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Medical Malpractice Archives

Indiana medical malpractice and delayed diagnosis of breast cancer: Sooner is better

The Indiana medical malpractice lawyers at Garau Germano Hanley & Pennington, P.C. remind everyone that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. One in every 8 women will have invasive breast cancer during her lifetime. The cause of breast cancer is not fully understood. A number of risk factors are associated with an increased risk for breast cancer including female gender, increasing age, genetic changes (BRCA1 and BRCA2), and personal or family history of breast cancer. Hormone therapy, diet and lifestyle choices may also have some association with increasing the risk for breast cancer.

Indiana Medical Malpractice Lawyers know tort reform doesn't lower medical costs

ndiana medical malpractice lawyers have heard the arguments in the ongoing healthcare debate: If you limit what injured patients can recover in malpractice suits, you will lower health care costs. The problem with the argument is it's just not true.

Indiana Medical Malpractice Lawyers deal with VBAC injuries

The Indiana medical malpractice lawyers at Garau Germano Hanley & Pennington, P.C. represent many patients who have sustained injuries during labor and delivery. One setting in which these injuries frequently occur is in vaginal birth after cesarean section, or, as it is more commonly known, VBAC.

Indiana medical malpractice and informed consent -- The patient gets to decide

The current health care debate has raised many questions about the decisions made by Indiana doctors in treating their patients. Lost in the discussion is the fact that, by law in Indiana, the right to make treatment decisions lies with the patient.
Indiana Code Sec. 34-18-13-3 requires Indiana physicians to obtain their patient's "informed consent" before any "treatment, procedure test, or examination" is performed by the physician. In order to obtain informed consent, the doctor must advise the patient of:
(1) The general nature of the patient's condition.
(2) The proposed treatment, procedure, examination, or test.
(3) The expected outcome of the treatment, procedure, examination, or test.
(4) The material risks of the treatment, procedure, examination, or test.
(5) The reasonable alternatives to the treatment, procedure, examination, or test.
If a doctor treats a patient without obtaining the patient's informed consent to the treatment and the patient is injured, the patient may have a malpractice claim against the doctor. The situation frequently arises when doctors fail to tell their patients of risks of or alternatives to proposed surgery.
The attorneys at Garau Germano Hanley & Pennington, P.C. have a wealth of experience in dealing with Indiana malpractice claims involving issues of informed consent. If you or a loved one has been injured by malpractice, please feel free to contact us. 

Limiting Indiana medical malpractice rights won't lower health care costs

As the debate over national health care has intensified, some have proposed limiting the rights of victims of medical malpractice as a way to lower health care costs. Such proposals are designed to protect negligent health care providers, and have little or no impact on health care costs.
Leading economists have recognized that the impact of medical malpractice judgments and settlements amounts to a "drop in the bucket" in the context of the $2.3 trillion spent annually on health care in the United States. The reality is that the entire cost of medical malpractice lawsuits -- including legal fees, insurance costs and payouts -- totals less than one half of one percent of health care spending. Obviously, limiting patient's rights to recover for injuries caused by malpractice has little to do with containing health care costs and everything to do with protecting negligent physicians.
The Indiana medical malpractice attorneys at Garau Germano Hanley & Pennington, P.C. oppose the current efforts to restrict injured patients' right to justice. Allowing health care providers to escape responsibility for their negligence will not lower health costs. 

Indiana medical malpractice victims win at Court of Appeals

Indiana medical malpractice victims have won a major victory in the Indiana Court of Appeals. In its decision inPatrick v. Indiana Patient's Compensation Fund, the court held that family members who witness the death of a loved one may recover for their emotional distress under the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act.
In the Patrick case, Gary Patrick witnessed the gruesome death of his adult son, Christopher, as a result of medical malpractice. Because Christopher had no wife or dependent children, recovery for his death was limited under Indiana law to $300,000 plus funeral and burial and medical expenses. However, Gary contended that he was entitled to bring a claim for his own emotional distress in addition to the claim for the death of his son.
The trial court agreed and awarded Gary the maximum amount allowable for the death of his son, plus an additional $600,000 for Gary's independent emotional distress claim. The total judgment was $916,531.66. The Indiana Patient's Compensation Fund appealed, arguing that the emotional distress claim could not be pursued under Indiana's Medical Malpractice Act. The court of appeals disagreed, finding that "Patrick could bring an independent claim for negligent infliction of his emotional distress upon Christopher's death."
Gary Patrick was represented in the trial court and on appeal by Deborah Pennington and Jerry Garau of Garau Germano Hanley & Pennington, P.C. 

Medication Errors in Indiana Result in Injuries, Deaths

Indiana residents are injured and killed every year as a result of prescription medication errors. Indiana's experience is mirrored on a national level. A 2006 report from the National Academy of Science's Institute fo Medicine estimated that 1.5 million people every year are harmed by medication errors in the United States. The issue received national attention in late 2007 when actor Dennis Quaid's newborn twins received accidental overdoses of a blood-thinning drug.