PA Medical Malpractice Lawyers

PA Medical Malpractice Lawyers

A National Tragedy

Preventable medical mistakes are the third largest cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer. In 1999, the Institute of Medicine Report, “To Err is Human,” uncovered that 98,000 Americans die annually from preventable and avoidable medical errors. Each year, almost 100,000 people die from surgical errors, misdiagnoses, medication errors, laboratory mistakes and other preventable medical errors. The root cause of medical malpractice is inexcusable medical error. Patients injured by preventable medical errors or negligence – as well as their families – face compounded medical treatments, huge medical expenses, lost wages and other catastrophic changes in their lives. Mistakes by a trusted doctor or nurse can cause debilitating and disabling injuries such as brain damage or even death of a family breadwinner. In many instances, human error results from financial pressures from insurance companies or hospital administrators to cut costs, take shortcuts and reduce time spent with patients. Quality health care is then sacrificed.

Our Attorneys

The eight litigation lawyers in our firm have over two hundred years of combined experience in handling serious personal injury and medical negligence cases going back as far as 1975. It is common knowledge that medical negligence, also known as medical malpractice, presents a challenge to those lawyers representing injured or deceased patients and their families. Jury verdicts teach us that the challenge is greater in the suburban counties.

The complexities of both medicine and law intersect in this area and therefore WB&S has put together a diverse and strong trial team in order to meet the challenge.

Attorney Joseph Wusinich successfully tried to verdict a medical malpractice obstetrical case which resulted in the death of a newborn infant. He has tried cases in multiple Pennsylvania counties involving prostate cancer, blood clots and has made multiple recoveries in excess of one million dollars for clients. In 1993, he was lead counsel on a serious head injury case for an adolescent where a blood clot went undetected and the patient sustained permanent brain damage with severe physical deficits. The defendants settled that case in the eighth day of trial for $5.5 million, which was the largest recovery in the history of Lehigh County in a medical malpractice case at that time.

One of our attorneys, David V. Grow, M.D., J.D., is a physician who practiced internal medicine and cardiology for almost a quarter of century before combining his medical degree with his law degree in 1987, working for a national medical malpractice firm. He joined our team of lawyers in 1991. This added dimension is a great asset to our clients in not only prosecuting those medical negligence cases, but also properly screening them and recommending to those clients who do not have strong cases to forego litigation, while at the same time informing those clients with meritorious cases that they should go forward. Be assured that Dr. Grow will thoroughly research the medical issues and consult with outside medical experts and consultants in arriving at the right recommendation for our clients.

To further diversify and improve our complement of attorneys, we have added Attorney Peter F. X. Callahan to our cadre of lawyers. He brings the added insight of having defended medical doctors, nurses, hospitals and other healthcare providers for seven years while working for a prestigious Philadelphia law firm as a litigation partner in the field of medical malpractice defense. Attorney Callahan is able to inform us as to what hurdles and issues may confront our clients in obtaining just compensation for injuries sustained as a result of bad medical practices.

Other attorneys of our firm have litigated medical malpractice cases as part of our team approach. One attorney was a lead counsel on a cardiac death case which resulted in a sizable recovery to the patient’s widow and children. Another attorney was successful in obtaining a settlement in a very difficult jurisdiction in a colon cancer death case for one of our client’s families.

Members of the medical negligence team have made multiple recoveries in heart attack, aneurysm, stroke, breast cancer, colon cancer, skin cancer, eye injuries, cardio-electrophysiology and related areas of medicine in multiple jurisdictions, including but not limited to the counties of Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Lancaster, Centre, Blair, Montour, Lycoming, etc. The firm also has the ability and experience to try a case outside of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

The firm is very selective in these cases, which not only benefits the client, but also those healthcare providers and physicians against whom there is no meritorious claim.

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Pharmacy Malpractice

Many injuries are the result of pharmacy errors and misfilled prescriptions; some resulting in death, unfortunately. Attorney Edward Sweeney had practical experience while working at a hospital pharmacy before attending law school. He has been widely published on pharmacy law and pharmacy errors and the need to train and properly certify pharmacy technicians who assist pharmacists in properly filling prescriptions. He has also received a national award in California for his paper on this subject. He was co-counsel on a major pharmacy liability death case in Delaware County which resulted in a substantial settlement involving a major drug chain. He has lectured on pharmacy law as well to other lawyers.

There are many types of medical errors. Here are examples of the issues we have investigated and/or pursued in determining whether you have a case:

Childbirth injuries/infant injuries

  • cerebral palsy
  • brain injury due to hypoxia (decreased oxygen to the brain)
  • brain injury due to anoxia (lack of oxygen to the brain)
  • brain trauma/brain stem injuries
  • shoulder dystocia/Erb’s palsy/brachial plexus injury/Klumpke’s palsy
  • failure to diagnose fetal distress/fetal non-well-being/non-reassuring signs
  • Continue for additional birth injury information

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Obstetric emergencies and complications

  • prematurity/pre-term labor
  • hypertension
  • gestational diabetes
  • placenta previa
  • placenta abruptio
  • pre-term premature rupture of membranes
  • maternal infection/chorioamnionitis
  • cord compression/cord prolapse

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Medical complications affecting labor

  • pre-eclampsia infection
  • congenital anomalies
  • interuterine fetal demise
  • respiratory distress syndrome
  • neonatal hypoglycemia
  • polyhydramnios
  • post-partum hemorrhage
  • macrosomia
  • cephalopelvic disproportion
  • shoulder dystocia/abnormal presentation/breach presentation
  • pre-eclampsia/eclampsia/hypertension

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Failure to diagnose breast cancer

  • failure to screen
  • misread mammography
  • failure to biopsy
  • pathology errors

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Failure to diagnose uterine/cervical cancer

  • undercalling/underreporting of pap smear/misreading of pap smear
  • misdiagnosis of cervical biopsies
  • gynecologic failure to follow and treat pre-cancerous lesions

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Failure to diagnose colon and rectal cancer

  • failure to explain rectal bleeding or anemia
  • failure to screen/flexible sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy
  • pathology errors

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Failure to diagnose prostate cancer

  • failure to screen
  • failure to respond to rising PSA level
  • failure to perform TRUS-guided biopsy

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Failure to diagnose melanoma and skin cancer

    • basal cell carcinoma
    • squamous cell carcinoma
    • cutaneous melanoma – pigmented lesion that undergoes change in

size, configuration or color

  • failure to perform excisional biopsy

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Failure to diagnose meningitis (inflammation of the connective tissue membranes that protect and enclose the brain and spinal cord)

    • altered level of consciousness/unexplained seizures/severe unexplained

headache/neck stiffness/focal neurological deficits/unexplained fever

  • failure to perform lumbar puncture/spinal tap
  • failure to administer IV antibiotics

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Failure to diagnose or treat cardiac or cardiovascular conditions

  • heart attacks
  • coronary artery disease
  • ruptured abdominal aneurysms
  • dissecting aortic thoracic aneurysms
  • strokes

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Emergency room errors

  • abdominal aortic aneurysms
  • ectopic pregnancy
  • bowel obstruction
  • perforated/ruptured viscus
  • myocardial infarction
  • pulmonary embolism
  • aortic dissection
  • thoracic aortic aneurysms
  • sepsis/septic shock
  • meningitis
  • subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • subdural or epidural hematoma/closed head injury

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Medication/pharmacy/prescription errors

  • wrong dosage errors
  • dispensing the wrong medication
  • pharmacist or pharmacy technician failures to check medication
  • mislabeling of prescriptions
  • errors in reviewing and filling a prescription
  • failure to train pharmacy staff
  • destruction of pharmacy records

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Nursing home abuse, neglect and negligence

  • decubitus ulcers
  • medication errors
  • failure to follow physician orders
  • failure to communicate

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Other types of malpractice cases

  • hospital-acquired/nosocomial infections
  • nursing errors
  • anesthesia errors
  • surgical errors including gastric bypass surgery

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Serving clients across Eastern Pennsylvania and Southern Pennsylvania. Our three offices are conveniently located in Chester County and Berks County and serve residents throughout the Downingtown, Reading, West Chester, Coatesville, Phoenixville, Exton, Paoli, Kennett, Oxford and Lancaster areas.

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