3 cases of medical negligence

Date: Feb 28, 2014

In Australia – and, indeed, all over the world – cases of medical negligence are more common than you might think.
The following are just five that have managed to make headlines.

1) Carol Weihrer, a 52-year-old woman from the United States, suffered from agonising pain in her right eye for a large portion of her life. She eventually made the decision to have it removed, but unfortunately woke up during the surgery. 

BBC News reports that Ms Weihrer couldn't feel anything, but she was fully conscious at the exact moment when her right eye was taken from its socket. "The worst thing was not being able to tell anyone. I couldn't yell or scream, I just lay there, helpless as the doctors carried on," she explained.

Ms Weihrer received injury compensation in an out-of-court settlement.

2) A medical negligence claim was made against an orthopaedic surgeon in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in September 2013 that resulted in one of the largest settlements of that year. 

Randy Green was involved in a car accident in 2004 and rushed to the Grand Strand Regional Medical Center for emergency surgery on his arm, according to Myrtle Beach Online. However, when he arrived, the surgeon ordered he receive a CAT scan for a knee injury he also received in the accident. This delay caused Mr Green to suffer a cardiac arrest, which left him paralysed from the waist down.

Mr Green and his wife received a whopping $2.95 million in compensation after a jury decided the surgeon had breached his duty of care to his patient.

3) In 2001, Arturo Iturralde of Hilo, Hawaii, underwent surgery to get two titanium rods implanted in his back. However, when it came time for the surgeon to attach the rods to Mr Iturralde's spine, he couldn't locate them.

Instead of simply closing Mr Iturralde up and postponing the procedure, the surgeon instead decided to replace the titanium rods with something on-hand that resembled them: a screwdriver with its handle snapped off. This fell apart a few days after it was implanted, which meant the 73-year-old had to undergo three more surgeries, reports NBC News.

Mr Iturralde was awarded $5.6 million when his surgeon was found guilty of medical negligence. 

If you have suffered an injury and believe a medical practitioner may have breached their duty of care to provide you with a "reasonable standard of care", get in touch with medical negligence lawyers today.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.