Aggressively Defending Medical Malpractice Victims
Hospitals are the front line of medical care for people in our community. They are the first place most of us go when we are critically ill or experiencing the first symptoms of what may be a critical illness.
When we take our loved ones to the hospital, we have the right to expect that they will be given effective, safe care. We rely on hospitals and the doctors they hold out as experts to order appropriate tests and closely care for our loved ones until they can rule out the most dangerous, life-threatening conditions or diagnose them and treat them aggressively.
At McGinn, Montoya, Love & Curry. P.A. (MMLC), we sue hospitals, doctors, practice groups and other medical providers who have dangerous systems that put your loved ones’ lives at risk. You can count on our highly skilled lawyers to find the best medical expert to review your case. We will carefully and thoroughly prepare your case, and we will work diligently so that you have the best chance of receiving maximum compensation for your loss.
We are available to handle the following types of medical malpractice cases, among others:
- Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis
- Birth injuries
- Surgical errors
- Radiology mistakes
- Emergency room negligence
- Hospital-acquired infections
- Medication errors
If your health care provider didn’t follow the standard of care when diagnosing or treating you or a loved one, and the care resulted in injury or death, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. Let the attorneys at MMLC fight to help turn your life back around. Contact our Albuquerque office at 505-633-8796 or send us an email to learn more.
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Cindy E. V. Four New Mexico Doctors And Presbyterian Hospital
Cindy E. suffered a stroke after her red flag symptoms of severe postpartum pre-eclampsia were repeatedly ignored by her obstetricians and doctors in the emergency room. Doctors must work as a team to share information and closely follow their patients who have pregnancy complications. Cindy chose her practice group because of its promise of a “team” approach. Unbeknownst to her, none of the doctors she saw in the group consulted with each other or reviewed each other’s records. They chose to act completely independently and ignored her repeated reports of red flag symptoms (high blood pressure and headaches) of pre-eclampsia.
When Cindy was first taken to the ER, she waited with her newborn baby for more than 16 hours only to be discharged without significant reduction of her blood pressure and with continued headaches. Her pre-eclampsia was never diagnosed and she suffered an eclamptic stroke and brain damage. We sued the practice group that failed to live up to its promise to work as a team and the hospital that turned her away after hours of waiting in the ER. Her case is resolved and like the true cowgirl that she is, Cindy has “cowgirled up” and continues to work hard with the loving support of her husband and family to maximize her recovery.
J.S. V. Optometrist
When J.S. was suffering the first stages of retinal detachment, with something called “floaters,” he did the right thing: He went straight to his regular optometrist for an examination. Regrettably, his doctor, who J.S. later learned was scheduling patients every 15 minutes, failed to perform the traditional examination that would have enabled the optometrist to view all portions of the retina instead performing a high-tech, but only partial examination that could be billed for above the usual rate, failed to tell him that his symptoms were consistent with retinal detachment, failed to refer him to any other doctor, such as an ophthalmologist, and instead told him that he had a benign condition that might go away or he might have to get used to.
John followed his doctor’s advice and tried to tolerate the ongoing symptoms as long as he could, but two weeks later — against this negligent optometrist’s advice — he sought an examination on his own from a different doctor who immediately recognized that the retina was detached. Terribly harmed from the failure of the doctor to have identified his condition in a timely way and hoping this would never happen to anyone else, J.S. proceeded with a claim against the optometrist that eventually required bringing a lawsuit.
During the course of the case, J.S.’s worst suspicions were not only confirmed but, additionally, it was discovered that the physician involved had used white out on the medical record to alter original entries. The case resolved and J.S. now has the means to help himself cope with the long-term challenges attending his resulting conditions, and the defendants’ conduct has been explored and exposed.
E.A. V. Albuquerque Doctor
One way that responsible citizens protect their families and stay healthy is by routinely seeing their primary care physician. E.A.’s husband, T.A., was no exception. He was a responsible man who had spent a lifetime caring and providing for his family. He did everything his doctor told him to stay healthy. He relied upon his primary care doctor of 12 years for monitoring his health and prescribing appropriate medications to preserve his life. You can imagine this man’s surprise when at the age of just 60, his collapsed in his home, was rushed to the hospital, and told he had only a month to live because of a medication he had been taking for 10 years, which had destroyed his liver.
He called MMLC from what would become his deathbed and asked us to investigate what had happened. He died shortly thereafter, but a claim and ultimately a lawsuit were brought on his behalf, through his widow. Evaluation of the medical records for the prior 12 years revealed a pattern and practice of failing to monitor laboratory values for T.A., who five years prior should have been recognized as suffering liver damage. The doctor ignored these warning signs and never took T.A. off the medication, reduced the medication or tried an alternative medication. In fact,the doctor did just the opposite: The dosage was increased — double fold. Although nothing could bring T.A. back, an important measure of relief for E.A. was accomplished by the case and the doctor’s poor practice of failing to pay attention to abnormal lab values was brought to light.
Cheromiah V. United States, 55 F.Supp. 2d 1295 (D.N.M. 1999).
Twenty-year-old Michael Cheromiah sought treatment for severe chest pain at Acoma-Laguna-Canoncito Hospital five times over four days. Instead of performing the appropriate tests or treating his condition, hospital personnel repeatedly sent him home. The last nurse he saw said he was acting like a “wimp.” When he collapsed at home and was taken by ambulance to an Albuquerque hospital, he was discovered to have fluid around his heart causing a pericardial tamponade. Tragically, it was diagnosed too late to save his life. Michael died on the operating table on Nov. 4, 1995. In this Federal Tort Claims Act case, the federal judge adopted our position and became the first judge in the country to find that tribal law, rather than state law, applied to bad acts committed on reservation land. The case settled with an agreement that the government would provide an additional $75,000 to train emergency room personnel at ACL to better recognize life-threatening conditions.
In The Matter Of A Baby Who Suffered A Birth Injury, Second Judicial District
Little John is a beautiful and loving child. But, he will never be a “normal” child because the physician and nurse who were charged with overseeing his delivery ignored warning signs that his brain was deprived of oxygen.
Because the doctor and nurse midwife ignored his distress signs — cries for help — he will have cerebral palsy and severe brain damage for the rest of his life. At the age of 5, John functioned as a 1-year-old. He couldn’t talk; he couldn’t speak; he could not feed himself or drink out of a cup; he couldn’t even pick up a ball. The right side of his body is clenched and essentially unusable and he’ll be on anti-seizure medication for the rest of his life.
Because his parents had the courage to bring a lawsuit, John will have the special education and medical treatment he will need to develop and progress as much as he possibly can for the rest of his life.
Bryanna Baker V. Stephanie Hedstrom, M.D., Misbah Zmily, M.D., Lee C. Caruana, M.D.
Doctors, even doctors in a small town, must be able to recognize that when you come in with severe, crushing chest pain, it is the classic sign of a heart attack. When a patient reports chest pain, the American Heart Association requires that doctors and hospitals obtain a simple 12-lead EKG test within 10 minutes of a patient’s arrival. If the EKG shows a heart attack, the patient must be stabilized and immediately transferred to a hospital, which can care for a heart attack.
On the morning of Nov. 17, 2006, Bryanna Baker woke up with severe, crushing chest pain and went to her local hospital, Miner’s Colfax Medical Center in Raton. Despite the documented report of pain, which was an “11″ on a scale of 1-10, the doctor assigned to the emergency room did not order an EKG or other tests that could have diagnosed her heart attack. Without doing the required tests during the seven and one-half hours she was in the ER, he misdiagnosed her with heartburn and was going to send her home. Because she was six weeks pregnant and had lost a baby the previous year, Ms. Baker refused to go home, but asked for a transfer to another hospital.
At her insistence, she was sent first to Alta Vista Hospital in Las Vegas, New Mexico, where she stayed for over 20 hours without an EKG. Ms. Baker was then transferred to the University of New Mexico Hospital, which performed an EKG over 15 hours later, and finally correctly diagnosed the ongoing heart attack she had been having for the past 44 hours.
By the time the heart attack was finally diagnosed, so much of Ms. Baker’s heart muscle had been destroyed that she will need at least one or probably two heart transplants during the course of her life. She also lost her baby and, because of her fragile medical condition, will be unable to have children in the future.
After years of litigation, we were able to resolve our claims against the hospitals, but tried the remainder of Ms. Baker’s case to jury. After a three-week trial, the jury awarded a $9 million verdict, plus all of Ms. Baker’s past and future medical expenses for her heart transplant. The case is on appeal as we challenge New Mexico’s law limiting recovery by people who are severely hurt by their medical providers.