Disturbing cases of medical malpractice

Medical mistakes are alarmingly common in Arizona and across the country. Some cases that have appeared in recent years provide a sobering reminder of the importance of avoiding such mistakes.

In one case, a 36-year-old Arizona man with a brain injury died after ingesting unopened ketchup packets, plastic bags and paper towels while in the care of an assisted living facility. In another case, anesthesiologists failed to give a 73-year-old West Virginia pastor the correct anesthetic during abdominal surgery, leaving him conscious to suffer through every painful incision of the operation. Two weeks after the botched procedure, he reportedly took his own life because of the trauma.

In another case, doctors told a woman she was dying from a cancerous tumor in her jaw, but they said they could extend her life by three months if they removed part of her chin. She agreed to the disfiguring procedure to spend more time with her children. However, tests later revealed she never had cancer at all. In another instance, a surgeon in Florida amputated the wrong leg of a 52-year-old man. The surgeon lost his medical license for six months, paid a $10,000 fine and paid the victim $250,000. The hospital where the surgery took place also paid the victim $900,000.

Arizona residents who have been harmed by a medical error may have grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the responsible doctor and/or hospital. Such a lawsuit could result in a settlement that covers medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering and other related damages. Victims could find out more about their legal rights by consulting with a personal injury lawyer.