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Medical Malpractice/Medical Neglect/Malpractice


After tear duct plugs, eyes were very irritated prior to leaving the office on Monday 3/23/15, by following Thursday had facial swelling, redness, itchy eyes. Called their office by Monday/Tuesday, explaned the plugs were causing problem, said would call mr back, never did. Took plugs out myself with serialized tweezers by Wednesday. Ended up in ER by 3/29/15 due to extreme swelling & redness of my face. Confined to my face at first, then began to move down my neck. Gave me steriods & antibiotics. Gone before finished course. Then in about 3-4 days was worse than ever! Went to Dermatolgist, said it was perioral dermatitis & steriods & some types of antibiotics make it worse! Prescribed antibiotics, extreme swelling, etc didn't go away, then prescribed more steriods when antibiotics difnt work after 10 days! Heavy doses of steriods, after, it OF COURSE CAME BACK!  I've always steered away from western medicine, but was desperate, but steriods damage the liver, & using (bontanical name) helichbrysum italicum hydrasol (common name Everlasting or Immortelle) for swelling, etc, though skin is so dry, constant spraying on face. Itching throughout body at night,  making sleeping very difficult.  Went to   intergrative MD, said believed i had reaction to plugs, then steriods compromised my adrenals & liver. Niw going to acupuncturist MD, who prescribed herbs. Face feels like 3rd degree burns after peeling, most heinous & extremely unpleasant experience of my life, & I'm in my 70s! Still ongoing at 6/19/15! I've taken pics throughout duration. Does this constitute a case?

Let me start with this.  Any medical malpractice case must start with very strong evidence from other qualified doctors that the defendant doctor did something very unusual, very negligent, very unorthodox, very clearly wrong, that caused very high damages to the patient.  Even if there is such evidence, unless the dollar damages are arguably well in to the 6 figures, no lawyer would want to take the case.  The reason is that the defendant doctor's insurance company would hire very expert lawyers to defend the case and basically say, with plenty of experts on their side, that it was unfortunate that Betty had a bad result but........EVERYTHING WAS DONE ACCORDING TO THE STANDARD OF CARE.  In other words, doctors doing everything right oftentimes has poor results and that is not malpractice.  So to make the case viable we need to know what the defendant doctor specifically did wrong and this had to be the direct cause of very severe damages.  Basically, permanent damage to your eyesight or something equally serious.

The plugs were put in for a dry eye problem I presume.  Using the plugs is an accepted treatment.  But if  you read articles on the plugs, it is well known that there can be complications.  They can get stuck, cause blockages, and infections and require surgical treatment to remove and repair.  The doctor had a duty to inform you of the risks.  However, failure to do so is not enough to base a case upon.  He would testify that he warned you of the risks.  You would deny he did so.  You have the burden of proof and would lose the case on that alone.  

Now when you called to complain of problems, yes, he should have seen you as soon as possible but a lawsuit wouldn't survive based on that fact that he didn't see you immediately. Here is the first reason why I doubt any lawyer would take your case:  The fact that you took out the plugs yourself........almost unbelieavable to me that you dared do this yourself...would kill any case your brought.  The defendant doctor would effectively argue that YOU caused the subsequent problems by doing surgery on yourself.  The tweezer was not properly sterilized and other required precautions were not taken and this is what caused the long term problem.  You could never prove otherwise.  Never!  Even if this actually wasn't the case, that you did nothing to exaccerbate the problem, you could never prove that.  No expert on your side could ever support you on that issue.  The case is dead right there.

Also,  I presume that the problem will be resolved eventually by surgery, antibiotics, whatever.  So unless you have suffered permanent severe damages, and given you the benefit of the doubt on everything else, the damages are not high enough for a lawyer to take your case, spend 10s of thousand out of his/her own pocket for experts, litigation costs etc., houndreds of hours of work and for what?  A slim chance of earning 40% of whatever a jury would award you?  Not worth the risk and expense.  Not even close.

On a personal note, if you think an acupunturist or an herbalist are going to correct the problems, that is a big issue in my mind.  You have a medical problems that require medicine to cure infection and maybe surgery to locate and extract the plugs.  Furthermore, if your case went to court another defense would be that you did not mitigate your damages by getting proper medical care to correct the situation.  To think that herbs or acupunture would fix this is absurd. Sorry but that is my view and problem that of the jury you would need to face.  Good luck

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Glenn A. Dorfman


Thirty-four years experience in personal injury, medical malpractice and medical product liability law. Qualified to answer all questions regarding injuries and the law, except for worker`s compensation. Also wide experience in medical product defect cases ie current litigation regarding the Johnson&Johnson (DePuy)defective hip implant cases and Mirena IUD issues


Thirty-four years experience handling cases involving auto accidents, trips and fall, fires, dog bite,medical malpractice and defective medical product cases with particular emphasis in 2012 and beyond with the DePuy ASR (Johnson&Johnson) defective hip implant cases. Twenty-five years of experience with defective IUD issues as well

Jurisdoctor Degree 1976 and Member in good standing with CA State Bar Assoc. since 1976

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