Articles Posted in Massachusetts

tuftsThere are a lot of differences between good hospitals and bad hospitals.  It is an all too common trope to claim that one thing encapsulates the differences between good and bad.  It is always more complicated than that one little thing.  That said, if you watch hospitals closely, it is amazing how often you see the best hospitals – the Mayo Clinic, Hopkins, the Cleveland Clinic – owning up to their own mistakes and trying to figure out new ways to conquer them.

Tufts Medical Center also appears to be on that list although maybe more reluctantly and with a bit more dragging of them then we might want.  Specifically, Tufts is attacking a problem that causes malpractice that last November, unleashed hospital and government inquiries that have led to widespread safety improvements in Tufts operating rooms this year and highlighted medical errors involving “cognitive bias” — an area of growing interest among researchers. Continue reading

A jury in Massachusetts found that a nursing home was negligent in causing an eye injury, awarding $400,000 for the Plaintiff’s pain and suffering during the 45 days between the injury and his death. They did not find that the injury caused his death.

The Plaintiff’s counsel said he thought the verdict was high given that the victim was so old. This attorney did a great job, I’m sure, securing this verdict and should be commended for taking the case. But I don’t think it was a “high” verdict. Who would trade $400,000, that they don’t get, to spend their final 45 days in misery?

This nursing home verdict never would have been possible if a trial judge had not vacated an arbitration agreement the patient executed when he was 91 years old and suffering delusions. The nursing home arbitration agreement had sought to prevent his estate from filing a civil suit if killed or injured by the nursing home’s negligence.

Boston Medical Center has reached a settlement of $900,000 with the family of an 86-year-old woman who died after falling in an operating room following hip surgery. The family’s lawyer alleged in a lawsuit that the hospital staff did not take the appropriate precautions when the woman was put in her hospital bed. One driving force for settlement: a Massachusetts state inspection found that deficiencies in procedure contributed to the death.

The family of a New Hampshire woman crushed by another car at a Massachusetts car wash has agreed to a settlement of their accident lawsuit. The woman died in 2007 after being struck by a car driven by defendant, who still faces criminal charges. The victim’s 12 year-old daughter thankfully survived the collusion.

The Boston Herald has the story.

The family of a CVS pharmacy clerk who was stabbed to death by a shoplifter cannot pursue wrongful death claim against CVS because a provision of the Massachusetts workers’ compensation law prohibits employees from seeking damages for work-related injuries, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court found this week.

Very sad case but not a surprising outcome as workers compensation law is fairly well settled on this issue in most jurisdictions.

The family of Chelmsford woman who died a day after thyroid surgery at Brockton Hospital was awarded $14.5 million by Middlesex County, Massachusetts jury in a medical malpractice case this week after five hours of deliberation. Pursuant to favorable provision of Massachusetts law, the award included more than $5 million in interest.

Plaintiff’s decedent was a 30 year-old woman who went to the doctor because of a lump on her thyroid gland. Her surgeons did a biopsy on the benign lump but in recovery someone noticed that her abdomen was swollen and her stomach and legs had turned blue. She apparently developed abdominal compartment syndrome from air that had gotten into her stomach.

The doctors did what they should have done initially. The operated again and released the air. Unfortunately, the surgeons immediately closed the wound immediately without letter all of the air escape. She was flown to Boston Medical Center for surgery but died later that day.