spinal cord.

Faith’s extremities became numb, but the surgeon took no immediate action. Instead, doctors removed the hardware after ten days causing permanent loss of bowel and bladder control. Faith DeGrand is now a quadriplegic due to professional negligence by the medical staff at Detroit Medical Center.

Girl Dies Due to Incompatible Donor Blood Type

You would assume that doctors carefully scrutinize every element to avoid common errors and medical malpractice cases. However, it is not always the case as we have come to learn. Jesica Santillan, a seventeen-year-old from Mexico, came to the United States for heart condition medical treatment. However, the surgeons at Duke University Medical Center failed to check for blood type compatibility.

The doctors desperately tried to reverse their mistake by performing a second transplant, but it was too late. Jesica went into a coma and died two weeks later due to brain damage and several other complications. However, the doctors at the facility claimed that human error was the primary source of Jesica’s death.

Man Loses Right Leg Due to Misdiagnosis

famous medical malpractice cases include a man losing his leg.
Male amputee with prosthesis using rehabilitation equipment.

Rhode Island Hospital doctors recommended that 55-year-old Peter Sfameni stop taking his blood thinners after weight loss, fatigue, and back pain. However, Mr. Sfameni was admitted to the hospital after ten days due to uncontrolled blood clotting. Although one doctor recommended the patient should resume blood thinner medications, no one fulfilled this order. However, the clotting led to the amputation of Peter Sfameni’s right leg.

In September 2017, a jury awarded the patient $62 million (including interest) in damages. However, Rhode Island Hospital’s spokeswoman stated how disappointed they were with the ruling. According to Christina Spaight O’Reilly, the hospital physicians made the right clinical decision at the time.

Another of the Famous Medical Malpractice Cases: Woman’s Eggs Inseminated With the Wrong Sperm

Nancy and her partner, Thomas, turned to Vitro fertilization because she had trouble conceiving. However, she gave birth in October 2004 to a baby with significantly darker skin. It was immediately apparent to the couple that something had gone wrong during the insemination procedure.

DNA tests showcased that Thomas was not genetically related to their newborn. After investigation, Nancy’s eggs got inseminated by the wrong man’s sperm. According to daily news, the young couple filed medical malpractice cases against both the embryologist and fertility clinic responsible for the mix-up.

Patient Scheduled for Cerebral Angiography Receives Heart Surgery

A cerebral angiography procedure is relatively simple and involves using x-ray scans and a special dye to determine blood flow through a patient’s brain. However, this was not the case for a 67-year-old woman admitted to a teaching hospital. Given the pen name of Joan Morris, the woman rushed to the wrong room after her treatment. However, doctors picked her up moments later for open-heart surgery.

A different doctor walked into the surgery room after a full hour of heart operation inquiring what they were doing to his patient. It was at this time that they noticed the surgery was a mistake and canceled the procedure. Although Joan Morris went back to her room, she had undergone unnecessary surgery. The procedure increased the risks of infections, stroke, internal bleeding, and heart attack.

Get Expert Help on Medical Malpractice Cases

Medical malpractice can happen to anyone of us and at any time. Therefore, it is vital to seek proper legal help when you fall victim. At Weltchek Mallahan & Weltchek, we help victims and surviving family members secure fair compensation for any injuries sustained at the hands of medical professionals. Ensure you contact us today to get the justice you deserve.

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Have you or a loved one been injured due to negligence? We want to help. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you believe you have a case; time is an important factor. Interested in learning more? Get in touch with us so we can better evaluate and serve your needs in getting the justice your loved one deserves. You may very well be entitled to compensation.


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