Articles Posted in Massachusetts

Let’s take a look at hospital malpractice verdicts and settlements in Massachusetts in recent years.  I’m writing this on March 31, 2021 so we do not have a ton in recent years.  

Why?  Hospitals in Massachusetts — or anywhere — are usually not racing to the courthouse steps to try cases.  They have too much in PR and goodwill to risk a loss so they settle the good cases they could lose. 

$2,750,000 Verdict (Massachusetts 2019): A man underwent a coccygectomy at Massachusetts General Hospital. Following the procedure, he suffered a wound infection. The man subsequently developed osteomyelitis, recurring anal fistulas, pudendal neuralgia, sexual dysfunction, and rectal and urological problems. He alleged that the surgeon’s negligence caused these permanent injuries. The man claimed he failed to recognize infection signs, order additional testing, and provide follow-up monitoring. He also made a vicarious liability claim against MGH. The defense denied liability. A Boston jury awarded $2,750,000.

confirmation bias medical malpracticeThere 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

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 a 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. Under a favorable provision of Massachusetts law, the award included more than $5 million in interest.

compartment syndrome verdictPlaintiff’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 developed abdominal compartment syndrome from the air that had gotten into her stomach.

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

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