A negative outcome from a medical procedure doesn’t necessarily constitute medical malpractice, but it is a possibility. Physicians who breach their duty to provide the required standard of care, who make a preventable error, or who lack the training needed to provide the necessary treatment could be found negligent. Physician negligence and hospital malpractice are complex and difficult to prove, which is why contacting a skilled medical malpractice attorney is important.
Recent Medical Malpractice Cases in South Carolina and North Carolina
To understand what a successful medical malpractice claim looks like, here are a couple of recent notable lawsuits in South Carolina and North Carolina.
A Columbia, SC, doctor was hit with a medical malpractice judgment of $10 million after Joann Bannister passed away due to delays in receiving life-saving cancer treatment. The verdict was entered against Columbia Urological Associates and Dr. Philip Kinder. Kinder was treating Mrs. Bannister for a growth on her kidney that kept increasing in size. Radiology suggested follow-up to rule out underlying malignancy, but Kinder failed to communicate that to the patient. By the time she went in for the next scan, the radiologist reported that the growth was malignant, but had aggressively spread to other areas of her body. She died five months later. Kinder initially offered $250,000, which was rejected, and the resulting jury trial resulted in the multi-million-dollar verdict.
A pending case in North Carolina alleges a former physician at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center inserted a birth-control device in a patient without her knowledge. The lawsuit seeks damages of more than $10 million. The doctor is denying the allegations, and the hospital and doctor have filed for a motion to dismiss the case. The lawsuit alleges the patient was seeking treatment for uterine fibroids in 2007, and discovered the device five years later when she was unable to get pregnant. She required surgery after the birth control device split into two parts, and now claims she has to undergo a hysterectomy. The doctor claims it was an IUD designed to keep scar tissue from reforming and preventing infertility.
Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations
Like other personal injury claims, there is a statute of limitations on a medical negligence claim. The statute of limitations is generally three years against private defendants and two years for government agencies. The clock begins to tick when the negligence is discovered, which may not be an immediate discovery. In some instances, people may not realize there was an issue until years later.
When Do You Need a Medical Malpractice Attorney?
Medical malpractice claims aren’t necessarily as obvious as the situation in the Kinder case. If you received medical treatment that you suspect was negligent, or if a loved one died at the hands of a physician or medical provider which could’ve been avoided, you need to speak with a qualified medical malpractice attorney. Contact our team at Elrod Pope Law Firm and schedule a consultation. One of our skilled lawyers can walk through the specifics of your situation and determine whether you have a potential medical malpractice claim.
Thomas E. Pope is a Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, and Medical Malpractice Attorney who practices in Rock Hill, Lake Wylie, and Lancaster, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 31 years now. Thomas E. Pope believes in protecting the injured. Learn more about his experience here.