Medical Malpractice

Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice Lawyers

The Pittsburgh medical malpractice lawyers at Ogg, Murphy & Perkosky have represented many individuals who have sustained injuries as a result inadequate or improper care and treatment by a medical provider. Professionals and institutions such as physicians, nurses, hospitals, psychologists, nursing homes and x-ray technicians can be careless or negligent. This negligence of medical professionals is usually referred to as medical malpractice.

Common Areas Of Medical Malpractice:

  • Medication errors such as dispensing medicines or incorrect dosage
  • Failure to correctly evaluate an x-ray
  • Blood transfusion errors
  • Failure to diagnose a life-threatening condition
  • Surgical errors and emergency room procedures
  • Failure to diagnose a birth injury or fetal condition
  • Infections related to hospital procedure
  • Trauma resulting in Cerebral Palsy
  • Preventable suicide

Medical Malpractice Specialties

The consequences of medical carelessness or negligence can be catastrophic, even deadly. We understand that it may be impossible to restore the damage and loss completely in these situations.

Medical Malpractice Fee Structure

We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your medical malpractice claim.  Most victims of medical malpractice do not have the resources to hire a medical malpractice law firm to protect their rights. An unexpected injury is most often not a part of your household budget. Medical bills and lost wages along with other financial concerns can greatly complicate your situation.

If we are unable to recover financial compensation for you, based on your injuries, there will not be a fee for our services. This is commonly known as a “contingency fee”.

Medical Malpractice Information

Medical malpractice is professional negligence by action or oversight by a health care worker in which the treatment delivered cascades below the conventional standard of practice in the medical community and causes serious injury or death to the patient involved, with the majority of medical malpractice cases involving an error being performed.

Physicians, as professionals, owe what is called a “duty of care” to those who are under their care. This component is often an issue in malpractice litigation. Once a doctor decides to take part in the treatment of a patient, he or she has a professional duty to provide competent care. The plaintiff must show some actual, compensable injury that is the result of the alleged negligent care. Proof of injury can include the physical effects of the treatment performed by the physician but can also include the related emotional effects from the negligent care. The amount of financial compensation at issue is typically a highly disputed facet of the medical malpractice litigation process.

Causation may also be a vigorously litigated issue. The physician or medical professional may allege that the injuries were caused by physical factors that were un-related to the allegedly negligent medical treatment. For example, assume that a physician is sued for the negligent prescription of a medication to a patient with a coronary artery disease and that the patient eventually died of a heart attack.  The prescribed medication would have to be proven to be directly related to the causation of the heart attack. The very important element in a medical malpractice case is what is referred to as “standard of care”. “Standard of Care” relates to the specific variety of medical care that a medical professional or institution is expected to provide.

Medical Malpractice Law is Not Restricted to Physicians only

Medical Malpractice Claims can be filed against any medical professional comprising of doctors, surgeons, nurses and psychologists. The damage that occurs can range from misdiagnoses to improper treatment.  Any medical professional may be held liable for the treatment that is considered negligent causing injury to the patient. There are numerous causes for errors to take place at a medical facility, even when the patient’s medical issues or treatments are not immediately addressed. These professional negligence cases commonly seek financial compensation, but in special select Pittsburgh or Western, PA medical malpractice cases the medical professional may lose their license to practice medicine dependent on the gross negligence and the jurisdiction where the medical malpractice occurred. In this respect, this is comparable to consequences related to how attorney malpractice regulations operate.

Attorneys put up large sums of money on these complex cases in order to hire experts, take depositions, gather evidence and oppose the large insurance carrier law firms. The law firm that you eventually choose should be able to cover the expenses for these battles. Ogg, Murphy & Perkosky has the resources, the experience and the dedication to resolve your case successfully. Contact us, to schedule a free, no obligation consultation. To schedule a free initial evaluation of your case please call 412.471.8500 or visit our “Contact Us” page. All phone calls/inquiries will be answered immediately.

 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Cases

$7,213,200.00 Medical Malpractice Verdict in Failure to Treat Gastric Bleeding Resulting in Death of a 60 Year Old Cranberry Woman

Margaret Mahunik, a 60 year old Cranberry resident, underwent successful hip surgery. Needing some physical rehabilitation, post-surgery, she was transferred and admitted to Suburban General Hospital’s Rehabilitation Unit for what was anticipated to be a 10 to 14 day stay. There, she came under the care of Yvette Ross Hebron, M.D. a psychiatrist and employee of Choice Care Physicians, P.C., a medical practice that provided physicians for the Rehabilitation Unit.

 

While at Suburban General, Client was prescribed and administered two medications, Solumedrol, a steroid, and Ecotrin, a form of aspirin on a daily basis. Each medication is known to be a gastric irritant, that is, can cause gastrointestinal bleeding. Combined, the medications present an even greater risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. Despite this known risk, Dr. did not discontinue these medications, monitor Client for gastrointestinal bleeding, such as ordering blood work or order an additional medication to protect her stomach lining.

 

Within days of her stay on the Rehabilitation Unit, Patient began showing signs and symptoms consistent with developing a gastrointestinal bleed. To compound matters, Dr.  had previously given her notice to Choice Care that she was leaving the group. Her last day of work occurred in the middle of Patient admission. Tragically, no transfer of Patient care to another physician in the practice occurred, and Ms. Mahunik went unseen by a Choice Care physician for three days while her condition worsened. Tragically, Patient suffered a massive gastrointestinal bleed, had to be transferred to the Intensive Care Unit where she died two days later.

 

Patient was survived by her six children. Representing her daughter, we brought a medical malpractice wrongful death civil action in Allegheny County. The trial lasted 7 days. The jury reached a verdict in favor of Patient’s family and against Defendants, Dr.  and her employer. The jury awarded damages for Patient’s pain and suffering in the amount of $1,830,000 and damages to her six children of $5,383,200 for a total award of $7,213,200.

 

Post-trial, over a two year period, defendants filed post-trial motions with the trial court and appeals with Pennsylvania’s Superior and Supreme Court contesting the verdict and award. We successfully defeated each appeal, and at the conclusion, the Court, after adding post-judgment interest and delay damages, entered judgment in our client’s favor in an amount totaling $10,172,856.00. The entire judgment was recovered from the Defendants’ insurance carriers.

$6,150,000 Medical Malpractice Verdict for Emergency Room Misdiagnosis of an Impending Heart Attack that Resulted in Death

 

Patient, a South Hills resident, presented to the Emergency Department of the a local Hospital complaining of tightness in his chest and pain radiating down his left arm. During a four hour stay, he underwent an electrocardiogram (EKG) that showed that the Patient was likely suffering from ischemia, or lack of blood flow to his heart, and was at a significant risk of suffering a myocardial infarction, or heart attack. The EKG was never read and acted upon by the emergency room staff, specifically Dr. Instead, Patient was given Motrin and discharged. He was told to put moist heat on his chest for what the emergency room diagnosed as pleuritic chest pain. Six hours later, his wife awoke to find her husband unconscious. An ambulance returned him to Jefferson Hospital where he died the following morning of a massive heart attack.

 

We filed a wrongful death suit on behalf of Patient’s estate, his wife, and their three young children. The defendants were the hospital and the emergency room physician. After a nine day trial, the jury returned a verdict in the amount of $6,150,000 in favor of the Patient’s family. The appeals of the doctor and  Hospital were all denied, and the entire verdict, in addition to post-judgment interest and delay damages, were recovered from the defendants’ insurance companies. The patient was employed at the time of his death and the primary financial support of his wife and children. While the verdict will never replace a life lost, and the loss of a husband and father, the judgment proceeds allowed the patient’s wife to financially provide for herself and her children.

$250,000 Medical Malpractice Verdict Against Ambulance Company for Mishandling Patient’s Impending Heart Attack Resulting in Heart Damage

 

Our client, was attending a company picnic in the North Hills of Pittsburgh when he started to develop chest pain. The Ambulance was called, responded to the scene, and began transporting our client to  Hospital. In route to the hospital, the ambulance crew called the emergency department at the Hospital and described our client’s symptoms. Emergency room physicians at the hospital, suspecting our client was suffering, or about to suffer, a myocardial infarction, or heart attack, directed the ambulance crew to administer Nitroglycerin to our client. Nitroglycerin is a medication vital to maintaining coronary blood flow in the face of heart attack until surgical intervention, such as stenting or coronary bypass grafting, can be performed. The ambulance crew, in what can only be described as childlike behavior, became involved in a dispute as to who was in charge of the emergency response, Our client’s care and what the proper protocol should be. As a consequence of this dispute, the crew failed to follow the physician’s instructions, arguing over whether Our Client was having a heart attack and whether the medication should be administered. As a result, Nitroglycerin was never administered to our client. When our client arrived at the hospital, it was determined that he had suffered a large myocardial infarction (heart attack) causing a permanent loss of one-third of his heart function.

 

We filed a medical malpractice case on behalf of our client against the Emergency Response members and the Cranberry Ambulance Company in Allegheny County. Required to prove gross negligence under Pennsylvania’s Emergency Medical Service Act, we prevailed. The case was tried to verdict and the jury issued an award $250,000. Christy v. Cranberry Volunteer Ambulance Corp., 579 Pa. 404, 856 A.2d 43 (2004). The Defendants’ appealed the verdict, but we were successful in upholding the award for our client.

Medical Malpractice – Failure to Diagnosis Post Operative Small Bowel Obstruction Resulting in Death

 

Our client was a 68 year old woman who lived in Bloomfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh. She lived independently, owned her own home and had a part-time job. She was helping to raise two of her grandchildren. She developed an abdominal hernia that she elected to have surgically repaired. She underwent a routine hernia repair at a Pittsburgh hospital and was discharged home after a few days. Any time one has abdominal surgery, during the post-operative period, there is a risk that the patient can develop an obstruction of the small bowel or intestine. This complication can often be conservatively treated; however, physicians must be cognizant that the obstruction does not progress to a point where the bowel becomes deprived of oxygen. If this occurs, bowel tissue begins to die, becomes necrotic and perforates.

 

Unfortunately, our client continued to experience abdominal pain and discomfort. She made several calls to her surgeon and eventually reported to the emergency room of the hospital where her surgery took place. She was admitted to the hospital over a Thanksgiving weekend, but she went several days without seeing the physician who had performed the surgery. During this period, she continued to exhibit signs and symptoms of a worsening bowel obstruction. By the time she was evaluated by her surgeon, the obstruction had progressed to the point that her bowel had become necrotic and perforated. Emergency abdominal surgery was performed and a large portion of her damaged bowel was removed. Unfortunately, when a person’s bowel perforates, fecal matter and waste are released into the person’s abdominal cavity. Because of the unnecessary delay in recognizing our client’s complication, her perforated bowel led to a massive infection. She became septic, developed multi-organ system failure and remained on life support until she expired a week later.

 

Our client was survived by her five children. We brought a wrongful death and survival action in Allegheny County to recover damages for the loss of their mother, and for the mother’s loss of life and pain and suffering she endured before death. A settlement was reached with the insurance carrier for the hospital in excess of $250,000.

Medical Malpractice – Failure to Review CT Scans and Diagnose Lung Cancer Resulting in Death

 

Our client, from Vandergrift, Westmoreland County, had a chest x-ray that revealed a small mass in his upper right lung. Referred to a pulmonologist for further evaluation, our client underwent three CT scans of his lungs over a three year period. The purpose of the series of CT scans was to monitor the mass for any growth which would be indicative of cancer. Tragically, the pulmonologist forgot to review the CT scans that showed the lung mass was growing and spreading throughout our client’s right lung and forgot to inform our client of these abnormal test results. While his lung cancer could have been diagnosed and treated at an early Stage, our client’s lung cancer went undiagnosed and untreated for three years until, reaching an advanced Stage, it caused our client’s death.

We brought a wrongful death civil action in Allegheny County on behalf of our client’s surviving wife and children. A settlement was reached with the insurance company of the physician.

Pittsburgh Lawyers Serving Pennsylvania