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Tag Archives: medmal

Mother of four dies after hospital misdiagnoses heart condition (access required)

A mother of four young children died of heart complications after being misdiagnosed during several visits to the same hospital, according to the attorneys who helped her husband win a six-figure verdict in McDowell County Superior Court. The defense is appealing the decision. William H. Elam (pictured) and his son William R. Elam of Elam & Rousseaux in Charlotte sued two doctors and a physician assistant at McDowell Hospital in Marion, alleging that they bungled the treatment of Aziza Katy and caused her tragic death. A jury awarded Katy’s estate $667,000 in September, and the defense filed an appeal Dec. 12.

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Medical malpractice actions continue to fall  (access required)

The number of medical malpractice lawsuits filed in North Carolina continued to decline in the first half of 2011, and many lawyers expect the trend to gain momentum when tort reform becomes effective next month. According to the latest statistics available from the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts, 227 med-mal suits were filed in the state from the beginning of this year to June 30. Ten more cases were filed during the same period last year.

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Close vote in House expected on med-mal reform bill (access required)

Gov. Beverly Perdue’s veto of a medical malpractice reform bill appears to be headed for a razor-thin override vote in the state House. House Republicans could bring a vote this week to override the veto of Senate Bill 33, which limits the amount of money that certain victims of medical malpractice can collect for non-economic or quality-of-life damages, such as pain and suffering. The Republican-controlled Senate recently voted to override the veto, but the GOP will have a tougher job in the House. If all legislators are present and every Republican state representative votes in favor of the override, they will still need at least four Democrats to join them to reach the required three-fifths majority.

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A case for extra care: Malpractice suits require plenty of support and expense (access required)

The term frivolous lawsuit is tossed around a lot, but attorney Ben Smith of Price, Smith, Hargett, Petho and Anderson in Charlotte finds the phrase objectionable in his practice area. “The phrase doesn’t exist in medical malpractice, and I resent people who go in public and say it does,” Smith said. “There is a large entry price in any case. You have to have an expert review the records, and they have to give a preliminary opinion on the case based solely on the record. You don’t really get to the meat of the case until you take a deposition, and that comes much later.”

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