How Do You Prove Medical Malpractice?
In this video, medical malpractice attorney Daniel Jeck talks about the process of investigating medical negligence and proving medical malpractice. It takes dedication and experience to prove a hospital or physician made a mistake that led to a patient suffering a catastrophic injury or losing his or her life. Dan recounts a case he handled where he helped prove that an anesthesia error resulted in the death of a young girl.
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Last year I handled a case. Young girl went in for a twenty-minute orthopedic procedure where they put her under general anesthetic. Probably the least amount of anesthetic you could possibly give somebody. And she never woke up. And then she died. And if you were to look at the medical records, you see absolutely nothing. They gave her the minimal amount of anesthesia. She was only under for twenty minutes. Nobody documented anything. It’s almost as if it never happened. Except she never woke up. Lawyer number one handled the case, couldn’t put it together. Lawyer number two handled the case, couldn’t put it together. Little girl and her family is from Lancaster Pennsylvania, had the procedure done here in Philadelphia. So I get the records and I talk to one anesthesiologist. And we go over the records and there is nothing there. So I say, tell me what happened. Tell me what you think happened. Gives me five reasons but he can’t prove any of them. What we do understand is that this shouldn’t happen. This shouldn’t happen. So go figure it out. And that’s what I do. So I put the case into suit and I started taking depositions and I found out that there was a little box, in a one record of thousands of pages of records that wasn’t checked off. It’s a box that tells you whether or not you have a little airway opening, a little piece of plastic they’re supposed to keep in your mouth until you begin to arouse from the anesthesiologist. And I found this nurse that really wasn’t mentioned in the records too much. And I put her under oath and she told me that she took the airway out before the patient began to wake up, which is exactly what you’re not supposed to do. And then I called my anesthesiologist expert. I said, guess what I just found out. And he said that that’s what happened. And now you have a case. If you dig and dig and dig and dig, you’ll find things. And that’s what we do. That’s what I enjoy doing. And that’s what I think I’m pretty good at.