NEW JERSEY MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LAWYERS’ CASE: DUELING DOCTORS
New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers represent victims of medical negligence. Therefore, typically, New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers seek to hold medical professionals responsible for injuries to patients. These medical professionals include doctors, nurses, and dentists.
However, in order to win a medical malpractice case, it is not enough that the victim suffered a bad medical outcome. Rather, medical malpractice lawyers must prove that the accused medical professional deviated from the accepted standard of care. And that the deviation caused injury to the patient.
Generally, the accused doctor will deny that he or she bears any responsibility for the patient’s injury. Nonetheless, sometimes the accused doctor will admit that medical negligence did cause the patient’s injury. But he’ll say it was the negligence of a different doctor.
In a recent New Jersey case, a neurosurgeon and a radiologist disagreed over who caused a patient’s severe spinal injury. The neurosurgeon claimed that the radiologist failed to properly read an MRI. Or at least didn’t properly inform the neurosurgeon as to what the MRI showed.
Predictably, the radiologist claimed that she did correctly read the MRI. Moreover, she claimed that she also correctly informed the neurosurgeon as to the MRI results. An expert witness, another neurosurgeon, claimed that the accused neurosurgeon failed to take prompt action after being informed about the MRI. The expert testified that this delay injured the patient.
In short, each doctor was pointing her finger at the other and screaming, “you done it.”
Victim Wins Jury Verdict.
A jury awarded the victim $1,940,000 in compensation. But, for technical reasons, the judge ordered a second trial to determine what percentage of the judgment each doctor should pay.
During the second trial, the radiologist settled with the victim out of court. The jury then returned its verdict. Under the verdict, the neurosurgeon must pay the victim $877,052.29. An appeals court upheld this result.
How This Case May Affect You.
If you are ever the victim of medical malpractice but don’t know which of your doctors messed up, don’t be deterred. You can likely still bring a claim.