A Few Recent Notable Medical Malpractice Cases

by tylercook on July 18, 2013

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Perhaps surprisingly, though thankfully infrequently, some of the most terrifying ordeals you can go through happen after you’ve been admitted to the hospital for care. Medical malpractice is generally described as the negligence of a doctor or other hospital staff when dealing with a patient, which leads to patient injury. It doesn’t mean that your doctor had malicious intent; it just means that through irresponsibility, your doctor rendered some harm to you, the patient. It can result in unnecessary surgery, misdiagnosis, sub-par aftercare, or a host of other provable actions. For a better idea, below is a list of a few recent medical malpractice cases.

Nico Swift and Matthew Hayes

One nightmare case of medical malpractice involves hopeful parents Nico Swift and Matthew Hayes, who couldn’t naturally conceive a child and opted for artificial insemination. Unfortunately, the Oregon doctors accidentally infused the wrong egg with Mr. Hayes’ sperm, resulting in a child with an anonymous woman. There are several lawsuits still pending on this case, because Mr. Hayes hasn’t yet been allowed to see the child due to stipulations prior to the insemination.

Laurence Ball

Laurence Ball of the United Kingdom was told that he had cancer in his left lung, and that it was inoperable: surgeons would have to remove the lung in order to save his life. It later turned out that Mr. Ball didn’t have cancer at all, and the removal of his left lung, which left him significantly weaker and unable to engage in vigorous activity, was a result of a medical misdiagnosis. His case is pending.

Robbin Reeves

Canadian, Robbin Reeves, was due for an emergency liver transplant in 2005; however, during the procedure, he experienced a serious complication when his heart stopped. Alcohol that was used as a disinfectant for this further procedure caught on fire, resulting in severe neck and shoulder burns, as well as a failed liver transplant. Negligence appears egregious in this case, and a medical malpractice lawsuit is pending.

Christiane Volling

In a horrific case of sex reassignment, German-born Christiane Volling came into the world with both sets of genitalia. Doctors removed the female genitalia, thereby visibly consigning Christiane to manhood.  Later, during an unrelated operation, doctors found that the initial prognosis had been shoddy; Christiane (whose name was Thomas at the time) actually had a set of ovaries. The surgeon removed these without Christiane’s consent. Decades later when she found out, she filed suit and was awarded a medical malpractice award in German court.

One of the more common mistakes made by surgeons involves leaving behind medical apparatuses in the patient’s body. Often the cause of great pain and discomfort, these almost always require further surgeries to remove and greater tissue scarring in the repaired region. Consider the case of Alex Mitchell, who had a twelve-inch viscera retainer inserted into his abdominal cavity. The problem is that it was left inside when the surgeons closed him back up. The eventual malpractice case won Mr. Mitchell almost $300,000 by a jury.


Preston Douglas is a freelance writer specializing in health & wellness, fitness, exercise, nutritional science, medical science, medical education, medicine and law, the medical profession and other related topics; those considering joining the medical profession should view cnacertification-training.com.




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