Today’s post goes to show you that if you suffer a Boston personal injury due to any circumstances – including a Boston car crash – it is wise to always seek a second opinion from doctors. As a Dedham/Boston injury attorney, I know this for a fact, and now, here’s an unbelievable Massachusetts medical malpractice case that proves that point. I am sure you will be as shocked as I am when you read about it.
Back in February 2007 a man was involved in a Massachusetts motor vehicle accident and transported by ambulance to the emergency room. He complained of an inability to feel and move his limbs. Initially, he was diagnosed with an incomplete spinal cord lesion.
Unbelievably, the ER doctor discharged the patient (plaintiff) with normal exam results, despite his continued complaints of an inability to move.
It gets worse from here. After the man’s brother drove him home, he fell after getting out of the motor vehicle. An ambulance was called to get him into his house, where he stayed in bed for two days. Two days after that, he returned to the ER via ambulance with identical complaints. A second doctor consulted with the first, and both concluded that, again, there was nothing wrong with him.
And here’s where this story becomes even more unbelievable. Hospital records make reference to the plaintiff as a “malingerer.” The hospital even called the police, citing that the man was “pugilistic,” meaning that he was fighting with his fists. As a Boston injury lawyer, I am appalled that the hospital would do this.
The plaintiff afterwards went to a second hospital, where — are you sitting down? – a MRI showed central cord compression at C 3-4, which required surgery. The man spent the next 10 months in physical therapy. Also unbelievably, it was discovered during litigation that the first doctor made subsequently-entered edits to the medical records in late March, five weeks AFTER he treated the plaintiff, to “cover: subsequent doctors’ findings of the man’s cervical cord compression.at the second hospital that he consulted. Shocked? Don’t be – I’ve seen this happen before.
The medical negligence case settled for $1 Million through mediation.
What can you learn from this? Always get a second medical opinion. And always get copies of your medical records. The medical malpractice evidenced in this case is truly a a disgrace.