Medical malpractice does not discriminate. When on an operating table or rushed into an emergency room, if the care provided is below a reasonable standard, then the patient will suffer harm–it can affect the old and young, rich and poor alike. Considering that life and death are on the line and anyone may be harmed, improving medical care and eliminating preventable mistakes should be a goal for all of us.
Those families who are personally affected by a medical error know well the consequences of the problem. But for many others, the seriousness of the issue may not be apparent. Often it is only when high-profile stories of malpractice make headlines that the reality of the problem hits home. Headlines are usually made only when large settlements or verdicts are announced or a celebrity is harmed by poor care.
For example, the Times Leader recently reported on a new medical malpractice lawsuit filed by professional wrestler and reality show star Hulk Hogan. The allegations made in the complaint which initiated the legal matter suggest that the wrestler believes his spine doctors performed unnecessary surgeries on his back. The procedures allegedly caused him permanent damage which greatly altered his ability to continue his professional wrestling career. The suit names several doctors as well as a spine clinic where Hulk Hogan received treatment.
The lawsuit alleges that the surgeries were performed on the well-known athlete for the spine clinic’s own financial gain–not because the wrestler actually needed the operations. Unfortunately, each Chicago medical malpractice attorney at our firm is acutely aware of the skewed motives of some medical professionals. That is especially true in certain non-emergency areas, like some back procedures or cosmetic surgery cases.
In Hulk Hogan’s case, the lawsuit suggests that he had several endoscopic surgical procedures performed which damaged his already injured back. The complaint suggests that the doctors did not explain that the endoscopic surgery could not provide permanent relief. In addition, “scare tactics” were allegedly used to convince the wrestler to have the operations as an alternative to traditional surgery. Other doctor’s suggested that he have traditional surgery to correct his spine problems. The professionals at the defendant-facility suggested otherwise. Hogan took the surgeon’s advice, but even after several operations he never experienced anything more than temporary relief.
In making a damage claim in the suit, Hogan suggests that he lost considerable revenue because of the negligence’s effect on his career. Specifically, he suggests that the malpractice cost him at least $50 million. One can assume that these damages refer to lost income he would have received had he been made healthy by the operations and been able to continue his wrestling and entertainment career. These legal cases allow plaintiffs to explain the full extent of their losses caused by malpractice. That often includes financial losses from lost wages. Of course, these damages must not be speculative, but it is not impossible for Hogan to be able to show actual documentation on past earnings and future opportunities which were lost as a result of his back problems.
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