Practice Areas
Protecting Injured Clients Across Massachusetts
Your Rights Matter

Boston Medical Malpractice and Workers' Compensation Blog

Executive's apology may avert negligence lawsuit

In 2016, a woman suffering a severe asthma attack collapsed only feet away from a locked door leading to a Massachusetts emergency room. She later died of what would normally be an easily treatable condition.

This week, the woman's widow received an in-person apology for the hospital's lapse from the facility's parent company's chief executive officer. The Cambridge Health Alliance CEO met with the man at The Boston Globe's headquarters for two hours. He expressed that he was "very sorry" for what took place in the early morning hours of on Sept. 16, 2016.

Childbirth can be a death sentence for Black mothers

If you are a pregnant African-American woman in Boston, you probably have no idea that you have three times the likelihood of dying during your pregnancy than your Caucasian counterpart. But according to a USA Today investigation, the United States is considered to be "the most dangerous place" for childbirth in the developed world.

In 2015, the Global Burden of Disease Study issued its report stating that there are 26 maternal deaths for every 100,000 live births in America. Those results pale in comparison to the nine deaths of mothers in the United Kingdom, the seven in Canada and the four that occur in Denmark, Sweden and Italy.

What happens when your doctor doesn't know best?

Patients put their faith — and their lives — in their doctors' hands every day. We trust that their skills and accumulated knowledge will be sufficient to diagnose and treat what ails us.

But what happens when the doctors are wrong? Diagnostic errors can kill patients by hastening their deaths from often-treatable conditions. The errors also prolong suffering and cause unnecessary anxiety and fear in patients and also their loved ones.

Attorney's widow files wrongful death lawsuit

A Hyannis doctor, his nurse practitioner (NP) and their physicians group are being sued by the widow of a deceased patient.

The decedent, who was a political activist and attorney, died last year after being diagnosed with gastric cancer. The defendants are accused of the man's wrongful death and medical malpractice because they allegedly failed to diagnose the cancerous tumor between the man's small intestine and stomach. The patient passed away on Jan. 4, 2017 at the age of 58.

Cause of September gas explosions determined

According to federal investigators, the trigger for the series of deadly gas explosions in and around Lawrence last month was Columbia Gas of Massachusetts' failure to move from an abandoned pipe an underground pressure sensor while construction work was taking place in Lawrence.

As a result, the gas flowed into the local network. Explosions and fires rocked towns all over the Merrimack Valley. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined the utility didn't inform the construction crew about the need to either move or detach the pressure sensor. As a result, the sensor detected decreased pressure in the abandoned line. It sent a signal to the control station to flood the system with dangerously high levels of gas.

Patient's death results in jury verdict, awareness campaign

It happens all too often. A patient enters the hospital for a routine surgery but doesn't leave alive. The reasons can be complex but sometimes are deceptively simple. In fact, a study conducted at John Hopkins University found that more than 250,000 patients die annually in America because of preventable medical errors.

Some patients should never have been cleared for a surgical procedure in the first place. Maybe they weighed too much or had already experienced problems with anesthesia during a prior surgery.

Are you at risk for compartment syndrome on the job?

If you are a Boston construction worker, you could be at risk for a condition you may never have heard of. Compartment syndrome is often a serious complication of an on-the-job crushing injury, although that is not the only cause of the condition.

When a body part (usually a limb or the torso) gets crushed between two surfaces, the excessive pressure in the enclosed muscle space constricts the blood flow to the region. If the condition isn't treated quickly, it can cause permanent damage -- even death.

What's a doctor's duty to inform when a patient is dying?

A curious phenomenon took place at a Rhode Island nursing home. A young stray cat took up residency there and unsettled the medical staff with his unerring accuracy of predicting patient deaths within hours or days.

They learned that when Oscar the cat nestled in beside a patient, it was time to call the patient's family members in to say their goodbyes.

Seeking a second medical opinion could protect you from harm

Just like anyone, doctors can and do make mistakes on occasion. If you feel doubtful about a doctor's diagnosis of your condition for any reason whatsoever, there is nothing wrong with seeking a second opinion from another doctor. Even if a confirmation of the same diagnosis is what you ultimately receive, a second doctor might provide more information about additional or alternative treatment options.

It is no secret that a significant number of deaths nationwide, including some in Massachusetts, result from medical errors every year. That in itself might be sufficient motivation for you to want to take an active part in your health care.

Boston woman dies after being medically kidnapped

Earlier this year, a Boston woman's long life ended in a manner that completely contradicted her clearly stated intentions. The octogenarian was a victim of a medical kidnapping.

A disgruntled family member who was not involved in the decisions affecting the woman's health care made a complaint to Central Elder Services, alleging abuse. This resulted in the woman being taken into the custody of a guardianship and given anti-psychotic drugs against her will.