When most of us hear the term medical malpractice we generally tend to think of medical error of some sort. The truth, though, is that medical malpractice encompasses a wide range of erroneous and inappropriate behavior on the part of medical professionals and their employers. A recent class action lawsuit against Johns Hopkins Hospital involving thousands of patients is a good example of this.
The case resulted in a settlement of $190 million for over 7,000 women who were harmed by a doctor accused of violating doctor-patient trust by carrying around a concealed camera and recording pelvic exams. The activity is alleged to have gone on over a number of years, and was discovered after a female colleague of the physician reported that she thought something fishy was going on with the doctor’s special pen. Sadly, the physician ended up committing suicide shortly after his activity came to light.
Although law enforcement who investigated the incident ultimately concluded that the more 1,000 videos and images the doctor had stored on home computers had not been shared or uploaded to the Internet, an attorney representing the patients has expressed doubt about that conclusion.
Patients who are harmed by a physician, whether because of a medical error or a breach of the physician’s professional responsibilities, have the right to be appropriately compensated and to hold the physician and other responsible parties accountable for their failures. Going up against a physician or medical system is not an easy thing to do, though, and having the assistance of an experienced attorney is indispensible.
Source: The New York Times, “Hospital Agrees to Pay $190 Million Over Recording of Pelvic Exams,” Trip Gabriel, July 21, 2014.