Med Malpractice? Reluctant nice couple mid 70's for problematic gallstones = pancreatitis, long hospitalization, debil, diabetes

Asked over 1 year ago - Santa Maria, CA

Family friend went in hospital 1 (a new one, getting a bad rep for 'missing' common life-threatening emergencies - no staff avail for stroke and heart attack, 2 recent cases.) They treated her three weeks for infection, near death they helicoptered her to a major teaching hospital where the doctor started a long (90 days+) process including a dozen small surgeries and as many as 6 simul. IV's. I witnessed 30 days near the end of this and saw some gross oversights in care and pulled her out of "IC PSYCHOSIS". At that time I was following up online and saw USC MED site on pancreatitis and detail of good treatment (grafts, not French drains.) Site detailed consequences of not 1:1 (long stay, auto-digestion....) She's lucky to be alive ... has little memory ... husband not very supportiv

Additional information

Need medically trained attorney familiar with pancreatitis cases who will recognize what I am saying. Client finances mandate zero out of pocket and therefore a definite 1-2-3 triage plan - not rule of thumb. You can do that based on public statistics up to the point of med records / consult.
They are reluctant to sue for local reputation and continued care - where I come in. Need a strong answer - so far universal boilerplate - not inspiring confidence ... To be specific we need to be on the same page and triage to see if there is a case - I've got that much understanding. Now what can you tell me in specific that I can take to them and say, "see - this is how we can do it." I'm going to have to help them that much or it won't happen.

Further research (MedicalMalpractice.com) shows something obvious in what I delineated that an appropriate attorney will see at a glance as a high probability of a good case = based on standard of care alone, per the public USC MED site. Help with that?

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Ian A. Scharg

    Pro

    Contributor Level 10

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I highly recommend your friend consult an attorney to determine whether there is a case or not. A doctor will need to review this case as well to determine if the care fell beneath the standard of care.

    Most med-mal attorneys offer free initial consultations. I recommend you use the "Find a Lawyer" tool on Avvo to help find an attorney.

    Best of luck.

    This is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. This is not legal advice, it is... more
  2. Ajay Mohan Kwatra

    Pro

    Contributor Level 15

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    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . I am sorry for your loss. In this situation, you are not an heir that can bring a wrongful death law suit for a friend. I applaud your trying to help them, and hope they speak with an attorney before they file a law suit.

    Second, unless there are some circumstances that I do not understand, this case would be a wrongful death case, based on professional negligence, or Medical Malpractice. Thus the heirs have to prove that the negligence was a substantial factor in causing the death.

    Second, the heirs have to prove they lost some care, comfort, and society that was lost due to the passing. If the patient was chronically ill, or estranged from the heirs, it may be hard to prove damages rise to the level of paying for the costs of expert witnesses to support the malpractice.
    Last, if it is Med Mal, the claim is capped by tort reforms, for a Maximum of $250,000 for the non-economic damages, and even a limit on the attorney's fees, which also factors in to the risk vs. reward considerations. Your friend can try and find an attorney and I wish them all the best. They have only one year or less to sue. Good luck!

  3. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . A local malpractice lawyer would need to order all the records to review.

  4. Lee Tucker

    Contributor Level 9

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your family friend should consult with a local qualified medical malpractice attorney immediately. Medical malpractice cases are very expensive and complicated. There are also time limits as to when an action must be filed.

    Mr. Tucker is licensed to practice law in Washington and Kentucky. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Tucker strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received. less

    Mr. Tucker is licensed to practice law in Washington and Kentucky. The response herein is not legal advice and... more
  5. Josh P Tolin

    Contributor Level 19

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    1

    Answered . You should find someone locally who handles malpractice cases. It sounds like this definitely should be reviewed. Your friend even though she has little memory will have to pursue, since you described yourself as a family friend. Find her a good attorney.

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