The Anatomy of a Failed Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
While the rules for filing medical malpractice lawsuits differ from state to state, there is more similarity than difference. For instance, in a medical malpractice lawsuit, you can’t simply claim that you suffered an injury as a result of medical care; you must prove that the doctor or health care staff failed to follow the prevailing standard of medical care and that resulted in your injury.
Unfortunately, a Mississippi plaintiff failed to prove that her doctor failed to follow the prevailing standard for medical practices in his field even though she was severely injured as a result of the surgery he performed on her.
In this article, we’ll discuss how she and her attorneys fell short in this instance.
Plaintiff Wakes Up Paralyzed
The plaintiff sued after she woke up paralyzed from a surgery that was performed in 2011. She alleged that the paralysis was the direct result of two neurosurgeries performed by the defendant. She alleges that the doctor failed to monitor her blood pressure correctly during the surgery. A second surgery was conducted to attempt to repair the issue, but it didn’t resolve the plaintiff’s problems.
During the lawsuit, an expert opinion concerning the first surgery was struck from the record after the court determined it was unreliable. For the second surgery, the court ruled that the plaintiff failed to establish that the doctor did not provide his patient with the prevailing standard of care.
Part of the reason why the expert testimony was struck from the record had to do with the fact that there exists no prevailing standard when it comes to mean arterial pressure. The defense was able to produce several publications refuting the expert’s testimony and this created a black hole in the evidence. The plaintiffs were not able to produce any admissible evidence that the doctor went against standard practice, made a serious mistake, or otherwise did not correct a mistake he made. The expert was unable to support the belief that the doctor who performed the surgery caused the paralysis through negligence.
In a medical malpractice trial, the plaintiffs are expected to produce expert witnesses who can testify as to the prevailing standard of care for the procedure and then articulate how the doctor diverged from that prevailing standard of care. When the defense can produce evidence that there is no prevailing standard, then the plaintiff’s entire argument is thrown out the window.
This case managed to make it all the way to the Mississippi Supreme Court which affirmed the rulings of the lower and appellate courts.
At this point, the case is no longer able to be brought against the defendant because the statute of limitations has elapsed.
Talk to a Tampa Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
If you’ve been seriously injured by a doctor, you may be able to file a lawsuit if you can show that they failed the prevailing standard of care for their specialty. Talk to the Tampa medical malpractice attorneys at Palmer | Lopez today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.