Pulmonary embolism as the result of birth control prescribed, do I have a case?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Pulmonary embolism as the result of birth control prescribed, do I have a case?

In March of 2016 I went to OBGYN/Primary physician inquiring about my fertility.
Her first step was to issue me birth control. She failed to tell me that
combining this birth control with cigarettes could be harmful. A month later I
had chest and arm pains after two nights of no sleep and finally went to the ER.
I was held 2 days at the hospital due to a pulmonary embolism that was a result
of this OBGYN’s ‘treatment for balancing hormones.’ Hormone imbalance was never
the subject matter, as I said before I was checking for my fertility. I found
out recently that my aunt saw her for depression symptoms and this same doctor
put her on birth control as treatment. This is not just a matter of money, this
has increased my chances of death by 60 and cancer by 70. I can’t stand to
think about the next person who gets messed up because of this malpractice.

Asked on September 8, 2017 under Malpractice Law, Oklahoma


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Based on what you write, there are two challenges facing you.
First, you'd need proof--or at least a medical expert opinion--from a physician who has examined you, the medical file, etc. that your embolism was caused by the drug. Have any physicians stated yet that was the cause? If not, until you have a doctor offering an informed expert opinion that the prescription harmed you, you do not have any proof of liability, and so no case.
Second, there is no recorvery for what *could* happen in the future--only for what has happened. For example, say that your chance of cancer otherwise would have been 10%. If it's now 17%, that still means an 83% chance of not getting cancer. In this example, it's clearly far from certain that you'd contract cancer, and the law does not provide compensation for what may very likely never occur. So you could only sue for the medical costs and/or harm you have suffered so far to date, not for the enhanced risks. Since malpractice cases can be expensive (because you have to hire the medical expert/doctor to be a witness; plus the cost of an attorney), if, as we hope, you have not to date suffered significant harm or very large costs, it may not be economically worthwhile to sue. 
You may wish to consult with a medical malpractice attorney to discuss this in more depth--many such lawyers provide a free initial consultation to evaluate a case, and you can confirm that before making an appointment--but bear in mind the above; there are some  challenges to a potential case.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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