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Negligent Security Seminar | March 2015

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$1,520,000 Settlement – Neurologic injury from surgery at outpatient surgery center

Outpatient surgical centers have popped up almost everywhere.  Touted as a way to reduce health care costs, these facilities can do a good job at providing facilities for minor surgeries.  But only if the staffing and equipment are appropriate.  In an effort to make more money, many providers are “leasing out” these facilities, or parts of them, and “staffing” them with their own employees.  Sometimes the physicians are hiring employees on a temporary basis one day a week to work there while they perform surgeries.  The problem with this is that there is no continuity of care or standards that are required.  There is no hospital and nobody overseeing the policies, procedures, hiring and staffing.

In many cases, ambulatory or outpatient surgery centers are an extension of a doctor’s private office.  Many operate with little or no insurance.  Many physicians perform surgery without carrying medical malpractice insurance.  And without hospital rules and regulations, outpatient surgery centers are almost completely unregulated.

Such was the case for one of our clients.  She went to an outpatient surgery center as instructed by her orthopedic surgeon for a back procedure.  During the course of her surgery things went very, very wrong.

Leighton Law’s John Leighton and Max Panoff secured a $1,520,000 recovery on behalf of this client who suffered neurologic injury during the outpatient surgery.  The wrong anesthesia was utilized and the patient ultimately sustained permanent motor deficits as a result.  She was unable to drive, walk as she once did, or perform many of her daily activities without assistance.  The surgeon, who has been the subject of many malpractice cases, carried no medical malpractice insurance.  He contributed to the settlement from his personal funds.  The outpatient center, the anesthesiologist and another doctor also paid the settlement.  The client can now obtain the therapy and care needed to treat her condition. The case was settled confidentially.

This highlights one of the most dangerous aspects of outpatient surgery centers.  Everyone must be careful when finding a physician as well as going to an ambulatory surgery center.  Understand that they are not regulated the same way as hospitals and have very different standards.

 

 

Disclaimer: The information about past verdicts and settlements of the firm’s cases are based on the unique facts of each case. These amounts reflect the gross recovery in each case (before attorneys fees, expenses and medical costs are deducted). Although these results were obtained by our firm, they may not indicate the success or value of any other case as each case is unique. By clicking on Verdicts and Settlements you are acknowledging that every case is different and each case must be evaluated on its own merits. The information contained here has not been reviewed or approved by The Florida Bar.

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