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John Scott Wallach

John Wallach’s Answers

35 total

  • After gallbladder and hernia repair surgery in Oct 2009 continue to have pain to this day in stomach area,just had a CT Scan

    found out a couple of days ago after getting report there are surgerical clips visible ,,i was not told there were clips left in by the surgeon,,after one year of surgery went back with compliants of pain and another small mass around the area wer...

    John’s Answer

    To do a gallbladder removal surgery (called a Cholesystectomy) the surgeon places several clips onto the duct that attaches to the gallbladder; and then cuts between the clips to free and remove the gallbladder. The clips stay on permanently, to keep the cut end of the duct closed. Most likely this is what the later CT was showing, and is totally normal.

    When you mentioned a "small mass" around the surgical area, the question is what that represents. Any time you have abdominal surgery such as a gallbladder removal, there is a risk of scar tissue formation in the surgical area. The tissues are cut, the area gets inflamed, and sometimes scar tissue and adhesions form as a result, just like on a cut on your skin. This is not the surgeon's fault at all, it's your body's reaction. Scar tissue and adhesions (where the tissues stick together) can be very painful and sometimes require surgery to clean out.

    Obviously I haven't seen your records, but having reviewed and litigated many gallbladder surgery case over the years I'm familiar with the procedure, anatomy and difficult outcomes. You'll need to find out exactly what is causing your problem to determine if the surgeon made an error, or if your body reacted poorly to the surgery--which may not be the surgeon's fault at all.

    You'll also need to speak with an attorney in your area to determine the Statute of Limitations applicable in your state to medical negligence cases.

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  • Can i sue a hospital if they left part of the placenta inside of my son's mother?

    2 weeks ago my wife gave birth at St. Lukes Roosevelt Hospital Center, the doctors had to use the vacuum for the baby so they cut her, then 3 days ago she saw something coming out of her vagina, so we went to the doctor, and they say that it was t...

    John’s Answer

    Expanding on the other responses, even if there was negligence committed by the health care providers the case may not be have the type of damages that would justify the great amount of time and money needed to litigate a medical malpractice case.

    The healthcare providers' negligence is just what potentially gives the right to even bring a claim. The damages caused by the negligence is what creates the value of the case, for either settlement or a jury verdict. I often tell people to compare this to a car accident--you know the other driver may have run the red light and was negligent, but the case value is based on the injuries caused by that negligence.

    And, there lies the issue--how much it takes to investigate, hire expert witnesses, and litigate a medical malpractice case. Even what seems like a simple, straightforward case can still cost upwards of $50,000 in case expenses, and often more. This is not including attorneys fees, payment of any outstanding medical bills or liens from health insurance, medicare/medicaid, etc. From the practical side, there generally must be extremely serious injuries suffered where one would anticipate a very large recovery. Otherwise, after payment of all the expenses, fees, medical bills, liens, etc., there won't be much of anything left for the client--which is a pretty poor outcome in itself.

    The medical and insurance industry have unfortunately done a pretty good "snow job" on the public, getting people to believe that lawyers are waiting to pounce on doctors for every mistake made, regardless of how serious. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Most malpractice lawsuits involve extremely serious issues and injuries, and are far from frivolous. When I listen to doctors discuss "frivolous lawsuits" I always ask them to name two that they are personally aware of, and explain why the case was frivolous. I have not received an actual answer yet in all these years.

    If the mom is doing well, and just needed to stay in the hospital an extra day, there may be a case on paper but it may be very difficult to find a lawyer to take this on. I'd suggest you call several lawyers in your area, to see if you can find someone.

    John Wallach
    St. Louis, MO

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  • I have filed a medical mal practise case against a doctor and have now recieved a motion to dismiss on the grounds that i filed

    out of time. Can I file a defamation and Libel suit against the doctor as the damage from this report is continuing to destroy my life. The statements in the doctors report are untruthful and i can prove it

    John’s Answer

    There are actually several technical legal issues in your question. First, the question is if you filed your initial case within the Statute of Limitations. If not, the case is subject to outright dismissal by the Court.

    Next, you mention a defamation and libel action. The question is if this would be considered a claim that under the applicable law is required to be brought with along with the malpractice case, and if the Statute of Limitations is the same as the malpractice claim, or possibly longer or shorter. If longer, there is a possibility that you may still have time to file. However, if it required to be brought together with the malpractice case filing, you need to find out how this must be handled with a malpractice filing after the statute of limitations has run.

    You will absolutely need to check with a lawyer in the appropriate jurisdiction to determine these answers. Also note, truth is generally an absolute defense to a libel case. Also, check with your lawyer about this.

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  • Is there any loop hole around the statute of limitations for dental malpractice

    3 years ago i had a cavity that my dentist had drilled and filled several times. eventually he decided to do a root canal and put a crown on. now ive learned that the crown is far to big for my teeth and it has caused the surrounding teeth to crac...

    John’s Answer

    you will definitely need to consult with a lawyer with knowledge of the malpractice Statute of Limitations, in the state where the malpractice occurred. If you live in a different state than where you received the negligent care, your home state's laws are not applicable.

    John Wallach
    St. Louis, MO

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  • Does an unnecessary circumcision count as a "large" medical malpractice damage? One that is worth suing over?

    The circumcision doesn't really count as botched but my doctor did remove to much upper shaft skin and as a result my erections are tight and subtly painful. If I try to masturbate it or do things sexually it is unpleasant.

    John’s Answer

    Your initial question terms the circumcision as "unnecessary" but the body of your inquiry makes no mention of that. Circumcision is not a procedure done from absolute medical necessity, but is certainly commonly performed on newborns in the US (however, see news from CA--current movement to restrict).

    Before even getting to the merits of your complaint, you need to check with an attorney in the state where the circumcision occurred to determine the effect of the Statute of Limitations on your case. If the Statute of Limitations has expired, you will not be able to move forward with your case, regardless of the merits or the injury. If it has not, you will need to present expert testimony (and possibly a report, depending on the individual state's laws) that the physician was negligent and caused your injuries.

    Regarding if the injury is sufficient to bring a case, it all depends on the degree of pain and problems this is causing to you. If fairly severe, this is not a joking matter and certainly could be significantly affecting your life. If a mild, occasional problem, the case may not be "large" enough to warrant the time and great expense of malpractice litigation.

    John Wallach
    St. Louis, MO

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  • Can I sue for a medical mal practice loss that happend to my wife who is a medicare receipient?

    My wife entered the hospital with stroke symptoms that were ignored. She had a full stroke the next morning and then an unattended acute appendicitis two days later that went unattended, until the appendix ruptured. After three horrfic surgeries t...

    John’s Answer

    Just to add to the other answers, Medicare uses a formula to calculate the amount it can recover from a lawsuit. The formula essentially works out where a proportionate share of attorney's fees and expenses are deducted from the payback amount.

    In addition, Medicare is only entitled to recover for the services it paid for that were specifically caused by the negligence. This is important, as Medicare initially will generally just use the date of the incident and apply much of the charges incurred thereafter. What must be taken into account is the amount of the treatment your wife would have received if the proper medical care would have been given--Medicare cannot recover for those charges. You lawyer can fight for this reduction, or there are private firms that can handle the Medicare issues, often for a very reasonable fee.

    Also, given your description it seems that your claim for loss of consortium (loss of your wife's services) is significant, and should not be downplayed. I'm not familiar with the malpractice laws in NC, but there is a strong economic component to that loss as well. In similar situations I have an economist calculate the actual dollar value of the lifetime replacement cost of the specific services she previously performed in the household. If NC has a non-economic damage cap (a limit) in med mal cases, this will be an economic loss and often will have no cap at all.

    If there are no lawyers in your area with expertise in medical malpractice in your area, I'd be happy to discuss this with you further. I have handled several cases with similar issues, including both delayed recognition and treatment of stroke, and delayed diagnosis of appendicitis. We work together with lawyers in other states frequently.

    John Wallach
    St. Louis, MO
    877-241-1020

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  • What should I do for a mal practicing massage therapist at a local massage shop?

    I went to a local massage therapy shop and got a massage. Due to unprofessional treatment, now after two days, I have red rashes and pimples on my legs. It sores too. At the least I want my $60 back. before I go and talk to the owner, I want to ad...

    John’s Answer

    You mentioned "unprofessional treatment" that caused your rash and pimples. While I'm not a doctor and can't diagnose your condition, this sounds like a possible allergic reaction to the massage oil. Otherwise, I can't imagine what could occur during a massage that would cause pimples.

    Assuming the rash and pimples clear up (and you should check with your doctor about trying Benadryl or something similar), I'm not sure where there is any sort of a case. It will be difficult to find a lawyer for a case where you have no continuing injuries and a $60 bill for the massage.

    However, if the rash and lesions continue, there may be an issue with the oil that was used. If other customers reported problems, the batch could have been made improperly. If so, you may wish to consult a lawyer in your area.

    You should notify the shop about your situation, as if the oil is adulterated they will most likely want to know and stop using it. You should ask for information on the specific brand and type of oil, and get the ingredient list to show your doctor.

    John S. Wallach
    St. Louis, MO

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  • My son broke his foot, The specialist told us it bruised. I have not found a lawyer and statue of limitation is about to run out

    I would like to know can my son sue this doctor once he turn 18 next year. He had surgery to fused three bones.

    John’s Answer

    You will need to consult with a lawyer who practices in the state where this occurred. Some states have absolute limits on how long you have to bring a suit, even if the injury happened when your son was a minor.

    Sometimes foot fractures can be difficult to diagnose, particularly right after the injury occurs. The foot has 26 bones, many of then extremely small. A simple, non-displaced fracture of a small bone (meaning the bone is still in correct position at the fracture site, like a broken stick put together) may not show up right away, it may take a little time for enough calcium to build up at the fracture line to show on x-ray.

    The problem then is that the injured person is sometimes given instructions to walk around on a fractured foot. And if this goes on long enough, the fracture becomes displaced (ie, out of correct position), heals in the wrong position, then the bone has to be rebroken, fused, etc.

    Some the important questions medically are what initial workup was done; what did the original x-rays show; what instructions were given to you and your son for re-evaluation, doctor follow-up, etc; what the later x-rays showed by comparison with the first evaluation.

    Note that it is not enough to just show that the fracture was missed, it has to be shown that the fracture was missed as a result of the health provider's negligence. And, it then has to be proved that your son's injuries were the result of the negligence, and that his treatment and outcome were made worse due to the negligence. If he would have needed the same surgery and had the same outcome even if the fracture would have been diagnosed right away, there is not much of a case.

    John Wallach
    St. Louis, MO

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  • My husband went to the E.R with a pain in his foot and leg.The Dr. said he had a torn ligament when it was actually a anurism

    the pain continued so we saw a foot specialist who sent him for a dopler because his foot was purple and there was no pulse. He ended up in I.C.U for over 2 weeks and almost lost his leg. Can we sue the E.R Dr. for a wrong diagnosis? The Dr. wrapp...

    John’s Answer

    This is a fairly complex issue, with numerous issues to be investigated. Some of these are: What caused the aneurysm, was it caused by an injury, or by an underlying condition such as diabetes, hypertension, peripheral vascular disease, etc? Was it treatable at the time he was at the ER?

    The timing of the ER visit is important--how long had your husband had his symptoms before going to the ER? Was his foot purple and without pulse at that time, or did that happen later? If later, how much later? And how long did it take for him to go to another doctor after the symptoms continued or got worse?

    Unfortunately there is no simple answer, all of these questions and many more need to be looked into. If your husband's later treating specialist feels the ER was negligent, and that earlier diagnosis and treatment would have saved the leg, this will be extremely helpful.

    The bottom line questions with all of this are if the ER violated the standard of care or not; and if the ER doctor would not have been negligent, should your husband's leg have been saved. You will need to consult a lawyer for this.

    Note also that Ohio has an very short Statute of Limitations, which is the time limit you have to file the case in Court. Although I'm not an Ohio lawyer, I quickly looked this up and believe the limitation period in Ohio is one year. However, this is something you should find out directly from an Ohio lawyer, as there may be exceptions that apply.

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