Good Doctors Sometimes Commit Malpractice

Good doctors commit malpractice less often than bad doctors. But sometimes, very meritorious medical malpractice lawsuits in Maryland are brought against very good doctors who made a very unfortunate mistake.

In Florida last week, an appeals court affirmed a $2.15 million verdict that has ballooned to $4.3 million because the case is 17 years old. The verdict was against a hip specialist who has operated on the likes of New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez, Miami Dolphins quarterback Jay Fiedler, golfer Greg Norman, hockey star Mario Lemieux, and Olympic skater Tara Lipinski. Pretty impressive group.

But in this case, a young woman cannot walk without a cane because the doctor gouged the smooth lining of her hip joint trying to repair an injury in 1997.

That’s right. 1997. The girl was 17 at the time. Ten years later, a Broward County jury awarded the woman $2.15 million after a 2007 trial. The doctor lost on appeal and the Florida Supreme Court ended the 13-year-old lawsuit last week when it refused to consider the appeal.

This case underscores for medical malpractice lawyers that sometimes there are meritorious claims against the best doctors (just like there are sometimes claims against the best lawyers).