Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

Scott-Andrews-Bio-150x150Scott Andrews was recently selected by his peers for the fourth time for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the practice area of Plaintiff Personal Injury.   Scott Andrews is a member of the Baton Rouge, Louisiana injury law firm of Dué Guidry Piedrahita Andrews L.C., specializing in wrongful death and serious personal injury cases.

First published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as a definitive guide to legal excellence.  Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation with nearly 87,000 industry leading lawyers from around the world eligible to vote.  For the 2019 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©, 7.8 million votes were analyzed, which resulted in almost 60,000 leading lawyers being included in the new edition. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor.

012-150x150Dué Guidry Piedrahita Andrews L.C. attorney Kirk A. Guidry was recently recognized by his peers in Best Lawyers as the 2019 “Lawyer of the Year” for Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs in the Baton Rouge area.

Only a single lawyer in each practice area and designated metropolitan area is honored as the “Lawyer of the Year,” making this accolade particularly significant. These lawyers are selected based on particularly impressive voting averages received during the peer review assessments.

Receiving this designation reflects the high level of respect a lawyer has earned among other leading lawyers in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, their professionalism, and their integrity.

old fashioned clockIf you believe that you may have a personal injury claim against someone who caused your injuries, the first thing that you need to consider is the prescriptive period or prescription that may apply to your claim. Louisiana law applies time limits that require litigants to assert their claims within a specific period of time or waive their right to recovery forever. As seasoned Louisiana medical malpractice lawyers, we have guided numerous victims in determining the prescriptive period that applies to their claim, and we are ready to assist you. A recent appellate opinion illustrates the importance of keeping prescription in mind.

The plaintiff had been seen by a physician for gynecology and obstetrics treatment since 2005. At some point, she was diagnosed with endometriosis after a biopsy came back positive. The plaintiff was then sent to an infertility specialist to treat a number of conditions, including pelvic pain, desired contraception, endometriosis, and infrequent menstruation. The plaintiff had two cesarean births and then elected to have a bilateral tubal sterilization to prevent further pregnancies. After the procedure, the plaintiff continued to complain of pelvic pain.

The plaintiff presented to the emergency room in 2008, complaining of severe pelvic pain. The plaintiff alleged that she signed a consent form agreeing to a surgical procedure while she was in severe pain and while under the influence of pain medication. The following day, the obstetrics and gynecology physician performed a hysterectomy. Complications arose after the surgery, including bladder issues. She continued treatment with the surgeon and also saw a number of other physicians in an attempt to resolve her chronic pelvic pain. One of these physicians informed the plaintiff that it was his opinion that it was negligent for the surgeon to suggest and then perform a hysterectomy on a 24-year-old patient.

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Legal News GavelMany states have very particular laws when it comes to medical malpractice actions, particularly when it comes to the steps you must take before you can file a civil action against the medical professionals who may have caused you damages. Louisiana is no exception, requiring plaintiffs to submit their medical malpractice allegations to a medical review panel before filing a civil claim. As seasoned Louisiana medical malpractice lawyers, we understand firsthand how important it is to ensure that you comply with all of the procedural requirements to protect your right to compensation.

A recent appellate opinion highlights how important these procedural rules can be.  The plaintiff underwent surgery in 2013 by one medical professional and received postoperative care for the surgery from another medical professional. Nearly one year after the surgery, the plaintiff filed a request for a medical review panel to determine whether the physicians committed medical malpractice. The entity responsible for overseeing this process is the Patient’s Compensation Fund (PCF).

Pursuant to Louisiana laws regarding medical malpractice claims against private healthcare providers, the PCF must send a series of letters providing notice to the medical professionals that they have been named in a proceeding involving allegations of medical malpractice. The first set of letters was sent to the postoperative doctor’s business address, and the return receipt was signed. The PCF then sent what is known as the “Nine Month Letter” to the defendant’s address. This letter states that the medical review process would be terminated if the parties do not designate an attorney chairperson within one year from the date that the complaint was filed. This letter was sent to the same business address, but the US Postal Service returned the letter, indicating that the address had closed. The PCF attempted to resend the letter one additional time and received the same response. The PCF did not take any additional steps to provide the letter to the defendant healthcare provider.

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https://bestlawfirms.usnews.com/images/blf-badge-2018.jpgNov. 1, 2017 –U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers, for the eighth consecutive year, the “Best Law Firms” rankings include the Baton Rouge, Louisiana injury law firm of Dué Guidry Piedrahita Andrews L.C., this year in the practice areas of Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs (T1) and Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs (T2).
Firms included in the 2018 “Best Law Firms” list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise. “U.S. News has decades of experience evaluating key institutions in society—from colleges to hospitals,” says Tim Smart, executive editor at U.S. News. “Law firms perform a vital role in American life, and ranking them is a key extension of our overall mission to helps individuals and companies alike make important life decisions.”
The 2018 rankings are based on the highest number of participating firms and highest number of client ballots on record. To be eligible for a ranking, a firm must have a lawyer listed in The Best Lawyers in America, which recognizes the top 4 percent of practicing attorneys in the U.S. Over 13,000 attorneys provided more than 1,000,000 law firm assessments, and over 7,500 clients provided more than 65,000 evaluations.  Kirk A. Guidry, Randy A. Piedrahita, and B. Scott Andrews are all recognized in The Best Lawyers in America.

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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Legal News GavelIn 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: