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Jeffrey A. Mitchell
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Jeffrey Mitchell’s Answers

29 total

  • Can i do anything?

    Would I have any legal recourse if say I hurt my knee and then went into the emergency room for diagnosis of the injury which they diagnosed it to be as a knee sprain. Later on I found out that the knee Was chipped and the chips caused serious dam...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    It depends on whether the chips would have been removed had the correct diagnosis been made on a timely basis. Depending on their size and location, it is possible that a physician who knew the correct diagnosis might have left them in and monitor them. The other issue is proving that it was the chips that caused the serious damage and not the original injury. You would have to prove that the delay in diagnosis caused the chips to do the damage. In other words, the damage was done AFTER the diagnosis of a sprain, not before. Finally, the serious damage must be serious enough to warrant the investment it will take in pursuing this expensive case. Permament damage and disability with future medical expenses are the types of damages that warrant going further. I suspect that the orthopedic surgeon who ultimately diagnosed and treated the chip will have answers to these questions. Sometimes, these "subsequent treating physicians" can make or break the case. You probably need to start by getting the records and sending them to a local med mal attorney to review. Good luck.

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  • Can I sue for negligence if I got braces almost a yr ago & my teeth looks the same-- actually worse than when I first started?

    Last yr, I opted to get the latest- and supposedly stronger (incognito) braces for hopefully the last time in my life (3X now!): A serious accident when I was little- left my face & teeth crooket & misaligned. I'm not delusional that my problem c...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    In order to prove any case of medical negligence the law generally requires that you have another physician in the same specialty as the one you are suing testify that malpractice occurred and caused you damages. Before attempting the legal route, I would bring the progressive digital photos to another orthodontist, who uses the incognito braces and ask for his second opinion. If he says that you needed that bracket, or something else, then the damages are likely limited to the approximate 1/2 year lost, which would likely not be significant to justify bringing a very expensive medical malpractice case. If he agrees with your current dentist, you can get another opinion or accept this opinion. If you accept it, I would continue to document the progress, or lack thereof, with photos. Make sure that the second opinion orthodontist does not know your current one so that you can get a truly objective opinion. This might require getting such an opinion in another city or state. Good luck and I hope it all works out for you.

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  • How do I find a Medical Malpractice/Wrongful Death Lawyer - live in WA, but case is in Oregon?

    July 2, 2008 our mom went into hospital in Astoria OR, for stomach pains and they said it was gall stones. She was in hospital for 6 days, in which they never took her gall bladder. She had mentioned to me they may take her pancreas, they didn't...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    There are several resouces available to you to help you find a qualified and experienced lawyer in Oregon. First, the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys is an organization that Board Certifies attorneys in medical malpractice. Go to www.ABPLA.org and search for one in Oregon. Another resource is Martindale-Hubbell, which rates lawyers in their practice areas. You are looking for an AV rated attorney (the highest rating available) in Oregon who handles medical malpractice cases. Go to www.martindale.com and search.

    The Statute of Limitations is not the same in every state. Some are as short as 1 year. Contact an Oregon attorney immediately.

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  • She told them she was sick! Should we contact an attorney?

    My girlfriend has suffered from the same symptoms (all of which impact her quality of life) for almost 15 years. During that time, she sought medical attention as often as once a month and was told by almost every doctor she saw that it was "all i...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    One of the primary considerations in deciding whether to institute a medical malpractice action is to consider what damages the alleged malpractice caused to the patient. Because these cases are extraordinarily expensive to pursue, experienced medical malpractice lawyers will generally advise against bringing an action that does not have significant damages and permanent consequences. This is because the cost of the experts will be more than your potential recovery in small damage cases.

    Has the PCP determined that the delay in diagnosing your girlfriend excerbated an asthmatic condition that would have been more manageable with an earlier diagnosis and treatment? Will this lead to a permanent problem for her in the future? From your comments, it seems like she will be fine now. It might be worth it to contact those previous physicians and inform them of this diagnosis to help prevent future such acts to others.

    You may also run into a problem with the Statute of Limitations. Many states have what is called a Statute of Repose. This law states that a claim for malpractice may not be brought after a certain period (like 3 years from the date of the malpractice in Louisiana) regardless of whether you could have or did know of the malpractice.

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  • I went to fill a prescription and was given the wrong medicine. Took the wrong medicine for a month.

    I was suppose to be taking trileptal and the pharmacy fill my prescription wrong with Daypro an arthritis medicine.

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Prescription errors are common in the United States. Even with stringent internal controls, a recent study published in the Internation Journal for Quality in Healthcare that pharmacists nationally make 2.2 million dispensing errors each year. This translates into an estimated 5.7 errors per 10,000 prescriptions.

    When a pharmacist fills the wrong prescription it is generally considered to be a negligent act. The first thing you need to do is contact your doctor who prescribed the trileptal and ask him if the Daypro will likely have any adverse effects on you given your current medical history and status. Then you need to report the error to the pharmacy and fill out an incident report so that this error is recorded and documented. You do not want this to happen to you or anyone else again.

    Whether you have a legal case that is worth pursuing depends entirely on the extent of any damages caused by taking the wrong medication. If your physician does not believe that you should suffer from any ill effects, then you can write the pharmacy a letter and demand a nominal sum for your inconvenience. If, on the other hand, you will suffer severe detrimental effects, you should consult an attorney.

    In the future here are some steps you can take to help protect yourself against these types of errors in the future:

    1. DO NOT TRUST THEM, pharmacists urge patients to double check their work. Read the prescription your doctor gives you aloud. Ask the physician to confirm it.

    2. Verify the dosages and drug names with your doctor.

    3.Before going to the pharmacy, write down the dosage and drug names.

    4.Go to a reputable pharmacy, one that has more than a single pharmacist working with clerk and technician helpers. You can contact your state pharmacy board for information. Some will tell you if a pharmacist has been disciplined in the past.

    5.When you pick up the prescription, check the labels and make sure the dosages and drug names match what you have written down.

    6.Fill your prescription during off peak times

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  • Mistreatment

    my father died last year. He was in a palliative care / hospice hospital at the end. My family feels he was mistreated there or did not get a good standard of care. The family also seems to have been marginalized (poorly responded to). What can we...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Unfortunately, we see this type of complete insensitivity all too often. I am sorry for your loss. From a medical malpractice/legal standpoint, you would have to prove that any alleged poor care caused your father to suffer damages or injury he would not otherwise have suffered if given the appropriate care. Here, you would likely have to show that the alleged poor care actually hastened or caused his death earlier that would have normally occurred. Defense lawyers always argue that these cases are limited in damages, because the patient was already terminal. They are difficult cases to pursue legally. I would recommend that you see if the facility could be reported to your local state agency. In many states, nursing homes and these facilities are governed by the state department of health and hospitals (or a similar named agency). A written complaint usually invokes an investigation.

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  • Is it grounds for a lawsuit if a doctor's office manager refuses to make a follow-up appointment 6 weeks after surgery?

    The office manager refused to let me see the doctor for my second follow up appointment post 6 weeks after orthopaedic surgery unless I brought in my $700 co-pay. I told her I was having problems but did not have the money. I called 6 or 7 times b...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    I do think that the physician has the discretion to require payment of the co-pay in order to schedule the appointment. There are federal and state laws that prohibit doctors and hospitals from refusing "emergency medical treatment" if a patient does not have the financial means, but this does not apply to routine visits. To me, the bigger question is trying to prove that you suffered damages as a result of their failure to see you for follow up. In every broken bone case, there is always a risk that the bones will not heal properly. As the patient, you would have to prove that but for their failure to schedule the appointment, your bones would have healed normally. This will be difficult to prove. An orthopedist expert would have to look at the films (before surgery and post surgery) to be able to tell you if you would have suffered this problem anyway. Ultimately, whether you should bring a case will turn on the degree of disability and/or damages occassioned by the second surgery.

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  • Should i consult a malpractice attorney

    I went in to the hospital 3 weeks ago for a lumbar fusion.I woke up from surgery with tremendous pain in my right thigh...I was released 2 days later and my right leg blew up to twice the size...i was told to go back to the ER where i was diagnose...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    You should consult an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Generally, the operating room staff should make sure that you are properly positioned to avoid any nerve type injuries to your extremeties. Although the facts of your case will ultimately determine whether there was a deviation in the standard of care, this is a matter worth having an experienced attorney review. Most medical malpractice lawyers provide free case reviews.

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  • Medical malpractice misdiagnosed

    what if more than one doctor misdiagnosed a disease would there be a medical malpractice lawsuit against all the doctors or just one doctor? Thank you!!!

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Generally, each doctor is responsible for his or her own medical errors. It is not uncommon to see multiple health care providers involved in medical malpractice cases. Many times a physician will assume that the doctor who treated the patient before him did everything that he was supposed to do. In medical malpractice cases, the best stragegy is to focus the case on the physician or health care provider who is most responsible for the injuries and damages suffered by the patient. There are many issues involved when multiple defendants are joined. In most states, the doctrine of comparative fault is utilized which means that the jury is allowed to determine the exact percentage of fault of each doctor on the jury verdict form. Some states even allow the defense to argue the fault of doctors or health care providers that were not even sued by the patient. If the jury finds that these unsued doctors were at fault, it can lessen or nullify the judgment in favor of the plaintiff.

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