How often does medical malpractice occur? You might think these are rare circumstances, but it happens more often than you’d think. There are around 250,000 counts of medical malpractice each year, and it’s ranked as the third leading cause of death in the US, behind heart disease and cancer. You’ve probably heard about a couple such cases, like those of famous personalities like Julie Andrews and Michael Jackson, or of regular folk with bad doctors, like in the cases of Jesica Santilla and Allan Navarro. Here are some of the most famous and biggest medical malpractice cases in the US in recent history.
Julie Andrews Versus New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital
In 1997, singer-actress Julie Andrews decided to undergo a throat operation after developing non-cancerous nodules on her vocal cords, which caused her discomfort while singing. The operation was botched, leaving her with hoarseness and permanent vocal cord damage, which rendered her unable to sing on a professional level.
Andrews filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against two doctors at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital two years after her procedure, leading to a confidential settlement.
Michael Jackson Versus Dr. Conrad Murray
It was found that Michael Jackson’s sudden death in 2009 was due to a cocktail of drugs in his system, which included Propofol, a potent surgical anesthetic. Investigations revealed Jackson’s in-home physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, routinely administered Propofol to him so he could sleep soundly through the night. Murray was charged with involuntary manslaughter (his civil medical malpractice charges were not pursued), leading to four years in prison, the revocation of his medical licenses, and an order to pay $100 million in restitution to the Jackson family.
Joan Rivers Versus Yorkville Endoscopy
In 2014, comedienne and entertainment personality Joan Rivers agreed to undergo a laryngoscopy and endoscopy to examine her vocal cords and upper digestive system. The procedures saw a series of medical errors and protocol breaches, leading to Rivers’ vocal cords swelling up and closing. The doctors failed to notice her vital signs declining, and she went into cardiac arrest due to lack of oxygen. She was put on life support, but died after seven days. Rivers’ daughter Melissa filed a medical malpractice suit against Yorkville Endoscopy, which reached an undisclosed settlement a year later.
Jesica Santillan Versus Duke University Hospital
One of the most famous cases of medical malpractice involved seventeen-year-old Jesica Santillan, who went to Duke University Hospital for a double-lung and heart transplant. At the time of the operation, none of the medical practitioners noticed that the donated organs didn’t match Santillan’s blood type. As a result, her body rejected the transplant, putting her into a coma. She received a second transplant two weeks later, but in the days after, Santillan was declared brain-dead and died in the hospital.
Duke University Hospital and the Santillan family reached an undisclosed settlement under a court order.
Allan Navarro Versus Tampa University Community Hospital
Known as one of the largest medical malpractice settlements in US history, Allan Navarro, an ex-professional basketball player, was awarded $216.7 million after he was left brain-damaged following a misdiagnosis.
In 2000, Navarro went to Tampa University Community Hospital with symptoms of a stroke. The doctors misdiagnosed his ailments as sinusitis and let him go with just a prescription for painkillers. He returned the next day to undergo surgery to relieve swelling of the brain, which put him into a coma for nearly three months. Navarro was left with limited cognitive abilities and is constantly at risk of suffocating every time he eats.
Filing a Medical Malpractice Case Attorney
Not all medical malpractice suits involve extreme conditions or entitle victims to large payouts. The circumstances vary for each unique claim, but for any case, it’s important to hire knowledgeable and experienced attorneys to guide you through the process. Strom Law has a team of skilled medical malpractice lawyers ready to help you with your claim and help you fight for the justice and compensation you deserve.