Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

law%20book%20on%20table.jpgIn Florida, a child has rights to compensation when injured as a result of the negligence or fault of another person, business entity, school, or government. A parent may also be entitled to compensation / damages when a child is injured in Florida. Florida law is spelled out on this issue in the case of United States v. Dempsy, 635 So.2d 961 (Fla. 1994). One of the central issues in the case was whether a parent under Florida law could recover damages related to the loss of the child’s society and affection when the child suffered a serious personal injury but did not die as a result of the injuries.

The case law and legal precedents concerning child injuries and recoverable damages can be quite complex and confusing. Because of this, it is helpful to have the advice, consultation, and representation from the Florida Child Injury Attorney on this matters. You also can read more about child injuries and rights of recovery as well as burdens of proof in the book – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know. You can receive this book for free at – The ABCs of Child Injury.

In United States v. Dempsey, the parents were awarded monetary damages / compensation for injuries to their child that resulted in lifelong, severe mental retardation. The Supreme Court of Florida noted that a parent with a child (who was wrongfully and negligently injured due to the acts of others) had a legal right in the State of Florida to recover for the permanent loss of filial consortium resulting from the child’s permanent injury. What is Filial Consortium? Filial Consortium is the A child’s society, affection, and companionship given to a parent. These type of damages in a Florida Child Injury Case include the loss of companionship, society, love, affection and solace.

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Tonuya Rainey, of Miramar Florida is a mother to eight children. Reportedly, when her sixteen year old daughter became pregnant, Ms. Rainey did not want her to have the child, fearing that it would cause her daughter to miss out on a lot of things. Since she did not have the money to pay for an abortion for her daughter, Ms. Rainey gave the twenty four week pregnant woman pills to induce labor. Ms. Rainey’s daughter claims that the child was born alive, Ms. Rainey claims that the child was stillborn. They both admit that Ms. Rainey then discarded the body in the trash.

Ms. Rainey pleaded guilty to seven charges, including child abuse, termination of a pregnancy and practicing medicine without a license. Her attorney asked the judge for leniency, saying that Ms. Rainey took these actions out of a misguided attempt to provide her daughter with a better life. The Judge sentenced Ms. Rainey to two years of house arrest and five years of probation.

Read more details of this story at Tonuya Rainey Avoids Jail After Forcing Daughter to Have Abortion; Dumped Boy in Trash.

Meds.jpgMany Florida children are dealing with very adult issues – including depression, anxiety and other psychiatric illnesses. Florida therapists, counselors and psychiatrists are reporting that children are being diagnosed at younger and younger ages for these illnesses. That has raised serious questions regarding giving powerful psychotropic medications to young children. This is especially a concern for children in the Florida foster care system, where children are prescribed psychotropic drugs at a rate that is higher than that for the general population.

Some professionals charge that children are being given these drugs as an easy fix to get them to behave, instead of being given appropriate structure and guidance. They worry that the drugs may have unknown side effects with long term use. Others disagree, pointing to the fact that children are placed under a great deal more stress at home and are subject to other issues that were not as prevalent ten years ago. They say that children need the drugs in order to concentrate in school and succeed in life.

The decision whether or not to put a young child on medication is not an easy one. Parents should make sure that they educate themselves on the options available so that they can make an informed decision.

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The March of Dimes recently released its “Premature Birth Report Card.” Florida was awarded an F for its percentage of early deliveries. There were 17 other states that also received an F grade for the percentage of early deliveries. Deliveries that are considered early include naturally-occurring pre-term births as well as elective Cesarean Sections and early inductions.

According to the organization, the United States, as a whole, received a D. The March of Dimes would like to see the number of early births cut in half. To do so, the March of Dimes has suggested that healthcare providers focus on the three major factors that lead to early birth: smoking, elective birth before 39 weeks, and lack of health insurance coverage. Elective birth is particularly exasperating for researchers, because it represents mothers and doctors deliberately deciding to deliver a baby before the baby is due, usually to accommodate the doctor’s or the mother’s schedule.

Cutting back on the number of pre-term births helps the baby live a healthier and happier life according to medical researchers and providers; every extra day a baby stays inside its mother helps it develop its brain and makes it more likely to be healthy at birth. That can prevent future learning problems, which helps not only the family but society as well. Nine months is such a short time in a person’s life. Expectant mothers should follow their doctor’s advice and educate themselves on how to make sure their baby is as healthy as possible. Read more about the report card from the March of Dimes at Florida gets F on early births.

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A 4 year old Italian boy recently died from injuries sustained in an explosion at a hyperbaric chamber in a Lauderdale-by-the-Sea clinic. The incident happened on May 1, 2009. In addition to the death of Francesco, his grandmother (Vincenza Pesce) also died as a result of this blast. The family is represented by Fort Lauderdale attorney, Russell S. Adler, who stated that the incident should not have happened. Francesco travelled all the way from Italy to get this special treatment that could not be easily obtained in Italy. He had cerebral palsy. You can read more about this story at 4 Year Old Italian Boy Dies as a Result of Injuries from Hyperbaric Explosion.

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Are pharmacists in Florida subject to the same civil liability laws as doctors in the State of Florida? The answer is No. Doctors which are identified as “health care providers” under Chapter 766, Florida Statutes are subject to the formalities, restrictions, and award caps applicable to medical malpractice cases. A patient must put the doctor on formal notice called pre-suit notice before filing a lawsuit. During the 90 day pre-suit period, the doctor and his / her attorney has the ability to review the allegations and make a decision as to liability which will in turn limit the damages. Even if the case is not settled in pre-suit, there are caps in place for non-monetary damages (i.e. pain and suffering) that apply to medical malpractice cases as well.

Furthermore, wrongful death medical malpractice cases have limitations. Children over the age of 25 cannot bring an action for the pain and suffering associated with the death of a parent in the typical Florida medical malpractice case. Pharmacists are not mentioned as part of the statutory framework, procedures, or restrictions of Chapter 766, Florida Statutes and related laws.

If you or a family member has been significantly harmed or injured as a result of the negligence of a pharmacist, it is helpful to have the advice of a Florida Personal Injury Attorney to guide you through the rules, regulations, and proof in proving up such a case. The pharmacist’s malpractice can range from mis-labeling to failure to warn to filling the wrong prescription. Any or all of these negligent acts and more can lead the the injury or death of an innocent victim. This is especially the case when dealing with injured Florida children who were harmed as a result of the negligence of a pharmacist. Whether the pharmacist works for Walgreens, CVS, Wal-Mart, Publix, Target, and any other employer / business, care needs to be taken to make sure that the prescription is filled according to doctor’s orders, that there are no contraindications to the medication, that the bottle or prescription is properly labeled, and that instructions are clearly provided as to administration, dosage, contraindications, and adverse effects of the medication.

65898_emergency_room.jpgEmergency Rooms generally do a good job treating and evaluating trauma victims. The job of the Emergency Room staff is to the assess the patient and determine the level of treatment: 1. Surgery; 2. Hospital Admission; or 3. Discharge. If a patient needs immediate surgery, the patient is in the right place. This goes the same for the patient who needs to be admitted to the hospital. What about those patients who are discharged? Well, general recommendations are made with discharge instructions and possibly a referral. It is these patients who have the most problems with follow up care. Questions arise as follows:

1. Where should I go for follow up care for my accident related injuries?

2. What specialists should I see for my accident related injuries?

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Traumatic child injuries in Florida including automobile accident, falls, sports injuries, diving injuries, trampoline injuries, and violent injuries (gun shots / stabbings) account for most spinal cord injuries. The spinal cord consists of a bundle of nerves that carry messages between the brain and the rest of the body. Most spinal cord injuries occur in the neck ( cervical ) region. According to the Children’s Hospital Boston, there are a variety of symptoms that can be associated with a spinal cord injury. You can read more about this topic at My Child Has Spinal Cord Injury – Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment.

Legal matters and representation of a child with a spinal cord injury can be quite complex. There are a variety of issues to address including but not limited to liability ( fault ), causation, automobile insurance, homeowners insurance, business insurance, health insurance, medical bills – past and future, medical treatment, life care plans, surgery, guardianship, settlement, annuity purchase, loss of support and services for the parents and guardians, and other issues. Whether a child sustains a spinal cord injury or lesser injury, it is helpful to have the advocacy and advice of a Florida child injury lawyer / attorney for these matters.

All Florida pediatricians and other Florida doctors and medical providers are registered with the State of Florida.

stethoscope.jpgWhether you are researching a doctor in Jacksonville Florida or Miami Florida, all the doctors are listed at this central web site. You can find out the doctor’s educational background, speciality certifications, years of practice, and most importantly, for some, the doctor’s disciplinary history.

Florida Department of Health – Health Licensee Lookup.