What is the mindset of lawyers defending hospitals/institutions for BLATANT malpractice? Is it the money?

Asked over 2 years ago - Miami, FL

By BLATANT: misreading IV dosage .5 for 5g and overdosing and killing an infant, a young person losing the loss of limbs due to late diagnosis of compartment syndrome due to overly long surgery, spine surgery at the wrong level, transection of a nerve because doctor mistook it for a tendon and other life altering mistakes due to doctor egos that were too arrogant to ask for help from their colleagues or too confident in their abilities to revisit their anatomy. And how do their lawyers reconcile themselves to hacking apart the plantiff's case (and credibility) when the plantiff has obviously suffered a loss.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Dean Richard Fuchs

    Contributor Level 13


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The facts you describe are tragic, and I am truly sorry for your loss. However, hospitals and doctors have liability insurance which covers errors and omissions. When you sue for medical practice, the insurance company is not only obligated to cover the claim (assuming there is liability), but it is also obligated to defend the hospital/doctor. So, the insurance company hires a local defense attorney to try and avoid/escape or minimize the hospital's potential exposure to liability. For better or worse, that's how the insurance system works. Again, very sorry for your loss.

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  2. Joseph Jonathan Brophy

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I am not a defense lawyer, but I acknowledge that they are necessary for the system to work. Only a very small proportion of medical malpractice claims are as blatantly obvious as the ones you describe. Even in those, there is an issue of damages. The are no charts or tables to inform the parties what any given case is worth. The insurer works through defense counsel to investigate the damages issues in the case and help negotiate a settlement if the case can be settled. Sometimes even blatant cases have to be tried because the doctor won't consent to settle. Some defense lawyers will try to hack apart a meritorious case. Most will try to get it resolved.

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  3. Jeffrey Ira Schwimmer

    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . As a plaintiff's attorney, your question is one I have in some form or other heard before. Sadly, there are often many claims in which a defense is pursued even when it seems obvious that a wrong has been done and compensation is deserving. Your question in large part is more one of a philosophical nature. While it will not ease the pain and loss you apparently suffered, and it may not be what you want to hear, the bottom line is that those types of defenses are fairly common because the law allows a defendant to have his/her/its day in court the same way it allows people who bring lawsuits that are viewed meritless to have their day in court. There are not many countries in the world that have as open a judicial system as we have in America. The best revenge is to bring your case to a successful resolution by settlement or verdict. Good Luck.

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