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Ken Margolin

Charitable Immunity is Unjust

Protecting charitable organizations from liability for the negligence of the organization or its employees, may sound noble, but is in fact, unfair. The immunity doesn’t really accomplish its goals, and insures that employees of an organization involved in a personal injury lawsuit, will be sued instead of the organization. Here’s the way it works in Massachusetts. By statute, M.G.L. c. 231,…

Ken Margolin

Deadly Medication Errors

The problem of medication errors has by now been well-reviewed, and efforts to minimize such errors are underway in hospitals and doctors’ offices across the country. Nevertheless, the problem of medication errors has proven to be a very stubborn one. In his groundbreaking book, “To Err is Human,” Lucien Leape, M.D., estimated that medication errors caused approximately 98,000 deaths per year….

Ken Margolin

A Medical Malpractice Claim Lost

A couple of weeks ago, a Suffolk County Superior Court jury in Boston, rejected the claim of former New England Patriots offensive coordinator, Charlie Weis, that doctors botched his gastric bypass surgery. The defense verdict came at the end of the second trial of the case. The first jury hearing the case was deadlocked, leading to a mistrial. Weis had claimed that his surgeons allowed…

Ken Margolin

The Power of Exhibits

I wonder if anyone has ever calculated the number of words per hour spoken during the average jury trial. The right words, used the right way, can evoke the most powerful of images, associations, and emotions. Words can also drone on and become little more than background noise to the listener. The lawyer trying a case involving catastrophic personal injury, has a challenge. He may need to…

Ken Margolin

Wrong Site Surgeries

An article in Saturday’s Boston Globe illustrated the gap that sometimes exists between written procedures and implementation. The article also highlighted the ongoing danger from surgeries on the wrong part of a patient’s body. Five hundred fifty-two cases of wrong-site surgery have been reported by American hospitals since 1995; there are undoubtedly many unreported cases. The incident covered…

Ken Margolin

Failure to Communicate can be Deadly

Imagine a plane crash in which the co-pilot knew of another plane on a collision course, but decided not to tell the pilot, figuring he’d get the information on his own. Imagine a firefighter knowing a roof is about to collapse, but failing to warn his colleagues because he thought his colleagues were highly skilled and the signs of impending collapse were obvious. Unthinkable? Of course. Yet,…

Ken Margolin

Victims of Medical Malpractice Face a Hard Fight

This week’s Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly newspaper reported a defendant’s verdict in a sad case. The plaintiff had suffered a massive stroke leaving him paralyzed on half of his body and with other terrible deficits. The allegation was that the stroke was caused due to mismanagement of lung surgery following pneumonia. The case was tried by an attorney considered to be a very fine plaintiff’s…

Ken Margolin

Dropped Clues Lead to Medical Malpractice and Patient Death

A doctor can no more afford to ignore clues provided by his patient, than a homicide detective can fail to dust the crime scene for fingerprints. The best internists would undoubtedly make great detectives. When the body provides clues that something is not working properly, the doctor must follow the clues until he diagnoses the cause of the troubling symptom. In fairness to physicians, the…

Ken Margolin

Caesaren Section Issues

Caesaren sections, commonly termed “C-sections,” have been around for centuries. There are reports of C-sections being performed as early as the 13th century. Early C-sections were performed to remove babies from the wombs of mothers who had died during childbirth. Modern Caesaren sections, of course, are a great life-saver for mothers as well as babies. As with all advances in medicine,…

Ken Margolin

Communication Breakdown Results in Death – Medical Malpractice Settlement

Failures to communicate continue to bedevil the medical profession. Patient deaths and injuries due to communication breakdowns are especially tragic, because the preventative measure, was often as simple as picking up a telephone or sending a note. In an era of multi-million dollar technology and advanced bioscience, person-to-person communication remains a cornerstone of good medical care….