Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

ladder on roofMedical malpractice actions can arise in a variety of contexts. The following lawsuit demonstrates why it is essential to retain a seasoned Baton Rouge medical malpractice attorney the moment you think that you may be entitled to damages.

According to a recently published decision from the First Circuit of Louisiana, an employee was injured at work after he fell eight feet from the top of a ladder. The employee was brought to the emergency room promptly, where it was determined that he sustained injuries to his knee, hip, and elbow. The emergency room medical staff addressed his injuries, and he was discharged later that day. Shortly after his discharge, however, the hospital staff noticed that he may have suffered a hip fracture, and they recalled him to the facility, where they took additional x-rays of his elbow, which they had not x-rayed initially. The elbow laceration contained foreign material that the hospital failed to identify, and the infection contained flesh-eating bacteria. The employee nearly lost his life as a result of this aggressive infection. Although he was able to recover, the employee developed a chronic condition from the infection known as CIDP. This condition requires ongoing medical care. At the time the accident took place, the employee was 49 years old.

On review before a medical review panel, it was determined that the treating physician failed to use appropriate care when treating the employee’s injuries, but this failure was not the ultimate cause of his injuries. The doctor’s failure to order the x-ray did not change the fact that the wound was contaminated with flesh-eating bacteria. The employee and his wife filed a medical malpractice action against the physician, alleging that his malpractice caused them to incur $268,000 in expenses and that they would continue to incur financial expenses related to the malpractice.

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doctors in surgeryIn a recent opinion from the First Circuit Court of Appeal for the State of Louisiana, the plaintiff appealed a trial court ruling granting summary judgment in favor of the defendants in a medical malpractice action. In June 2006, the plaintiff underwent a spinal fusion surgery performed by a certain surgeon who later left the practice and moved out of state. Another physician who worked at the same neurosurgery center took over the plaintiff’s follow-up care and eventually referred the plaintiff to the defendant-physician for continued care. In particular, the plaintiff complained of persistent post-operative lower back pain, which extended to his buttocks and legs and caused him to experience difficulty sitting down.

The defendant is experienced in the field of pain management and neurology. When he first examined the plaintiff, he suggested that the plaintiff undergo a discogram to determine the source of his chronic pain. Following the procedure, the plaintiff reported experiencing severe headaches and reduced control of his bladder and bowel functions, along with worsening pain in his lower limbs. At this time, the defendant diagnosed the plaintiff with a spinal fluid leak. Shortly thereafter, the plaintiff admitted himself to the emergency room, where he was diagnosed with corda equine syndrome.

The plaintiff filed a medical malpractice action against the defendant in accordance with the Louisiana Medical Malpractice Act (LMMA), as well as a number of other health care providers. A medical review panel gathered to assess the claim, and on that same day, they rendered a decision concluding that the defendants had not deviated from the appropriate standard of medical care. Additionally, the medical review panel noted that the discogram procedure had known risks and complications and that the procedure resulted in a meaningful surgery.

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Kirk Guidry, Randy Piedrahita and Scott Andrews have been selected to the 2017 Louisiana Super Lawyers list in the practice area of Personal Injury.   According to Thomson Reuters, no more than 5% of Louisiana Lawyers are selected each year by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor.  Super Lawyers is a rating service of lawyers from multiple practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.  The annual selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area.  The Baton Rouge, Louisiana law firm of Dué Guidry Piedrahita Andrews L.C. handles serious personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Louisiana.

Medical malpractice claims governed by the Louisiana Medical Malpractice Act originate with the filing of a request for review of the medical malpractice claim by a Medical Review Panel. The request for review must be filed with the Louisiana Division of Administration and shall contain, at a minimum, all of the following:

(i) A request for the formation of a medical review panel.

(ii) The name of only one patient for whom, or on whose behalf, the request for review is being filed; however, if the claim involves the care of a pregnant mother and her unborn child, then naming the mother as the patient shall be sufficient.

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Dué Guidry Piedrahita Andrews L.C. proudly announces it has been selected once again by its peers for inclusion in the U.S. News & World Report Best Lawyers – Best Law Firms rankings in the following practice areas:

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Super Lawyers 2016 selected every member (Kirk A. Guidry, Randy A. Piedrahita and B. Scott Andrews) of the Baton Rouge, Louisiana personal injury law firm of Dué Guidry Piedrahita Andrews L.C. for inclusion in the 2016 Louisiana Super Lawyers list in the practice area of Personal Injury.

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.

Dué Guidry Piedrahita Andrews L.C. and all firm members also enjoy the prestigious AV Rating from Martindale-Hubbell and have been recognized by Best Lawyers® and U.S. News – Best Law Firms®.

Congratulations to our newly elected Governor – John Bel Edwards!!

As a faithful husband, dedicated father, unwavering public servant, proud veteran, humble man of religion, and small business owner, John Bel Edwards will be a Governor who will finally put Louisiana families and Louisiana workers first and get us back on the right track after eight years of failing policies.

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The campaign released the following statement: “We won because of you. Thank you for voting to put Louisiana first. You believed in our campaign to bring honor and integrity back to the state of Louisiana. My campaign slogan has been ‘put Louisiana first’ from the start, and that is exactly what I plan to do for the next four years. To me, that has always meant bringing our people together, regardless of party, to celebrate the things that make our state strong and solve our greatest problems. I promise you tonight that I will always do what is best for all Louisianians — for our children, our veterans, our senior citizens. I believe Louisiana is worth fighting for. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to lead our state. Louisiana’s future doesn’t belong to a political party — it belongs to all of us. I will work every day to make you proud of your vote and of your state.”

A 13 year-old child was killed on October 29, 2015 in a car crash in Monroe, Louisiana. The child was one of several passengers in a 2013 Toyota SUV being operated by Florence Nash of Monroe, Louisiana.

According to the preliminary investigation by Troop F of the Louisiana State Police, the Toyota SUV failed to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of US 165-B and Buckhorn Bend Road just south of Monroe, resulting in a crash with a 2003 Ford truck being operated by Becky Lee of West Monroe.

Nash and several passengers were taken to local hospitals for injuries. The 13 year-old died from her injuries while at the hospital.

The car crash is still under investigation.
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Money_Cash.jpgIn a dispute characterized by the trial court as “ordinary people against nice doctors and [a] heartless soulless insurance company,” a successful doctor and his insurer appealed a judgment against the unsuccessful plaintiff that ONLY awarded them $3,539.75 for expert costs. The trial court was not persuaded by the “cold heartless” insurance company and the doctor to make the victim of the alleged medical malpractice pay them an additional $34,064.41 to compensate their out of state expert witness.

The dispute arose because an unsuccessful party in a lawsuit can be required to pay the costs (including expert witness fees, deposition costs and related expenses) of the successful party. See La. Civil Code article 1920 and La. Revised Statutes 13:3666 and 13:4533, which give the trial court great discretion in awarding costs as it may consider equitable.

Under the unique facts of the case, and recognizing the flexibility of the trial court in awarding costs, the Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment because the defendants failed to introduce into evidence any documentation or testimony whatsoever to support the expert’s bills. William McDougald v. St. Francis North Hospital, 50-079 (La. App. 2 Cir. 10/14/15).
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Thumbnail image for BestLawyers.pngBest Lawyers in America© 2016 lists every member of the Baton Rouge, Louisiana personal injury law firm of Dué, Guidry, Piedrahita & Andrews.
Paul H. Dué is recognized by his Best Lawyers® peers in the practice areas of Admiralty and Maritime Law, Appellate Practice, Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, and Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs.

Kirk A. Guidry is recognized by his Best Lawyers® peers in the practice area of Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs.

Randy A. Piedrahita is recognized by his Best Lawyers® peers in the practice area of Personal Injury Litigation-Plaintiffs.

B. Scott Andrews is recognized by his Best Lawyers® peers in the practice area of Personal Injury Litigation-Plaintiffs.

Best Lawyers® is the oldest and one of the most respected peer-review publications in the legal profession. This lists of lawyers are compiled by conducting exhaustive peer-review surveys in which tens of thousands of rated attorneys confidentially evaluate their professional peers.
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