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Do I have a case?
Husband treated for kidney cancer with Sutent. Six and half months into treatment
taken to ER and died within 24 hours. Sutent attacked and shut down liver. Lab tests
prior to death showed liver enzymes steadily increasing but no word from doctor to
stop Sutent. Wrote letter to doctor and he called me. Asked me if I could forgive him,
but he would not answer questions asked in my letter. Wanted me to come in and
talk with him face-to-face. Wasn’t ready to do that. I had been told Sutent should
have been stopped and liver may have had chance to heal. Also, month before death
doctor told us he wanted to try new medication at end of Sutent cycle. At ER, doctor
was going to helicopter husband to hospital about 200 miles away. I was told to go
home to pack and head for Milwaukee. I live 200 miles north of Milwaukee. Husband
died while I was home. Not able to be with him. Have all medical and lab reports. Any
chance of a claim against doctor and/or hospital. Live in Michigan but death
happened in Wisconsin. Thank you.
Asked on January 28, 2017 under Malpractice Law, Michigan
S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 5 years ago | Contributor
Sorry to hear about your husband.
Medical malpractice is negligence. Negligence on the part of the doctor is the faillure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable medical practitioner in the community would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).
Negligence on the part of the hospital is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable hospital would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).
Prior to filing a lawsuit for negligence (wrongful death) against the doctor and hospital, it may be possible to settle the case with their malpractice insurance carriers.
Your claim filed with the malpractice insurance carriers for the doctor and hospital should include the medical bills and medical reports.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement. The medical reports will document your husband's medical treatment and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering until the time of death, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills. Your claim filed with the malpractice insurance carriers should include the medical bills and medical reports.
If the case is settled with the malpractice insurance carriers for both the doctor and hospital, NO lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from those insurance carriers, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence / wrongful death against the doctor and hospital.
If the case settles with one but not both parties (doctor and hospital), only name the party with whom the case has NOT settled as a defendant in your lawsuit.
If the case is NOT settled, your lawsuit must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights in the matter forever.