Legal Question in Medical Malpractice in Florida

Sovereign Immunity is a Malpractice Field-Day

My husband is reaching the 11th hour to file for medical malpractice. We've been to numerous lawyers and none would take the case because the Florida hospital involved had sovereign immunity status. The neurosurgeon and other doctors involved were also umbrellered under this immunity and did not even have mal-practice insurance. I believe we have just become so worn done with the politics we've encountered that we have all but resigned to the fact that our lives are forever changed and we didn't even get an ''I'm sorry''. The lawyers we spoke to said if this had occurred anywhere else we would have a great case, but with the malpractice caps the case is just too costly.

My husband was a healthy, vibrant 52 year old aerospace engineer. While working around the house he herniated a lumbar disk. He underwent what was supposed to be a routine diskectomy. He had to be hospitalized for 3 months and rehab 1 month. As an RN who specializes in Neuro, I saw many contributing factors; failure to diagnos, poor practice,etc. He developed osteomyelitis at the surgical site with the organism migrating to the brain; causing a toxic encephalopathy. The outcome ; RSD, cannot walk unaided,high dose narcotics, on SS Disability. Thoughts?

Asked on 3/16/08, 1:22 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Alan Wagner Wagner McLaughlin, P.A.

Re: Sovereign Immunity is a Malpractice Field-Day

Welcome to Florida. It is a travesty that the politicians in Tallahassee continue to perpetuate. The sovereign immunity cap of $100,000 per person has not been raised for about a quarter of a century. Efforst in the last decade to increase the caps to make some sense out of the mess have been steadfastly blocked by the Republicans that control the legislature.

Not a week goes by where I do not hear of a family's loss at the hand of a state employed doctor who makes hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, but the law does not allow the victims of his negligence to even sue him.

The Republican party has even blocked, for years and years now, an effort to eliminate Florida's unique law that does not allow you to bring a medical malpractice case if you are unmarried and do not have children under 25 years of age. That's right, if the doctor kills your elderly widowed mother, The Florida legislature just says "tough."

Floridiand have continued to elect those that protect the negligent at the expense of the injured under the guise of "tort reform," which gets everyone excited because they do not understand that the tort reform they have in mind is that you are screwed when and if you are hurt by another's negligence.

The current sovereign immunity system is a consumer rip off.

Remember who put you in this position next time you get to vote.

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Answered on 3/16/08, 3:38 pm

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