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Jeffrey A. Mitchell
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Jeffrey Mitchell’s Answers

29 total

  • Can I file a lawsuit against this

    I had my daughter in August of 2013 I got to the hospital at 6:10 and was admitted by 6:30 in the morning the doctor and I discussed getting an epidural weeks prior to this and they ordered an epidural around 6:30 I was in extreme pain and they s...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    I am sorry that you did not receive the expected care you deserved. Unfortunately, from the facts you presented, your suffering between 6:30 a.m. and 8:40 a.m. would not likely result in an award of damages that would make your case worth pursuing if you won the case. Most experienced medical malpractice attorneys know that these cases are extraordinarily expensive and time consuming to pursue. State laws require that cases of medical negligence must be proven with the testimony of expert physicians. These physicians charge a lot of money to testify in a case because it takes time away from their own practice. A typical med mal case, depending on the number of experts needed, may cost from $30,000 -- $200,000 in expert fees to prepare the case for trial. Even if a jury of your peers is sympathetic, any award that they gave you would not likely cover the expert fees and attorney's fees required to successfully pursue the case. Moreover, even if you had a run-away verdict, the court of appeal has the power to reduce any award that it deems to be too high for the damages suffered.

    My advice is to go to the risk management office of the hospital and file a complaint or grievance. If the anesthesiologist has a habit of doing this, your complaint will help document this for the future and hold him accountable.

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  • How do you get medical treatment for some one in county jail

    my wife is doing thirty day and has ms and other autoimmune disorders she has become anemic and showing sign of irritable bowel the is the start of a ms flare please help me make them give her the medical treatment all humans are intitled to

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    When a prisoner becomes ill or suffers an injury they are entitled to receive the same medical treatment as any other patient. The fact that a person is incarcerated is not an excuse to deny them proper medical treatment or provide them with substandard treatment. The law recognizes several possible causes of action when a prisoner does not receive the proper medical care. These causes of action range from constitutional violations to state law medical malpractice claims.

    The Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects prisoners from cruel and inhuman punishment. Case law which has interpreted this provision has held that deliberate indiference to serious medical needs of prisoners constitutes unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain which is prohibited by the Eighth Amendment. In order to prevail on a claim alleging violation of constitutional rights resulting from inadequate medical care, the prisoner must allege acts or omissions sufficiently harmful to evidence deliberate indifference to serious medical needs. Medical malpractice does not become a constitutional violation merely because the victim is a prisoner. Thus, a complaint that a physician has been negligent in diagnosing or treating a medical condition does not state a valid constitutional claim under the Eighth Amendment.. That indifference is manifested by prison doctors or guards in intentionally denying or delaying access to medical care or intentionally interfering with treatment once it is ordered.

    Cases alleging deliberate indifference are brought in the United States District Court for the District in which the medical negligect occurred. Federal procedural law allows the claimaint to also assert state law medical malpractice negligence claims as an alternate theory of recovery in these cases.

    Prisoners may also bring claims for medical malpractice in state court against the prison facility and/or medical provider. These claims are governed by the procedures and law of each state (which may vary). Some states require that a prisoner file an administrative complaint before allowing the case to proceed to state court.

    Regardless of the specific cause of action, these cases require the testimony of expert witnesses who can review the medical care and determine if that care was improper. It is also often necessary to retain experts in prison medical procedures to prove that the guards did not follow the appropriate protocols in rendering medical care to the prisoners.

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  • My local rite aid pharmacy gave my daughter the wrong presciption. What can I do legally about this?

    on July 12 2010 I went to my local rite aid pharmacy to have my daughters prescription refilled. they gave my daughter a prescription for narcotics booster. it was a doctor who she had never seen and this medication had my daughters name on it. I ...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    According to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, more than 7,000 deaths occur each year from incorrect prescriptions. Another 1.5 million people are made sick or injured by drug errors.

    If your daughter is not seriously harmed, there is no reason to hire a lawyer. There is also no reason to expect the pharmacy to do much of anything about the error. Pharmacies usually won't admit fault, even when no serious injury occurred. The admission in your case is rare.

    If you believe the pharmacist should be held accountable for being negligent and putting your daughter's well-being at risk, you should file a complaint with your state pharmacy board, the entity that licenses pharmacists.

    Each state's board has an established complaint procedure. You can find a list of the state boards at the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy Web site.

    If your daughter has suffered serious and grievous harm from the incorrect prescription, do not further communicate with the pharmacy. You should never try to negotiate a settlement yourself and, just as your insurer tells you not to make any statements after a serious traffic accident, you should not communicate with the pharmacy in any way. You can only hurt your case.

    Instead, collect all the evidence -- any remaining medication, hospital and doctor bills, receipts, death certificates, etc. -- and lock them up in a safe place, preferably a safe deposit box.

    Also, take notes. Write down what happened and when, get the names of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and everyone else who played a role in the accident. Do it now, while your memory is fresh. Put the notes in the safe deposit box with the rest of the evidence.

    Once you have secured all of the evidence, you must find the most accomplished and most experienced medical malpractice lawyer in your area. Forget everything you have heard about what a litigious society we are and how too many people are filing lawsuits.

    The fact is that more than 90% of lawsuits are filed by businesses. It's not lawsuits filed by greviously injured consumers that are clogging the courts. If you have been harmed, the legal system is the place to go for justice. That's why it's there.

    You must find the right lawyer. Most lawyers, like most of anything else, are just so-so and most never go to trial and do not aggressively represent personal injury cases. You need to find an accomplished lawyer in your state who: a.) only represents injured consumers and b.) whose practice consists largely of medical malpractice trial work.

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  • I was jailed and my medication wasn't provided for me after informing the jail of my condition. This has caused health issues.

    I was jailed, I immediately informed the book in medical team of my medications for anxiety. It took them 2 days for me to see a doctor at that point I was going through severe withdraws and was told that Polk County didn't let me take the medicat...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    I agree with Mr. Young and Mr. Wolfe that you need severe and permanent injuries to make these cases worth pursuing. When a jail or prison is involved, there are generally two causes of action that potentially arise. The first is a claim under the 8th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution for deliberate indifference. The 8th Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment to prisoners. Deliberately refusing medical care to a prisoner in need of it violates this provision and gives rise to a cause of action in Federal Court. In these cases, the prisoner must prove that the prison guards or officials intentionally refused necessary medical care to the prisoner. Medical malpractice alone does not rise to the level of deliberate indifference in these claims.

    There may also be a cause of action for medical malpractice under existing state laws for failure to render proper medical care to a prisoner. Generally, these causes of action require that the prisoner prove medical malpractice under a negligence standard.

    Under either type of case (and an action can be instituted for both), the prisoner must show permanent injury of a substantial nature to justify the expense in pursing the matter. Qualified medical malpractice lawyers will not take cases that will leave the client with little or nothing after payment of the expert expenses. In these cases, those expenses may be even higher because you may need a prison medicine expert and a physician who specializes in the type of care you received. I have successfully handled several of these cases, including one where medication was not given, but the injuries resulted in death of the prisoner.

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  • What do I do if I had the wrong procedure done to correct a problem?

    I had a cyst in my throat that was growing. Went to the ER to have it removed. I was told that it was a common problem and an easy fix. Two years later the problem is back. I have done some research and have found that I had the wrong procedur...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    The first question that must be answered is whether the claim is still viable under Indiana's statute of limitations. Some states have very short statutes which will require any claim to be brought within a year of the malpractice. This can be answered by a local medical malpractice attorney.

    If the case is still legally viable, then the records will need to be reviewed by an expert to determine if performing the "wrong" procedure was in fact medical malpractice or merely a judgment call of the physician which happen to turn out wrong. A judgment call is generally not considered medical malpractice. Just because one physician would perform a different procedure for a problem, or even perform the same procedure differently does not automatically mean that the first physician committed medical malpractice.

    The last issue, if you prove that the wrong procedure was in fact medical malpractice, will be what damages did performing the wrong procedure cause you to suffer. Without substantial injury and damages, most medical malpractice lawyers will not take the case when the expenses of prosecuting the case will exceed the recovery to the patient. I wish you the best in your recovery.

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  • Can I sue my doctor for failure to screen for colorectal cancer?

    My mother in law is 52 years old. She went to her physician about a year ago complaining GI problems. He told her it was IBS and not to worry. She suffered with "IBS" for about 6 months before going back when problems became worse. He then told he...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Generally, the standard of care requires a patient's primary care physician to perform routine colon cancer screening for all patients above 50 years of age. This is generally true even if the patient is not exhibiting symptoms or does not have a family history of colon cancer. Of course, there are exceptions to this and each case should be viewed on its own facts.

    I would strongly recommend that you get a copy of your mother in law's records and send them to a locally qualified medical malpractice attorney. One of the key issues for an expert to decide is whether the 3-9 month delay in diagnosing the colon cancer made a difference in her prognosis or survival rate. This will depend on the type of cancer, its size, exact location, and other factors. Different cancers grow at different rates. Colon cancer can be slow growing. If that delay made a significant difference in her survivability, then you may have a case against that physician. Good luck.

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  • Sue childrens hospital for overdose

    my kid was overdosed on 400 mg of keppra on july 17th of 09. by childrens hospitle in ohio. they will not make a appt to check her for brain damge. it caused alot of brain problems. i tryed over 10 lawyers in ky. they all said it would cost to muc...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    I agree with Mr. Meyers that your first priority is to take care of your child. This drug, which is used to treat seizures does have age guidelines depending on the type of seizure that is being treated. Has any of the healthcare providers told you that your child's ongoing brain issues are related to the overdose? If not, you may want to ask a pharmacologist about this drug. it does have many side effects.

    I presume that the 10 other lawyers who reviewed this case looked at the records to determine the extent of the overdose compared to your child's height and weight and medical condition. If they were qualified medical malpractice attorneys, then I agree that others would agree with them.

    My suggestion is for you to ask any subsequent healthcare provider (preferably a neurologist or neurosurgeon) about the link between the overdose and the subsequent problems. If your child's existing medical condition was not substantially made worse by the overdose, then the cost of pursuing this matter would not make it worthwhile.

    Remember in medical malpractice cases, there not only needs to be negligence, but substantial and permanent damages directly caused by that negligence. I hope your child gets well soon.

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  • Medical Malpractice or Unnecessary Procedure

    A stint was inserted after which Plavix was prescriped for over three years. Then the Cardiologist said "you don't need Plavix" anymore! Six months later the same dr had me take a Stress test which shown a blockage. I thought I was dead & sough...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Your question will require consultation with an expert cardiologist who can review your records to determine your medical history and the sequence of events. Not every bad outcome automatically means that malpractice was committed. Moreover, just because a subsequent healthcare provider tells you to seek legal help also does not mean you have a winnable case.

    If a cardiologist reviews your records and determines that it was negligence to take you off of the Plavix, the issue will be the extent of damage caused by this alleged negligence. In other words, your cardiology expert would have to testify that it is more likely so than not that the taking you off Plavix caused a second blockage that required cardiac catherization. Keep in mind that any drug carries risks. If the benefits of the drug do not outweigh the risks then it is not negligence to take you off of the drug.

    The issues in your case will be complicated by other factors such as your dietary consumption, cardiac risk factors, age, weight and compliance with medical advice. This is why a cardiologist will need to review your records. Contact a local experienced medical malpractice attorney. Get your records for him to review.

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  • Boston Children's Hospital's nursing staff cut my daughters lip off and got 6 stitches

    My daughter pulled her naso-gastric tube out and the nurse replacing it put the scissors right to my daughter's face to cut the tape. I had asked prior to this happening if I could put the tube in at home because I know parents that do that. They ...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Cutting a piece of your daughter's lip off while trying to remove the tape of the naso-gastric tube is not likey going to be considered a risk of that task. It is likely negligence. The key issue here though is the question of damages. 6 stitches and no medical bills will likely render this a claim that is not worth pursuing as a medical malpractice case.

    However, if the lip is permanently deformed and requires significant corrective plastic surgery and/or permanent scarring then it possibly could be worth pursuing. Remember, these cases are extraordinarily expensive to pursue. No experienced medical malpractice lawyer will take a case where only he and the expert get paid, leaving little or nothing for the patient.

    Find out the extent of the damages caused by the incident. If the six stitches is the worst of it, then I would recommend filing an internal complaint with the hospital administration and leave it at that. If it turns out that she will need substantial future work, or if that injury significantly complicates her other medical issues, then you may want to consult with a local experienced medical malpractice attorney. I hope she is o.k.

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  • Is there a legal case involving the death of my child due to placental abruption? How do I find an attorney?

    AT 38 weeks, I had a complete placental abruption. I had just arrived to work AT THE HOSPITAL when I had sharp back pain and massive hemorraging. Instead of nurses and doctors helping me, 911 was called. The ambulance came from another facility a...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    In most cases of placental abruption, the placenta is only partially separated from the uterus. When more than 50% of the placenta is separated risk of stillbirth goes up drastically than when the separation involves only a small part of the placenta.

    Known risk factors for abruption of the placenta include:

    •Smoking
    •Using cocaine during pregnancy
    •Being over 35 years of age
    •Having a multiple pregnancy
    •High blood pressure
    •Having a blood clotting disorder like antiphospholipid syndrome
    •Placental abruption in a previous pregnancy
    •Premature rupture of membranes

    When a woman has symptoms of placental abruption, the healthcare practitioner will usually do a physical exam and an ultrasound. If doctors suspect serious abruption of the placenta, the usual treatment is to deliver the baby -- by C-section in some cases. However, delivery does not always mean that the baby survives. Mothers who have suffered a severe placental abruption may experience heavy blood loss, and babies who survive delivery may face complications from prematurity and oxygen deprivation.

    In your situation, it seems as though there was a delay in treating your placental abruption. The issue may come down to a determination of the severity of the placental abruption and whether earlier intervention would have made any difference in the outcome. If it turns out that your placental abruption was sudden and complete, the baby may not have been saved even if the delay had not occurred. The only way to know this for sure is to have an expert review the medical records.

    Although I am licensed in Louisiana, I work with another medical malpractice lawyer who is licensed in Mississippi. We would be happy to provide you with a free consultation. Call my office: 504-309-5000. Tell them you saw us on AVVO.

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