Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Attorneys

Our medical malpractice lawyers represent Philadelphia clients in complex litigation against doctors, hospitals and other medical professionals when they deviate from the standard of care and the patient is seriously injured as a result.  We also represent patients injured by defective drugs and medical devices.

Jim McEldrew has extensive medical knowledge from three decades evaluating and litigating medical malpractice cases.  Call us at 1-800-590-4116 for an evaluation of your potential lawsuit.

Areas of Medical Malpractice

FAILURE TO DIAGNOSE

If a doctor’s misdiagnosis of your condition has hurt your chances of recovery or resulted in your injury, you may be entitled to compensation if their actions fell below the accepted standard of care.

Early diagnosis is important for the treatment of heart attacks, cancer and other diseases.  If a physician missed your diagnosis, we can have our experts examine your medical record to determine whether their conduct was negligent and you are entitled to compensation.  Unfortunately, negligent errors in diagnosis account for a high proportion of the cases a Philadelphia medical malpractice attorney handles.  We work with top-notch medical consultants to investigate the potential for a medical malpractice lawsuit in your case.  We cover the expenses of the experts without any out-of-pocket payments from our clients – you only pay if we resolve the case successfully through settlement or trial.

The attorneys of McEldrew Young have a strong record of success in medical misdiagnosis litigation. In one case, we achieved a $2 million settlement for the family of a man who died of a heart attack after an emergency room physician misdiagnosed his symptoms as gastritis earlier that day. In another, we settled a cancer victim’s misdiagnosis claim for $1.5 million after his urologist missed the symptoms of bladder cancer.

  • $1.5 million settlement on behalf of the family of a 66 year old for the urologist’s failure to diagnose bladder cancer that was allowed to metastasize to the liver.
  • $2.5 million settlement on behalf of a 28-year-old woman for failure to diagnose huge disc herniation, which evolved to cauda equina syndrome, resulting in emergency surgery and leaving the patient with permanent bowel and bladder problems as well as drop foot.
  • $2 million settlement (policy limit) on behalf of the family of a 55-year-old man who was misdiagnosed with gastritis at the emergency room and sent home, where he died overnight.

PREGNANCY ERRORS & BIRTH INJURIES

We will help your child get the medical treatment and care that that they need due to medical negligence during your pregnancy.

If you or your child were injured during pregnancy, it may be the result of pregnancy malpractice. Both mother and child can develop serious medical conditions during pregnancy becuase of delivery room errors, medication errors, lack of oxygen, palsy, and shoulder dystocia.  It is the role of your OBGYN to consistently monitor the health of both you and your child, and do everything possible to protect you.  At McEldrew Young, our pregnancy malpractice lawyers protect the rights of mothers who have been needlessly injured during pregnancy.

Jim McEldrew will personally dedicate the time and energy to get the maximum compensation for damages incurred by you or your loved one as a result of pregnancy malpractice errors. Pregnancy malpractice injuries are serious, and you deserve the best of medical care after such an injury.  In addition to paying for medical expenses, you may need to radically change your living environment to meet the needs of your child.

Our Practice

Some of the injuries we handle:

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is one of the most serious birth injuries that a baby is subject to during the pregnancy labor and delivery process.  Cerebral Palsy is a medical condition described as a problem with control of the muscles due to cerebral (brain) function.  It most often occurs in infants who are born prematurely or have suffered trauma during delivery. It is an injury to the brain, not the muscles or joints that is causing problems. It is currently an incurable medical condition characterized by difficulty with motor coordination and muscle use, and may cause seizures and a degree of mental retardation or developmental delays. Depending on the nature of the brain injury, it can affect a child’s ability to walk, talk, eat, or play.

There are several different forms of cerebral palsy, ranging from very mild to severe including:

  • Spastic Cerebral Palsy
  • Spastic Quadriplegia
  • Athetoid Cerebral Palsy
  • Ataxic Cerebral Palsy
  • Hypotonic Cerebral Palsy
  • Mixed Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy can be the result of medical malpractice and negligence. A doctor’s failure to perform a C-section at the right time, improper treatment of a premature infant, or failure to notice the fetal monitor during labor or delivery may all be considered medical malpractice or negligence.

Attorney Jim McEldrew has compassionately helped clients in matters related to cerebral palsy resulting from birth trauma for more than 30 years. He has been a member of the Birth Trauma Group of the American Association for Justice.

Shoulder Dystocia

Shoulder dystocia is a mechanical problem occurring when the shoulder gets stuck in the birth canal during vaginal delivery. This can cause serious nerve injury to the baby’s arm and shoulder. A prudent ob/gyn must use the proper procedures for such a delivery if the baby is large for gestational age. This needs to be monitored closely, especially in diabetic mothers, so that a Caesarian (C) section or early delivery can be arranged.

Certain medical conditions during pregnancy expose the fetus to the risk of shoulder dystocia, or the somewhat common problem resulting when a fetal shoulder becomes stuck against the mother’s pubic bone or pelvis during delivery.  By itself, shoulder dystocia need not result in any serious or permanent injury to the fetus or the mother, but it significantly heightens the risk of a range of birth injuries. Primarily trauma to the brachial plexus, which is the bundle of nerves that radiates from each side of the spinal column into the shoulder. Injury to the brachial plexus can result in permanent damage to the newborn’s shoulder, arm and hand.

Shoulder dystocia can lead to excessive or badly judged traction by the obstetrician or midwife on the newborn’s head, neck or shoulder. This excess force exerted while maneuvering the fetus around the mother’s pelvic bone structures is what can lead to permanent nerve damage. The most important steps that can be taken to minimize the risk of this outcome are often those that can be identified during pregnancy:

  • Thorough understanding of the mother’s medical history, including episodes of shoulder dystocia in prior deliveries
  • Proper management of gestational diabetes, hypertension, excessive maternal weight gain or other health risk factors during pregnancy
  • Planning for a caesarian delivery in cases of large fetus and small mother

Find out whether medical negligence caused your child’s nerve damage.  We work closely with medical experts, and know how to identify and prove negligence by any type of treating physician, including pediatric neurologists, obstetricians and neonatologists.  We also will help you seek compensation for all of your expenses, from the costs of medical care for your child to the expense of retrofitting your home or vehicle to meet your child’s needs.

Pre-eclampsia

There are many complications that can impact both mother and child during pregnancy, The most common is pre-eclampsia, a medical condition in which hypertension arises during pregnancy.  Elevated blood pressure is the most common symptom. If a mother develops pre-eclampsia during pregnancy, it can lead to strokes, seizures or even death.  Every OBGYN is aware of the dangers of pre-eclampsia, and must be on the lookout.

While mothers develop pre-eclampsia during pregnancy, the impact of the condition can even occur weeks after childbirth. If you have suffered an unexpected stroke or seizure during or shortly after your pregnancy, it may be the result of pre-eclampsia. Our attorneys will conduct a thorough investigation into what went wrong in your pregnancy, and determine whether your doctor had adequate warning signs to take preventative action.

Prenatal Care Problems

The prevention of serious birth injuries begins with proper prenatal care of the expectant mother and careful monitoring of fetal development.  This is especially true in pregnancies of women with known risk factors for complications of labor, or with histories of difficult deliveries.  If you suspect that errors or oversights during your pregnancy resulted in a serious injury to your child or yourself, discuss your situation and legal options with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.

Other Birth Injuries

We also handle issues involving:

  • Lack of oxygen to mother or child and the consequent injuries, such as palsy, brain injury or brain damage
  • Medication errors
  • Erb’s, brachial plexus or cerebral palsy
  • Forceps injuries, such as bruises or lacerations
  • Failure to diagnose or treat  high-risk pregnancy issues
  • Other delivery room errors

Some of Our Past Cases

  • $13.3 million verdict in ob/gyn case concerning failure to promptly deliver 26-week pre-term twin infants in the face of chorioamnionitis.  The twins suffered neurological damage.
  • $1.8 million when a hospital failed to transfer a patient, resulting in delivery of a child with mild cerebral palsy.
  • $1 million settlement (policy limit) for failure to timely deliver a 32-week fetus in the presence of fetal distress, low biophysical profile and meconium.
  • $1 million (policy limit) settlement in an ob/gyn case arising from defendant’s failure to deliver a 35-week fetus in the presence of significant fetal distress resulting in the death of the baby.
  • $2 million settlement (policy limit) achieved on behalf of a child whose mother was not properly diagnosed and treated for an infection and, as a result, the baby was delivered prematurely suffering permanent vision loss.

Frequently Asked Questions

A few other questions that we are typically asked:

How do I know if my child has been injured?

If your child is developmentally delayed, has difficulty with muscle coordination or has cerebral palsy, parents should consider having the child’s medical records reviewed by a lawyer specializing in birth trauma cases. This is especially true if the parents recall any significant delays by nurses or doctors in responding to the needs of the mother or child during or after delivery. If there were concerns over the fetal heart monitoring during delivery and your child has medical issues, it should be investigated.

What should I look for to determine if my child has a birth injury?

  • Low Apgar scores
  • Diagnosis of metabolic or respiratory acidosis
  • Seizures in babies after birth
  • Prolonged time periods to resuscitate a baby
  • Retinopathy of prematurity (vision issues)
  • Prolonged respiratory assistance in full- or near full-term deliveries
  • Hemiplegia, dysplasia, quadriplegia
  • Infections of the baby or mother
  • Mother with high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia
  • Babies who are delivered several days after their due date (especially in diabetic mothers)
  • MRI or CT scan results showing enlarged ventricles, periventicular leukomalacia, intraventricular bleeding or hemorrhage, especially in full- or near full-term infants
  • Problems with non-stress tests or ultrasounds during the pregnancy

SURGICAL ERRORS

Every surgery has risks.  But you and your family are entitled to compensation when complications arise because of an error made by your medical team.

As many as 100,000 patients each year are injured because of a surgical error.  These doctors performed the wrong surgery or operated on the wrong body part.  Improperly administered anesthesia.  Left medical equipment inside the patient.  Damaged nerves or other organs due to carelessness. Or made pre- and post-op treatment errors that affected recovery.  When the level of care drops below the accepted standard for a reasonably competent surgical team, the team and/or hospital are liable for any injuries that they cause.

We handle claims involving negligence by doctors, nurses, technicians and other health care providers.

NURSING HOME NEGLECT

Elder abuse is unfortunately a problem.  Bringing a lawsuit is one step to stopping it.

 

Falls, malnourishment and bed sores are just a few of the more common results from a nursing home neglecting its patients.

PRESCRIPTION ERRORS

  • $1.65 million settlement to a 66-year-old plaintiff who underwent a knee replacement and developed an infection. The post op plaintiff was then sent to a rehab for treatment of the infection. While in rehab the plaintiff developed compartment syndrome resulting in 2 surgeries and was left with foot drop. The case was settled with the operating physician for $650,000 prior to trial. During trial a settlement was reached with the internist assigned to plaintiff at rehab center for $250,000. The case went to verdict against remaining physiatrist for $750,000.
  • $850,000 for a 76 year old man who was admitted to the hospital in cardiac arrest and hospital did not resuscitate man properly.
  • Just recently, we negotiated a $7 million settlement on behalf of a 46-year-old man who suffered aortic artery damage during an L4-L5 laminectomy necessitating extensive surgical repair and resulting in nerve damage.

Let’s face it: There’s no good excuse if someone is seriously injured because they received the wrong drug or the wrong dose.

Thousands of patients every year receive the wrong medication due to similar sounding drug names or confusion over labeling.  Unclear handwriting and misfills by the pharmacist can also lead to problems.  Allergic reactions may also happen because of the failure of your physician or pharmacist to ask you about medical allergies.  Medical professionals are responsible for ensuring that the medication used in a specific clinical setting is right for the patient, correctly dosed, administered at the right times and under the proper circumstances.  They also need to take full account of the patient’s other medications, medical conditions, drug allergies and other factors.  If you are injured as a result of a prescription error, then you should contact an attorney at McEldrew Young to determine whether you are entitled to compensation.

Jim McEldrew understands what it takes to investigate, develop and prove damage claims for injuries caused by prescription errors. He works with highly qualified medical professionals to identify what went wrong with the prescription or use of a particular drug. Our medical experts can also present clear explanations of the ways an error on the part of a physician, nurse or pharmacist led to the patient’s injury or death. We will seek compensation from the one or more parties at fault, including primary care or emergency physicians, consulting specialists, nurses and the hospitals that employ them, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, pharmacists and pharmacies.

OTHER NEGLIGENCE IN HEALTH CARE

We are still interested in hearing about your case even if we haven’t specifically listed your doctor’s mistake here.

 

Jim has been practicing as a Philadelphia personal injury attorney for thirty years, and has seen a lot of different issues in patient treatment in that time.  Hospitals, treatment centers, residential care facilities and nursing homes can be held liable for medical records errors, patient neglect, miscommunication between doctors and nurses, failure to report changes in vital signs, infections acquired during a hospital stay, injuries caused by defective or misused medical equipment.

Medical Malpractice occurs when a doctor improperly treats or diagnoses a medical condition, resulting in an injury to the patient. Medical malpractice is often due to a doctor’s, or hospital’s, lack of action. This could include performing an incomplete evaluation, or failure to prescribe a necessary test.  Often times, medical malpractice is obvious.  However, simply because there was a poor result– does not mean there was medical malpractice. The majority of cases have complex medical issues, which need to be thoroughly evaluated.  For this reason, it is important to consult an experienced and qualified law firm.

Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawsuits must be supported by qualified medical experts before they can go forward in court. As a result, much of the expense of developing a medical malpractice case takes place before the civil action is commenced. At McEldrew Young, we can assume the expenses involved with expert investigation without any out-of-pocket payments from our clients, and we only recover these expenses if we resolve the case successfully through settlement or trial.

With almost 30 years of trial experience in complex negligence actions, James McEldrew has built an extensive network of highly qualified medical experts who know how to evaluate and discuss mistakes in diagnosis in terms of recognized standards of care. McEldrew Young’s experts also know how to explain the causal links between a particular error in diagnosis and the patient’s injury or death.

McEldrew Young has a strong record of success in medical misdiagnosis litigation. In one case, we achieved a $2 million settlement for the family of a man who died of a heart attack after an emergency room physician misdiagnosed his symptoms as gastritis earlier that day.  In another case, we settled a cancer victim’s misdiagnosis claim for $1.5 million after his urologist missed the symptoms of bladder cancer.

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