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Los Angeles County Articles

County to Pay $7.5 Million Over Baby's Brain Damage

Los Angeles Times

The payment to a formerly homeless woman whose son was deprived of oxygen during birth is the largest malpractice settlement in several years, a spokesman says. By Abby Sewell November 6, 2013, 9:29 p.m. Los Angeles County will pay $7.5 million to the formerly homeless mother of a child born at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center who said that negligence by medical staff resulted in brain damage to her baby. The case was filed on behalf of 1-year-old Micah Welch by his mother. The mother, Dyre ... Read More View PDF

Legislators Should up Damages Cap to Improve Patient Care

Daily Journal

5/2/13 Daily Journal - California's Largest Legal News Provider Wednesday, May 1, 2013 Legislators should up damages cap to improve patient care The state Legislature is now considering legislation that would transfer the investigative and enforcement authority over California doctors from the Medical Board of California to the attorney general's office. The main reason cited for this transfer has focused on those physicians whose overprescribing of narcotic pain medications caused patie ... Read More View PDF

Jury Awards Millions to Woman in Palmdale Regional Medical Malpractice Suit

The Antelope Valley Times

By The AV Times Staff LOS ANGELES – A Los Angeles Superior Court jury on Friday returned a verdict in favor of a 26-year-old woman who suffered severe brain injuries after treatment at Palmdale Regional Medical Center. The jury awarded Dioresly Lora $15 million, according to her attorney Bruce G. Fagel, M.D., J.D. "The money ensures that she will receive the proper, necessary care for her condition," Fagel said. Lora is currently in a "persistent vegetative state" at a ... Read More View PDF

Woman Sues Torrance Hospital, 8 Doctors Infection leads to Loss of Arms, Legs

Daily Breeze

Woman sues Torrance hospital, 8 doctors Infection leads to loss of arms, legs By Larry Altman, Staff Writer A South Bay woman who lost her arms and legs to a massive infection following a hysterectomy at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center in Torrance filed a malpractice lawsuit Tuesday against the hospital and eight doctors. Annette Ramirez, 48, a wife and mother of a 6-year-old girl and 13-year-old boy, remains hospitalized following numerous surgeries to repair the damage since t ... Read More View PDF

Health Care Safety and the Culture of Silence

Daily Journal

Thursday, September 27, 2012 Health care safety and the culture of silence Two articles from opposite ends of the political spectrum were published about health care in the same week. Newsweek's article in their Sept. 24 magazine was titled "Hospitals Can Kill You," and the Wall Street Journal article on Sept. 22 was titled "How to Stop Hospitals From Killing Us." Both were written by Dr. Marty Makary, a Johns Hopkins surgeon, and were based on his book published earlier ... Read More View PDF

The Verdict Is In: Lessons Learned From the Michael Jackson Trial

Daily Journal

Wednesday, November 9, 2011 The verdict is in: Lessons learned from the Michael Jackson trial A doctor administering a powerful anesthetic agent to a patient in a home setting without vital sign monitors or resuscitation equipment is such an extreme departure from any acceptable standard of care that even Dr. Conrad Murray's own medical expert could not justify it. While such negligence may sound like a one of a kind aberration in the practice of medicine, it is not. There are nurses in inte ... Read More View PDF

Lawyers Track Electronic Health Data

Daily Journal

Friday, December 17, 2010 Lawyers Track Electronic Health Data By Emma Gallegos When an Oakland doctor prescribed a blood thinner to a patient in Highland Hospital's emergency room in October 2007, he did something that's increasingly common: he ordered it electronically. But the doctor hit the wrong button and prescribed the right dose to the wrong patient. Because of the mix-up, Ronald Enskip, the patient who mistakenly received the medication, ended up with permanent brain damage, acc ... Read More View PDF

FDA Tightens Rules on Drug Names

Daily Journal

By Mandy Jackson - Daily Journal Staff Writer There may be as many wisecracks about doctors' bad handwriting as there are jokes about lawyers, but it's no laughing matter when poor penmanship leads to medication errors. Physicians and pharmacists may be liable when one misreads the other's handwriting, but that doesn't mean drug companies or their brands aren't injured as well. To reduce pharmaceutical mix-ups, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued new guidance for nam ... Read More View PDF

Hospital Ordered to Pay $12M

San Gabriel Valley Tribune

By Brian Day, Staff Writer POMONA - A jury Thursday awarded $12 million to a woman whose attorney claimed she waited hours at Greater El Monte Community Hospital before being sent to another hospital for surgery to remove an air-rifle pellet from her brain in 2007. The woman, Jessica Ramirez, is in a vegetative state, which her attorney said could have been avoided by prompt surgery. The lawsuit was brought by Ramirez's mother, Ofelia Reynaga of El Monte, on behalf of her 22-year-old daughte ... Read More View PDF

Cheerleaders Take High-Flying Risks Under Untrained Eyes

Los Angeles Times

As stunts get more daring, injuries have multiplied -- prompting a new push for safety. By Melissa Rohlin Patty Phommanyvong, a cheerleader for Marshall High School in Los Angeles, was thrust into the air while performing a stunt at a football game two years ago. The next thing anyone knew, she was limp. Her heart had stopped beating. Paramedics were called, but by the time they got her heart restarted, her brain had been deprived of oxygen for too long and she was in a coma. Experts say she may ... Read More View PDF

Hospital Drug Errors Far From Uncommon

Los Angeles Times

By Rong-Gong Lin II and Teresa Watanabe, Times Staff Writers The case of actor Dennis Quaid’s newborn twins, who were reportedly given 1,000 times the intended dosage of a blood thinner at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, underscores one of the biggest problems facing the healthcare industry: medication errors. The errors are made when pharmacists stock the drugs improperly, nurses don't double-check to make sure they are dispending the proper medication or doctors' bad handwriting res ... Read More View PDF

Judging the Doctors

Los Angeles Business Journal

Conflicting Sympathies, Complex Cases Mark Malpractice Law By AMANDA BRONSTAD Staff Reporter [PHOTO NOT SHOWN] caption: Results: Malpractice attorneys on both sides struggle to assess value. Fifteen hours after a 35-year-old woman was admitted to an Orange County hospital to have a benign cyst removed by a gynecological surgeon, her lungs failed and she ended up brain damaged. "On the face of it, that doesn't make sense," said Bruce Fagel, the attorney who filed a lawsuit on behalf ... Read More View PDF

How I Pick the Doctors I’ll Sue

Medical Economics

How I pick the doctors I'll sue By: Berkeley Rice A conversation with plaintiffs' attorney Bruce Fagel, MD, JD When doctors meet a malpractice plaintiffs' attorney, they don't get a warm-fuzzy feeling. When they meet Bruce Fagel, however, they don't know what to think because he's definitely "one of them," but also "one of us." Before becoming a plaintiffs' attorney, Fagel spent 10 years working as an emergency physician in Chicago and Los Angeles, ... Read More View PDF

Medical Malpractice and The New Jury Instructions

Consumer Attorneys of California

By Bruce G. Fagel, MD, JD The new California Judicial Council (CJC) Civil Jury Instructions1 offer important changes in the field of medical malpractice. These changes can have significant impact not only on jurors at trial, but also on the trial judge whose understanding of the law impacts on pre-trial motions for summary judgment and ultimately on the evaluation of medical malpractice cases by insurance claims analysts and defense counsel. Before any medical malpractice case can be submitted t ... Read More View PDF

Jury Finds for Victim’s Family

Pasadena Star-News

Doctor, medical group must pay $4.3 million. By Marshall Allen - STAFF WRITER PASADENA — A jury found a radiologist and his medical group negligent in the death of a 39-year-old woman who underwent a stomach stapling procedure at Huntington Hospital, and awarded her family $4.3 million. Tracy Mayes of Lancaster died about two months after laparoscopic bypass surgery — also known as stomach stapling — on Dec. 11, 2000, according to court documents. Stomach stapling is a treatmen ... Read More View PDF

Designs For Winning.

The National Law Journal

VOLUME 25, NO. 41 Ten of the nation’s top litigators tell how they prevailed in the ‘Big Case.’ BRUCE G. FAGEL Making sure jurors get the full story By David Hechler STAFF REPORTER ATTORNEY: Bruce G. Fagel FIRM: Bruce G. Fagel & Associates, Beverly Hills, Calif. CASE: Greenwell v. Kaplan, No. MSC 00-02889 (Contra Costa Co., Calif., Super. Ct.) “JURORS REACH THE right decisions often for the wrong reasons,” said Bruce G. Fagel, a plaintiffs’ lawyer who spec ... Read More View PDF

Jury Awards $59 Million to Girl Brain-Damaged During Birth

Daily Journal

Monday, October 21, 2002 Jury Awards $59 Million to Girl Brain-Damaged During Birth Walnut Creek Hospital Failed to Make Sure Child Received the Appropriate Care By Joan Osterwalder Caitlin Greenwell is turning 3 today. The girl is permanently brain-damaged from a birth injury, but she may have a happier celebration after winning a $59.3 million verdict against the hospital she was born in. Her attorney, Bruce Fagel of Beverly Hills-based Fagel & Associates, a boutique law firm specializing ... Read More View PDF

In Birth Injury, Hospital Told to Pay $59 Million

Los Angeles Times

The John Muir Medical Center has been ordered to pay $59.3 million to the family of a 2- year-old girl injured during birth. A Contra Costa County jury found the hospital responsible for the severe cerebral palsy suffered by Caitlin Greenwell. The girl’s mother was admitted Oct. 21, 1999, and developed high blood pressure, but her attorney said nurses did not notify a doctor until later. When the doctor arrived, he diagnosed the mother with pregnancy-induced hypertension and ordered her to ... Read More View PDF

Jury Awards Injured Child $43.5 Million

Los Angeles Times

Lawsuit: Boy was left brain-damaged after monitoring devices in his hospital crib were either disconnected or turned off, attorney says. By ERIC MALNIC - TIMES STAFF WRITER monitoring devices in his hospital crib were either disconnected or turned off, his attorney said Friday. Eric Brown Jr., who was 4 months old when the incident occurred, is conscious but only minimally responsive, said his family’s attorney, Bruce G. Fagel. Eric will never walk or talk and must be fed through a tube be ... Read More View PDF

First, Do No Harm

Daily Journal

Friday, October 20, 2000 Key to Victory First, Do No Harm Had an anesthesiologist more experience sedating minor patients, a 3-year-old boy may not have ended up in a coma after undergoing a tonsillectomy. By Eron Ben-Yehuda Medical malpractice attorney proves anesthesiologist had much less experience in pediatric surgery than he admitted during first trial, which resulted in a hung jury. Bruce G. Fagel, of Beverly Hill's Law Office of Bruce G. Fagel & Associates, won a $5.6 million verd ... Read More View PDF

Jury Awards Boy, Family $5.6 Million

LA Daily Journal

A Superior Court jury awarded a boy and his family $5.6 million after he was left severely disabled by an anesthesiologist who continues to practice, the boy’s lawyer said Tuesday. A jury decided Monday that Dr. Thomas Mitchell was negligent in causing severe, permanent brain injuries following elective tonsillectomy surgery at the Los Angeles Metropolitan Medical Center in 1998, said Devante Rashad’s attorney, Bruce Fagel, who also is a medical doctor. Devante, now 5, requires const ... Read More View PDF

Inside Insight

Daily Journal

Friday, May 5, 2000 Inside Insight Attorney Bruce Fagel concentrates strictly on medical malpractice. But he has an advantage because he also is a physician and is intimately aware of what goes on in the operating room. By Leonard Novarro Bruce Fagel has an advantage over other attorneys in medical malpractice cases. He's seen malpractice first hand. Fagel, a licensed physician who got burned out on medicine and fed up with some of the unethical practices he saw over the years, says the prob ... Read More View PDF

Special Issue: Demonstrative Evidence

Los Angeles Daily Journal

Julie Campanini describes the importance of showing the jury a case’s key points during opening statements. Verdicts & Settlements $12 million for a young woman in a coma resulting from inadequate post-operative care. illustrations to convince a jury to award $900,000 to his client, a truck driver with previous back injuries. Show and Tell AT ISSUE: Using litigation graphics helps jurors experience the case with more than one sense, thus organizing information for them and imprinting i ... Read More View PDF

Malpractice to Cost $13 Million

Daily Breeze

Jury orders Torrance medical group to pay damages in bungled birth By Emily Adams| STAFF WRITER [Quote:] “She is alert now and she smiles, but she’ll be in special schools for the rest of her life.” — BRUCE FAGEL, former emergency room doctor and attorney for the Cuenca family, about 19-month-old Chloe Cuenca A Torrance medical group was hit with a $13 million malpractice verdict Wednesday after a Supreme Court jury decided the group and its obstetrician were responsible ... Read More View PDF

UCI Must Pay $5.9 Million to Stricken Infant

Los Angeles Times

By Geoff Boucher SPECIAL TO THE TIMES SANTA ANA— A child who was nearly smothered and left brain-damaged when her sedated mother rolled atop her during breast-feeding two years ago was awarded $5.9 million Tuesday by a jury who decided that nurses at UCI Medical Center in Orange should have been more vigilant. The mother, Cheryl Chapman, sobbed and smiled as the Orange County Superior Court jury read its verdict after five days of deliberation. She told reporters afterward that the money w ... Read More View PDF