Question of Future Medical Expenses Damages Does Not Hinge on Past Medical Expenses, Per Massachusetts Appellate Court

If you have been injured due to the carelessness or error of a medical professional, you may be eligible to recover damages through a medical malpractice claim. At The Law Offices of Barry Feinstein & Affiliates, P.C., our seasoned Massachusetts medical malpractice attorneys will analyze the facts of your case and provide you with an honest evaluation of your claim. Medical malpractice is a complex area of law and having the right attorney on your side can be the difference between winning and losing your case.

Earlier this year, a Massachusetts Court of Appeals held that a plaintiff’s future medical damages in a medical malpractice case do not depend on the plaintiff’s past medical expenses. In Larkin v. Dedham Medical Associates, Inc., a husband filed a medical malpractice lawsuit on behalf of his wife and their child against the wife’s primary care doctor. The woman had initially gone to the doctor complaining of being dizzy constantly. An MRI showed that she had a venous varix in her brain although that was not the reason for her dizziness. The MRI results were communicated to the woman’s primary care physician but the physician failed to add it to the “problem list” in her medical file.

Three years later, when the woman became pregnant, the primary care physician never told her obstetricians of her venous varix. This led to the woman not being told that there was a specific risk that the venous varix would rupture during vaginal labor. According to the records, the woman’s obstetricians routinely checked the plaintiff’s “problem list” but were not alerted to the venous varix due to the primary care physician’s failure to make a note of it. Due to the physical stress of vaginal birth that lasted over 20 hours, the woman’s venous varix ruptured. The woman suffered a stroke and ultimately suffered permanent injuries. She lost her ability to walk or care for herself. She now requires around-the-clock care.

At trial, the plaintiff argued that if the OBGYNs knew of the woman’s health problem they would have ordered a cesarean section, which would have prevented her stroke. The jury ruled in favor of the plaintiff. The defendants appealed, claiming that the plaintiff had exaggerated the woman’s past medical expenses, which led to an inflated amount for future medical damages.

On appeal, the Massachusetts Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s decision. While the court acknowledged that the woman’s past medical expenses were inflated and rectified that amount to reflect the actual number, it made no changes to the future damages amount. The court explained that an expert opinion is not mandated to establish a future damages figure and the jury could have reasonably awarded the amount it did without basing it on the misrepresentation.

If you or a loved one suspects that you have been the victim of medical malpractice, we can help. At The Law Offices of Barry Feinstein & Affiliates, P.C., our experienced Massachusetts medical malpractice attorneys are committed to holding negligent healthcare providers accountable and getting victims the compensation they rightfully deserve. For more information about your case, call us today at 1-800-262-9200 or contact us online.

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