Scoliosis is a serious medical condition that causes oneâ€™s spine to bend to the side. The spine typically does not lean left or right, but if it does, a medical procedure may be necessary to correct the condition before it becomes worse and dangerously damaging.
In one case of scoliosis medical malpractice, a girl saw three doctors. The first pediatrician noted the asymmetry in the girlâ€™s spine. However, this pediatrician did not recommend or provide treatment. This was when the girl was aged five. The following year, the girl saw another pediatrician. This doctor also found a back problem. The doctor wrote in her records that the girlâ€™s spine was asymmetrical by five degrees. The next doctor examined the girl and did not find any asymmetry in her spine.
Eventually, the girl was diagnosed with scoliosis. She had to undergo an operation that required fusing parts of her spine, and putting rods and 22 screws in her back. Had one of her pediatricians taken action when they first suspected asymmetry in her spine and made sure an orthopedist took care of the situation, and then she would not have needed such extensive surgery. In fact, she may only have needed a temporary brace. Because of the surgery, the girl faces a limited range of motion. For example, she cannot ride a bicycle or dance.
The mother of the girl contended that the delay in treatment caused by the neglectful pediatricians lead to more treatment and suffering than necessary. She may even face arthritis and a degenerative spinal condition that may require additional surgery in the future. This delay in treatment was argued to be medical malpractice. If a doctor deviates from the normal standard of care in his or her profession, then he or she may be held liable for the damages caused by the deviation and may be charged with medical malpractice. Not acting on an asymmetrical spine noticed during an examination can be considered a deviation of what a doctor should have done.
The doctors offered a few points of defense to counter the allegations they faced in court. The first pediatrician had wanted to follow up with the girl six months after the first examination, but the girl never came back. The second pediatrician claimed that her notes said, â€œto ortho,â€ indicating she had sent the girl to an orthopedist.
In the end, the jury found only one doctor and his practice liable for medical malpractice. They found the last pediatrician who found nothing wrong over several exams even though the girl underwent serious surgery shortly after seeing him was liable for the error and had committed malpractice. The girl was awarded $2.2 million for past medical expenses, potential future medical expenses and for pain and suffering.
If you have been injured at the hands of a doctor or through a doctorâ€™s neglect, then you may also be entitled to monetary compensation. Jayson Lutzky had been practicing law for over 31 years in New York. He offers free in-person consultations for medical malpractice and personal injury cases at his Bronx office. If you have been seriously injured, then hospital or home consultations are also available. Call 718-514-6619 to set up an appointment or visit www.MyNewYorkCityLawyer.com for more information on lawsuits and the law.