Exploring Famous Medical Malpractice Lawsuits | Medicine Medical Malpractice Lawyers, Wichita, KS
According to a study published by John Hopkins Medicine, patient safety experts have estimated over 250,000 deaths occur each year due to medical error in the United States, making medical malpractice the third-leading cause of death, right behind heart disease and cancer. And, just like with illness and disease, celebrities are not immune to the effects of medical negligence or incidents of medical malpractice. Learn more as our medicine medical malpractice lawyers in Wichita, Kansas, at the Prochaska, Howell & Prochaska LLC Law Firm, explore some of the most famous medical malpractice lawsuits below.
Michael Jackson suddenly passed away on June 25, 2009, shocking the public and prompting many questions about the cause of his death. After experts conducted an initial autopsy and toxicology reports, it was found that Jackson had passed away due to various drugs in his system, including Propofol, an anesthetic typically administered or prescribed for surgery. Because Propofol is highly potent and must be monitored during use, it was eventually uncovered that Jackson’s in-home physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, had routinely administered the medication to Jackson, his only patient, for better sleep each night.
Verdict: Dr. Murray was eventually arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter for Jackson’s death, and a jury later found him guilty of his crimes, sentencing him to four years in prison. While no civil medical malpractice charges were pursued, his medical licenses were revoked in Texas and California, and he was ordered to pay $100 million in restitution to Jackson’s family.
Dana Carvey, best known for his work on Saturday Night Live, underwent a necessary double bypass operation in 1998 before being alerted that his surgeon had mistakenly bypassed the incorrect artery. While Carvey’s surgeon attributed the incident to an honest mistake resulting from the atypical positioning of Carvey’s heart, Carvey was still required to have emergency surgery to repair the damage of the incorrect bypass. The recovery period for this survey lasted almost two years.
Verdict: Carvey eventually filed a lawsuit against his surgeon and the hospital for $7.5 million, later settled in 2000. The details of the suit were never disclosed to the public, but Carvey stated that damages would be divided among several charity organizations dedicated to cardiac research.
One of the most widely known celebrity medical malpractice lawsuits centers around American artist, film director, and producer, Andy Warhol. In 1987, after checking into the New York Hospital for a gallstone and ventral hernia operation, Warhol passed away from an alleged heart attack. The estate of Andy Warhol, believing that death was caused by physician negligence following his surgery, filed a medicine medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuit against the New York Hospital and 11 other medical professionals.
Verdict: Warhol’s legal team argued that he fell into a coma because of medical negligence rather than a heart attack and alleged that nurses failed to monitor the fluids Warhol was receiving, which resulted in twice the volume of fluids being administered. The New York Hospital finally settled the wrongful death lawsuit with Warhol’s estate, with a mutual agreement that the hospital would not be required to admit liability for the incident.
When famous actor and singer, Julie Andrews, decided to undergo a throat operation in 1997 to remove some noncancerous vocal cord nodules, she could not have predicted that the operation would leave her with permanent vocal cord damage. In addition to constant hoarseness, the botched surgery left Andrews unable to sing on a professional level again, causing her to redirect her creative talent to other outlets, including acting and writing.
Verdict: Andrews filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against her doctors and the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York in 1999, eventually reaching a settlement with terms that remained confidential.
The King of Rock and Roll himself, Elvis Presley, was not immune to the effects of medical negligence. In 1977, Presley unexpectedly died at the young age of 42, with traces of 14 different prescription depressants and stimulants in his system. Presley’s personal physician, Dr. George Nichopoulos, underwent heavy scrutiny, receiving claims that he negligently prescribed these drugs to Presley, and was eventually charged in 1981 with prescribing drugs indiscriminately and negligently.
Verdict: While a jury later found Nichopoulos innocent of all charges, the Medical Board suspended his license for three months in 1980, and by 1995, his medical license was revoked after the Board of Medical Examiners found him guilty of gross malpractice and misconduct with 13 different patients.
How PHP Law Firm Can Help
When you contact the PHP Law Firm medicine medical malpractice lawyers in Wichita, we can schedule a free consultation to discuss your situation before making a recommendation. If our team feels that you are the victim of medical negligence and you would like to proceed with legal action, you will not be charged any fees unless we win compensation for you.
Contact us directly at (316) 683-9080 to schedule a free consultation. We look forward to speaking with you!