Articles Posted in Professional Malpractice

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It is no secret that our country is well known for its powerful and practical system of checks and balances. This system ensures that proper oversight is consistently implemented in an effort to decrease mistakes and improper behavior and extends to the medical community as well. Illinois, like every state, maintains its own medical board which oversees and regulates each physician licensed in that state. When a licensed physician is reported for misconduct or malpractice, it is up to that state’s medical board – as part of their system – to ensure that the physician is penalized and prevented from any future wrongdoing.

But what happens when this system fails us?

USAToday.com recently released a harrowing editorial detailing a significant issue our malpractice attorneys are all too familiar with – medical professionals who maintain their professional license despite continuous misconduct. Even though these doctors are often disciplined by means of being banned from certain medical facilities, their medical license remains fully intact – further allowing them to move their practice elsewhere and ultimately onto unsuspecting patients.

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Athletes expect that their athletic trainers will be able to assess their injuries and look out for their best interests. In fact, under Illinois law, when a person takes a job in which they are responsible for providing a service to another person, and they fail to use reasonable care in carrying out that service, and as a result an injury occurs, that is enough to potentially hold the person liable in an Illinois personal injury lawsuit.

As per a recent report by MSNBC, that’s exactly what happened earlier this month when a public school district agreed to pay a $4.4 million settlement to a former high school athlete who suffered a head injury playing high school football, and now must communicate through a keyboard. The facts in the case alleged that the boy sustained a concussion in an earlier game, but athletic trainers responsible for his care allowed him to participate with the concussion in a later game that caused his permanent injury.

At the time he was hurt, the young man was a high school senior and a linebacker on his school’s football team. He took a prior hit to the head, and, as per MSNBC‘s report, the team’s head coach ignored signs that he was in distress. According to deposition transcripts from the case, an assistant athletic trainer for the school reported that symptoms of a concussion were ignored; in the deposition, the assistant trainer said that, a week before the injury, the young man complained to the team’s athletic trainer about having headaches, which caused him to miss certain parts of practice, and that, just a few minutes before the game, the boy asked if he could sit out the first quarter because his head was hurting, but the coach refused to take him out of the game, reported MSNBC.

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No matter what the occupation, all professionals are required by law to ensure that their work meets certain standards that are established by laws or by customs in the practice.

Under Illinois law, Chicago professional malpractice cases may arise when the professional (who is under a duty to act), or a subordinate acting at the direction of the professional, fails to follow the standards to which he or she must comply, and the breach of that duty causes injury to another person. Essentially, if the professional is careless or negligent in the work they do, and that negligence has a damaging impact on someone else’s life, the victim is entitled to seek financial redress.

That’s exactly what might happen in a number of recent situations involving a Chicago funeral home; though the most-direct victims are already dead, the families of the deceased may have cause to bring Illinois professional malpractice claims based on the emotional distress they endured as a result of the funeral home mishandling the bodies of their loved ones.

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It seems almost too appalling to be true, but a health professional was recently indicted for using office supplies – instead of legitimate sanitary medical devices – to treat patients.

Any Chicago personal injury attorney can attest that Illinois medical malpractice lawsuits arise all too often when practitioners’ intentionally harmful acts harm patients. Doctors, dentists, and other healthcare professionals owe a duty of care to their patients. Part of that duty includes providing the best care, and ensuring that their actions don’t unreasonably put their patients at risk.

But that unnecessary risk is exactly what has happened in a recent case where a former dentist has pleaded guilty to Medicaid fraud after using paper clips instead of stainless steel posts when performing post-buildups following root canal procedures. According to a report published by MSNBC, the reason the dentist had used the paperclips was because they were significantly cheaper than the requisite steel posts. Prosecutors say that the Medicaid fraud totaled $130,000 from the scheme.

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A lawyer who was appointed to oversee the assets of incapacitated clients, including children with cerebral palsy, pocketed $4 million for his own use. The lawyer and his law firm are charged with money laundering, grand larceny and scheming to defraud. The man was appointed by state judges to manage and distribute monetary settlements for clients who were found to suffer from cerebral palsy due to medical malpractice at birth, and to manage money for elderly clients with mental or physical impairments. The man committed legal malpractice by using the money on mortgage payments for his home. To read more about professional malpractice, click here.

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A man’s legal malpractice suit against a law firm and one of its former attorneys went to jury deliberation after a trial that has featured a parade of legal and medical experts that lasted over three weeks. The issue in the trial is whether the lawyer inappropriately accepted a $15,000 settlement offer from the University of Maryland Medical System on the patient’s behalf, three years after the man nearly drowned in a break boating accident on the Susquehanna River. The man suffers from peripheral neuropathy and other ailments and has not worked for the past five years. He claims that his ailments are a result of doctors releasing him too soon which caused subsequent renal failure and heart problems. The lawyer testified that it was up to the client to decide whether to accept the offer or file a claim. To read the full story, click here.