Do we have a case?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Do we have a case?

Hello. My husband and I are considering a malpractice suit against doctors at
Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, MA. For 9 months March 2013-December
2013, he complained of stomach discomfort and was dismissed time and time again.
That ‘discomfort’ led to him having perforated diverticulitis, which led to a
hemicolectomy March 2014. As a result of that surgery, he developed an
infection, which turned out to be eColi in his right lung. He was in ICU and
ventilated for 10 days June 2014. Because of the infection, he was sent home
with a PICC line which caused a large blood clot July 2014 After that surgery,
he developed a ventral hernia which was just ‘repaired’ 10/31/15. Can anything be
done about this?

Asked on May 24, 2016 under Malpractice Law, Massachusetts


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Medical malpractice is negligence.  Negligence is the failure 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).
Based on the facts that you have stated, there is a case for malpractice (negligence on the part of the doctor(s)).
Prior to filing the lawsuit, it may be possible to settle the case with the doctor or doctors' malpractice insurance carrier(s).  The claim filed with the malpractice insurance should include your husband's medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of wage loss.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your husband's ailment/medical condition and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.
If the case is settled with the malpractice insurance carrier(s), NO lawsuit is filed.
If your husband is dissatisfied with settlement offers from the malpractice insurance carrier(s), he should reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the doctor(s).  If the case was settled with some, but not all doctors, only name the doctors with whom the case has not settled as defendants in the lawsuit for negligence.
If the case is NOT settled, your husband's lawsuit for negligence must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your husband will lose his rights forever in the matter.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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