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$5.5 MillionSettlement for failure to diagnose and treat kernicterus resulting in severe brain damage of child
$5.5 MillionSettlement for failure to diagnose acute blood loss after cancer surgery resulting in brain damage to physician
$7 MillionPlus Settlement: Negligent performance of intubation post-operatively, resulting in severe brain damage to minor child.
$10.8 MillionConfidential settlement for an adult who suffered catastrophic injury from a stroke
$22 MillionRobyn Frankel vs. Palo Alto Medical Foundation GroupJury verdict for paralysis caused to patient after an unnecessary procedure.
$4.25 MillionSettlement for failure to quickly respond to a minor plaintiff’s hyperthermia after surgery resulting in catastrophic injuries including brain damage
$4 MillionSettlement for failure to diagnose fetal distress resulting in minor plaintiff suffering from severe static encephalopathy

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Study: Failure to diagnose remains top malpractice problem

Patients deserve a health care climate where they can be reasonably certain that a doctor will catch their obvious issues. Unfortunately for many, the failure to diagnose cancer and other conditions remains a leading form of malpractice in both California and abroad. That was the conclusion of one study that surveyed thousands of doctors who had been named in medical malpractice lawsuits. Misdiagnosis made up almost four in every 10 medical malpractice claims.

The failure to diagnose a serious disease can lead to a worsened condition, and in many cases, it can lead to death. Especially with cancer, catching the disease early gives patients more options and a better chance of survival. Delayed treatment can be costly, and this has led many doctors to favor a form of defensive medicine according to the study. Instead of taking their chances with a malpractice suit, they are performing as many tests as possible.

Putting the report into practical terms, it is easy to see how patients might be alarmed. Despite their fears, many doctors still miss obvious issues, and these delays have consequences. It is often not through malfeasance, either. These doctors are unintentionally failing in their duty, and people in California are paying the price with their health.

When a delayed diagnosis causes problems, a patient can turn to the legal system for redress. Doctors have a duty to perform their jobs well, and the failure to diagnose a condition often renders these physicians both negligent and liable for the resulting damages. In such cases, patients have rights to pursue medical malpractice lawsuits.

Source: PhysBizTech, “Defensive medicine far from impenetrable,” Paul Cerrato, Aug. 30, 2013274



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In over 25 years of practice on the defense side of malpractice cases, Jeff Mitchell is the attorney I fear most. He takes very good cases. Jeff has the medicine and the applicable literature down cold. He is without a doubt the best cross-examiner I have ever seen. I have paid his clients a lot of money over the years.
- John M.

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