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Jury Awards $23 Million for Disabled Newborn in Medical Malpractice Case; Georgia hospital faces lawsuit for referral kickbacks; Malcolm Randall VA Medical Center in Valdosta, Georgia Among Cases Cited in Veterans Administration Report

Posted on June 18th, 2015 by Admin

An attorney in Atlanta, Georgia secured a $23 million to a Miami woman whose extremely premature daughter was born with severe brain damage and cerebral palsy due to alleged medical malpractice. Dr. Michael Coffey of Port Charlotte was found liable for 70 percent and the hospital where the baby was born, Peace River Regional Medical Center, now Bayfront Health Port Charlotte was liable for 30 percent. The lead attorney explained that these verdicts not only help individual plaintiffs. They also act as a deterrent for other negligent activity. The plaintiffs had sought $54 million in damages. “When jurors identify negligence based on the evidence—whether in hospitals, on the roadways or anywhere—it makes it safer for everyone,” the attorney said.

Health Management Associates (HMA) has filed a $600,000 lawsuit against the Clearview Regional Medical Center under the False Claims Act lawsuit. The lawsuit alleges the hospital paid kickbacks to an obstetric clinic serving undocumented Hispanic women in exchange for patient referrals for hospital delivery and labor. Medicaid was billed for the services. The Department of Justice issued a press release stating, “Although undocumented aliens are not eligible for regular Medicaid coverage, the Medicaid program provides coverage for emergency conditions, including childbirth, for undocumented aliens.” Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Benjamin C. Mizer of the Justice Department’s Civil Division went on to state that efforts are in place to ensure healthcare providers who pay kickbacks in return for patient referrals will be held responsible. “Schemes such as this one corrupt the health care system and take advantage of vulnerable patients,” Mizer maintains.

Corruption and mismanagement problems were found in over 100 previously unpublished investigations by the Veterans Affairs Department’s inspector general, dating as far back as 2006. One such case involved Malcolm Randall VA Medical Center in Valdosta, Georgia. In some of these cases the doctor was accused of overprescribing psychotropic drugs to his female patients to the point that several lost their jobs. The inspector general did not find any instances of veterans having lost employment, but did find that the doctor prescribed medications without performing required heart tests and failed to use current prescribing practices for mental health conditions.

Medical malpractice lawsuits against a doctor, nurse or hospital for negligence resulting in injury are difficult and complex. Such lawsuits are some of the most complex and difficult cases to prosecute, due to the very specific requirements regarding standard of care. Additionally, there are large costs associated with investigating a medical malpractice claim. The Cochran Firm Atlanta has nearly 20 years of experience with such cases. If you have been injured due to the negligence of a physician, dentist, nurse, surgeon, anesthesiologist, or other medical professional, you may have the right to pursue legal action and demand compensation for your injury. Some of the most common forms of medical negligence include the following: Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis; Wrong Site Surgery; Surgical Errors; Failure to Follow Up with Treatment; and Birth Injuries. Before you do, answer the following questions: 1) Were You Injured? 2) Is Your Injury Serious Enough to Merit Filing a Suit? 3) Did Your Doctor Perform with a Reasonable Level of Care?

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