Medical Justice provides free consultations to doctors facing medico-legal obstacles. We have solutions for doctor-patient conflicts, unwarranted demands for refunds, online defamation (patient review mischief), meritless litigation, and a gazillion other issues. We also provide counsel specific to COVID-19. If you are navigating a medico-legal obstacle, visit our booking page to schedule a free consultation – or use the tool shared below.

"Can Medical Justice solve my problem?" Click here to review recent consultations...

We’ve been protecting doctors from medico-legal threats since 2001. We’ve seen it all. Here’s a sample of typical recent consultation discussions…

  • Former employee stole patient list. Now a competitor…
  • Patient suing doctor in small claims court…
  • Just received board complaint…
  • Allegations of sexual harassment by employee…
  • Patient filed police complaint doctor inappropriately touched her…
  • DEA showed up to my office…
  • Patient “extorting” me. “Pay me or I’ll slam you online.”
  • My carrier wants me to settle. My case is fully defensible…
  • My patient is demanding an unwarranted refund…
  • How do I safely terminate doctor-patient relationship?
  • How to avoid reporting to Data Bank…
  • I want my day in court. But don’t want to risk my nest egg…
  • Hospital wants to fire me…
  • Sham peer review inappropriately limiting privileges…
  • Can I safely use stem cells in my practice?
  • Patient’s results are not what was expected…
  • Just received request for medical records from an attorney…
  • Just received notice of intent to sue…
  • Just received summons for meritless case…
  • Safely responding to negative online reviews…

We challenge you to supply us with a medico-legal obstacle we haven’t seen before. Know you are in good hands. Schedule your consultation below – or click here to visit our booking page.

 

An interesting medical malpractice lawsuit was filed in California. Well, interesting if you are not the defendant.

The plaintiff delivered a healthy baby girl. The allegation is that her C-section was performed without anesthesia forcing her to suffer horrific pain. More on that in just a bit.

The new mom was 41 weeks pregnant and was rushed to Tri-City Hospital in Oceanside, California for a C-section. The anesthesiologist allegedly did not arrive to administer anesthesia after several pages were sent.

The mother said:

“I was crying because I was scared, I didn’t know what was going on. I was laying there and the obstetrician was like, ‘We have to just do it.’ That’s when I felt them cut me open. Nurses were holding me down … I could feel her cutting me and, with her hands, opening me. That’s when I passed out.”

The patient’s boyfriend was outside the delivery room. He said he heard “the most horrific screams you could ever imagine” followed by silence.

The couple said the anesthesiologist finally entered the delivery room after the baby, named Cali, was born, telling the mom, “I’m gonna make you feel better now.” They also note that the hospital staff attempted to assuage the situation by offering the new mom a $25 gift card to the hospital gift shop.

Nice touch.

Baby is doing well. Patient and her boyfriend are suing for medical malpractice, loss of consortium, negligent infliction of emotional distress and assault and battery, and are seeking $5.75 million in damages. 

Here’s where the story gets interesting.

The hospital denied the patient’s allegations. “The patient was administered anesthesia prior to the surgery.” The hospital adds that although they normally don’t comment to the press on pending litigation, they decided to release a statement due to the patient’s “outrageous allegation.”

Well, that’s not an insignificant detail.

Further, it’s a detail that could easily be checked by looking at the medical records. What did the patient receive and when?

Under Model Rules for the American Bar Association:

A lawyer shall not bring or defend a proceeding, or assert or controvert an issue therein, unless there is a basis in law and fact for doing so that is not frivolous, which includes a good faith argument for an extension, modification or reversal of existing law. 

Attorneys have an ethical obligation to do at least a cursory examination of the facts at issue. They cannot just accept a client’s version of the events.

Thus, whether in a civil or criminal matter, a lawyer cannot be “intentionally ignorant.” This is not to say that counsel must satisfy herself beyond doubt that her client’s every claim is true; indeed, an attorney may “rely on…her client’s statements as to factual claims when those statements are objectively reasonable.” [Calloway v. Marvel Entertainment Group, 854 F.2d 1452, 1470 (1988)] But when asserting a client’s position, counsel cannot be indifferent or blindly rely on her client. She must make an “objectively reasonable inquiry” as to the facts.

While the anesthesiologist in the California case might not have been present; that does not mean no anesthesia was given. The fact that the hospital responded so quickly makes one wonder whether the plaintiff’s attorney even had someone eyeball the records before making such a bold claim.

We’ll find out soon enough.

What do you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Medical Justice provides free consultations to doctors facing medico-legal obstacles. We have solutions for doctor-patient conflicts, unwarranted demands for refunds, online defamation (patient review mischief), meritless litigation, and a gazillion other issues. We also provide counsel specific to COVID-19. If you are navigating a medico-legal obstacle, visit our booking page to schedule a free consultation – or use the tool shared below.

"Can Medical Justice solve my problem?" Click here to review recent consultations...

We’ve been protecting doctors from medico-legal threats since 2001. We’ve seen it all. Here’s a sample of typical recent consultation discussions…

  • Former employee stole patient list. Now a competitor…
  • Patient suing doctor in small claims court…
  • Just received board complaint…
  • Allegations of sexual harassment by employee…
  • Patient filed police complaint doctor inappropriately touched her…
  • DEA showed up to my office…
  • Patient “extorting” me. “Pay me or I’ll slam you online.”
  • My carrier wants me to settle. My case is fully defensible…
  • My patient is demanding an unwarranted refund…
  • How do I safely terminate doctor-patient relationship?
  • How to avoid reporting to Data Bank…
  • I want my day in court. But don’t want to risk my nest egg…
  • Hospital wants to fire me…
  • Sham peer review inappropriately limiting privileges…
  • Can I safely use stem cells in my practice?
  • Patient’s results are not what was expected…
  • Just received request for medical records from an attorney…
  • Just received notice of intent to sue…
  • Just received summons for meritless case…
  • Safely responding to negative online reviews…

We challenge you to supply us with a medico-legal obstacle we haven’t seen before. Know you are in good hands. Schedule your consultation below – or click here to visit our booking page.

 

Learn how Medical Justice can protect you from medico-legal mayhem… 

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Request a Consultation with Our Founder

Medical Justice Founder and CEO, Jeff Segal, MD, JD, provides consultations to doctors in need of guidance. 

Meet the Experts Driving Medical Justice

Our Executive Team walks with our member doctors until their medico-legal obstacles are resolved - we've seen it all.

Jeffrey Segal, MD, JD

Chief Executive Officer and Founder

Dr. Jeffrey Segal, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Medical Justice, is a board-certified neurosurgeon. Dr. Segal is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons; the American College of Legal Medicine; and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. He is also a member of the North American Spine Society. In the process of conceiving, funding, developing, and growing Medical Justice, Dr. Segal has established himself as one of the country’s leading authorities on medical malpractice issues, counterclaims, and internet-based assaults on reputation.

Dr. Segal was a practicing neurosurgeon for approximately ten years, during which time he also played an active role as a participant on various state-sanctioned medical review panels designed to decrease the incidence of meritless medical malpractice cases.

Dr. Segal holds a M.D. from Baylor College of Medicine, where he also completed a neurosurgical residency. Dr. Segal served as a Spinal Surgery Fellow at The University of South Florida Medical School. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa as well as the AOA Medical Honor Society. Dr. Segal received his B.A. from the University of Texas and graduated with a J.D. from Concord Law School with highest honors.

In 2000, he co-founded and served as CEO of DarPharma, Inc, a biotechnology company in Chapel Hill, NC, focused on the discovery and development of first-of-class pharmaceuticals for neuropsychiatric disorders.

Dr. Segal is also a partner at Byrd Adatto, a national business and health care law firm. With over 50 combined years of experience in serving doctors, dentists, and other providers, Byrd Adatto has a national pedigree to address most legal issues that arise in the business and practice of medicine.