Hospital Negligence Lawsuit
To understand hospital negligence one need look no further than Jacksonville Naval Hospital. The hospital is sued for medical negligence at nearly five times the rate of civilian hospitals in Northeast Florida, according to a review by the Florida Times-Union. The payouts have been enormous.
- The highest amount ever awarded in a Federal Tort Claims Act— $60.9 million – was given to a Miami boy and his parents. The boy cannot speak, hear, see, swallow, or move. He requires 24 hours of care a day. After nearly 29 hours of labor, doctors at the OB Clinic delivered the baby via cesarean section but the baby was blue and had no heart rate but was resuscitated after 15 minutes of CPR and epinephrine injections. Deprived of oxygen too long, he is now brain dead.
- A seven-month-old died in 2005 after doctors mistook his meningitis for chickenpox.
Those are just a couple of the claims against the hospital.
The U.S. government, meaning taxpayers, have settled 16 medical negligence claims against the hospital in the last decade, including for 11 deaths. Awards for two cases alone totaled $65 million.
Two-thirds of the hospital and medical negligence claims are connected with the high risk specialty of obstetrics and gynecology in the very busy hospital that delivers about 120 babies a month.
An investigation finds that among the problems with this hospital are disappearing records, the failure by doctors to communicate with each other, births that are performed by family practitioners, and the Navy allowing the same personnel to continue making serious mistakes.
A report by the American College of Emergency Physicians in early 2006 found that the military’s emergency medicine is nearing a crisis because of so many patients and fewer doctors.
Florida Hospital Negligence
Hospital negligence is a type of medical malpractice that occurs in a hospital setting and can involve doctors, nurses, technicians, and any staff members. Negligence in a hospital can mean that a condition was misdiagnosed, was not diagnosed at all, or there was a surgical error. Perhaps no doctor was available at the time one was needed or the doctor on staff misread tests and x-rays. In the case of the Navy hospital, it was too seriously understaffed to avoid injuring patients.
Other types of hospital negligence can include:
- Someone receiving the wrong medication or the wrong dose. Take the case of the twin newborns of actor Dennis Quaid who nearly bled to death when they were given an anticoagulant at the adult dosage.
- Negligence can occur when a staff member fails to wash their hands when they enter the room and see a new patient, transferring infection from one patient to another.
- When the hospital fails to take the proper procedures in screening for staph infection among those entering the hospital, it has been negligent.
Hospitals Fail To Report
According to the consumer group, Public Citizen, cases of bad doctors should be flagged more often than they are.
Consider the case of a surgeon whose license had been suspended in Oklahoma and revoked in Texas. He was allowed to operate in Hawaii where he used a screwdriver in place of a titanium rod in a spinal procedure. The patient was paralyzed and later died.
Public Citizen, in its 2009 report, “Hospitals Drop the Ball on Physician Oversight” finds that half of the hospitals failed to report any sanctions against a physician’s hospital privileges.
And the hospitals are not using a database designed to protect patients from these dangerous doctors with a history of medical malpractice.
Set up 20 years ago, the National Practitioner Databank was expected to record upward of 10,000 incidents of hospital errors. Instead, it records only an average of 650 reports on bad practices.
The problem is the culture of medicine. Few like to turn in their fellow doctors, knowing anyone can make a mistake. Public Citizen is calling on Congress to enact a law that would fine hospitals for failure to report the substandard doctors.
To File a Jacksonville FL Hospital Negligence Claim
Hospital cases are brought against the hospital where the serious injury occurred and are usually brought in conjunction with other claims against the doctor or medical personnel.
An injured person then must prove negligence in any lawsuit against a hospital. To be successful, the patient and their Jacksonville hospital malpractice attorney will have to prove that the staff directly caused the injury and they acted unreasonably, outside of the standard of care. A failure to treat could be considered negligence if it is outside of the standard of care.
Just having a bad outcome on its own is not necessarily a case of hospital negligence.
In the case of hospital negligence, a victim can claim their medical expenses, loss of income, the cost of their care, and the pain and suffering they endured.
Remember, there may be a statute of limitation on any case that involves hospital negligence. A consultation with an experienced Jacksonville medical negligence attorney is always free and confidential. 855-797-9899