In a story to be filed under “It Can Happen Anywhere,” NY Yankees baseball star Alex Rodriguez is preparing to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the team doctor. The news was widely reported morning after it first broke at ESPN, and it comes amid many other challenges facing the player.
According to the reports, Rodriguez’s complaint stems from apparent diagnosis errors made by the team doctor during the Yankee’s playoff run last October. Rodriguez did not play well during a championship series, ultimately being benched by the manager. At the time he complained that this right hip “felt off.” An MRI was taken that seemed to show no problems with the hip. Interestingly though, the test also showed that his left hip did did have a problem– a slight superior labral tear with small parabal cyst.”
However, representatives for Rodriguez claim that the team doctor never informed Rodriguez of the left hip issue, even though the injury was severe enough that it required surgery. As a result of the lack of information, Rodriguez continued playing through the postseason with the injury–his performance was sub-par.
All of this is allegedly leading the player and his legal team to consider their legal options with regard to the doctor. No complaint has yet been filed against the team doctor or the radiologist who initially examined the MRI.
Not Just the Hospital
One take away for local residents from this story is the reminder that medical malpractice can strike anywhere. When hearing about medical errors the mind immediately jumps to doctors in the hospital. But, unfortunately, mistakes can happen anywhere that any medical care is given, even in seemingly more mundane situations. For example, this might include the dentist’s office, chiropractor, physical therapist, or at outpatient facilities and different medical clinics.
Remember, medical malpractice hinges not on exactly where an error was made but whether professionals failed to meet reasonable standards of care. In this case, for example, withholding information on a possible diagnosis or failing to properly diagnose in the first place may each be separate signs of negligence. The determining factor is whether or not a hypothetical “reasonable” doctor would have acted differently when presented with the same circumstances.
As a practical matter, whether or not more aggressive legal options should be pursued in any given case–like the filing of a lawsuit–hinges on the scope of the injuries. The litigation process can be costly and time-consuming, and so it is important to pursue it in cases where one’s losses are substantial. Yet, it is not easy to quantity the actual losses. In this case, Rodriguez may have suffered very significant damages as a result of the potential misdiagnosis’ adverse consequences on his playing career and multi-million dollar salary.
Only an attorney can explain what is the best step in your specific case. For questions on this topic in the Chicago area, our lawyers are here to help; feel free to give us a call today.
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