Los Angeles County Settles Medical Malpractice Case for $4.5 Million
On March 31st, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors agreed to pay $4.5 Million to a man who was paralyzed after receiving treatment at L.A. County/USC Medical Center. The County further agreed to waive $790,000 in medical bills for the treatment he received and also to cover the $200,000 he would otherwise have to repay Medi-Cal as a result of the financial settlement.
The story behind this medical malpractice case begins in 2010, when the man was injured in a San Fernando Valley motorcycle crash. He underwent surgery at Cedars-Sinai for a ruptured aorta, which the doctors repaired by placing a stent in the artery. A year later, the man collapsed; he was taken to the L.A. County/USC emergency room and admitted to the hospital through the ER. The man came to the hospital screaming in pain and complaining about a loss of sensation in his lower limbs, yet his condition continued to deteriorate for two days before doctors discovered a clot in the stent which had cut off the flow of blood to his lower body. Physicians at the hospital repaired the stent, but it was too late to avoid permanent paralysis in the man’s lower body.
The delay in treatment was blamed on a lack of communication between the ER doctors and staff and the other medical providers in the hospital. Had the hospital simply had better procedures in place – reasonable, commonsense and easy to implement procedures – this terrible tragedy may never have happened.
Time is of the Essence in Cases Against County Hospitals
When you have a medical malpractice claim against a county-run hospital or similar institution, it is critical to contact an attorney right away. The time period to bring a claim against a governmental entity is much shorter than a typical personal injury case, and certain procedures must be followed very soon after the incident to preserve your rights to compensation. In Los Angeles and throughout southern California, attorneys at Magaña, Cathcart & McCarthy can help.