In January of this year, a young girl in Orange County was scheduled to undergo an oral (labial) frenuloplasty, a procedure in which a small fold of tissue between the gum and the lip is separated. Instead of performing the procedure as planned on the child's top lip, the pediatric ENT surgeon mistakenly separated the tissue under the tongue in a procedure known as a lingual frenuloplasty. While the mistakenly performed procedure did not cause any substantial, permanent harm, this young patient had to undergo a second, otherwise unnecessary surgical procedure, after she healed from the first surgery. The physician attempted to justify his error by claiming the tongue surgery was needed anyway. Mr. Ralph currently represents the malpractice victim.
n yet another case, a female patient of a plastic surgeon here in Orange County was scheduled to undergo a combination breast augmentation and lift procedure in March of this year. The breast lift planned and consented to by the patient is known as a vertical mastopexy, which generally requires a vertical incision from the areola to the crease under the breasts. This is usually the procedure of choice when the patient has more significant drooping. Instead of the vertical mastopexy (identified in this case on the patient's consent form in capitalized letters), the surgeon elected to perform (without the patient's prior written or verbal consent) a donut mastopexy, which involves removal of skin from just around the areola in the hopes of slightly lifting the breasts. This decision was made solely by the surgeon at the time of the procedure and after the patient had been anesthetized. As a result, the patient's breasts were not adequately lifted, are asymmetrical and cause her pain and discomfort. To remedy the error caused by her surgeon, the patient must undergo a revision surgery in the future, and she will have to live with the outcome of the surgery she had never agreed to until that time. Mr. Ralph currently represents this malpractice victim as well.
Malpractice cases such as these are unfortunately commonplace. The law in California as it relates to medical negligence cases is complex, and victims are not often the focus. Instead, the law in this area favors the health care providers who have been well-protected since the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act of 1976. For example, no matter how much suffering a patient and/or their surviving family members endure, the maximum allowable recovery for the pain, suffering, and emotional upset sustained is just $250,000.00. In spite of dramatic changes in our economy and the ever-increasing cost of living, that figure has remained unchanged since the enactment of the MICRA legislation more than 34 years ago.
The handling of medical malpractice cases requires the experience of a seasoned trial attorney who has handled many such matters on behalf of the victims. Mr. Ralph has more than 19 years of experience handling personal injury cases, including just this type. He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.
Have you or a loved one been the victim of a negligent doctor or nurse?
- This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter. A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.