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Doctors Keep Practicing Despite Multiple Medical Malpractice Payouts

CBS News (9.12.14) looked into the records of 25 doctors with the most malpractice payouts in Florida. Apparently, providing poor medical care did not stop any of them from practicing. Only four of them had actually lost their licenses. Three of those four doctors lost them after getting arrested and charged with either drug trafficking or billing fraud. The fourth doctor who lost his license had failed to comply with the terms of a less severe punishment.

The review of Florida records by CBS News revealed that one doctor, Dr. Ernest Rehnke, had 11 medical malpractice lawsuit payouts since 2000. He was tied for the most of any practicing physician in Florida. Yet, his license was never restricted by the Florida Board of Medicine, which has the responsibility for stopping doctors from practicing.

CBS News said he had settled at least one case for $250,000 which was the maximum his insurance policy would pay for a single claim.

Medical malpractice suits can send a message to healthcare providers that substandard care will not be tolerated. Providers may be motivated by these actions to deliver better care to patients to avoid future litigation. A malpractice payout can come as a result of a judgment or a settlement. Some juries have awarded plaintiffs millions of dollar in medical malpractice cases. However, most compensation comes from settlements.

Doctors are professionals who are supposed to help patients get better and-or provide relief in the event of an illness or disease. However, every year thousands of Americans are seriously injured or die as a result of avoidable medical mistakes. Medical malpractice may be defined as a failure by a medical professional to provide a standard level of care to a patient. This may occur when a doctor, hospital, or other health care professional, through a negligent act or omission, causes a patient to suffer a significant injury or death. Injuries suffered as a result of medical negligence can be serious and life changing.

A malpractice lawyer can help individuals who suspect that they or someone they love is a victim of medical malpractice. A lawyer can bring together a team of medical experts and investigators and evaluate the evidence involved in a client’s case. The law firm can also prepare documents and gather expert witness statements in order to establish the connection between a person’s injuries and medical negligence. Economists and life care planners may also be consulted to help determine the financial impact of medical malpractice for a client and his or her family.

Examples of medical malpractice include the misdiagnosis of, or failure to diagnose, a disease or medical condition; the failure to provide appropriate treatment for a medical condition; leaving a foreign object such as a surgical sponge in the body; medication errors; and failing to adequately monitor a patient who is undergoing surgery.

The CBS News story is “Despite multiple malpractice payouts, doctors often keep practicing.”


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