The Daily

November 17, 2017

I dedicated this week to a review of medical malpractice cases. You can click here to review our web page detailing an explanation of my experience in this area of the law.

After five years at the start of my career doing defense work representing hospitals and doctors, I went to work with my Father in Ft. Lauderdale representing plaintiffs. Just as I do today, we handled cases all over the State. One of my first from that stage of my career involved a four year old girl in Clearwater with a congenital birth mark on her face, called a ‘port wine stain’. A local physician advertised laser removal of these birthmarks. Her mother brought her in to the office and the doctor recommended the procedure. He used a dentist to provide the anesthesia, a simple injection called a “dental block”. The dentist was not competent to treat small children and overdosed the child with the dental block. The medical doctor was not equipped to deal with the emergency. He didn’t even have oxygen and the record was pretty clear that nobody attempted CPR or to resuscitate the child. A helicopter from a nearby Childrens Hospital was called but did not arrive in time to save the child. I made sure the Florida Board of Medicine and Dentistry stayed on top of these two health care providers, eventually chasing the dentist out of the state of Florida. Additionally, the insurance carriers tried to deny responsibility for these events and I successfully defeated them in equity court. These proceedings were separate from the medical malpractice case that resulted in a confidential settlement.

My experience in that case prepared me for my own career. After opening my office in Southwest Florida, I was referred a case involving a dentist who was an active addict and had lost his licenses in New York and Connecticut. Here, he was enrolled in the Physicians Recovery Network and allowed to continue practicing dentistry. During discovery, his staff testified that he would sedate his operative patients then lock himself in his office and shoot demerol before returning to conduct surgery on his patients. His abuse of narcotics was well known to the Florida Board of Dentistry and the local community. He was run out of town – showing up in other places like the University of Miami and Tufts University. During the case, we followed him everywhere he went hoping that the authorities would eventually do something about him. They never took his license during the case, however, when he showed up in a criminal investigation as the provider responsible for shipments of illegal steroids and banned substances to professional athletes he was finally stopped. You can read about the end of his career on our website here.

It has been a great privilege to represent victims of the most serious harms against powerful interests in complicated cases. Though risky, stressful, difficult and costly – doing good work under these circumstances is satisfying. Without my Father’s tutelage and the help of other mentors I try to constantly mention here in case they might inspire others, I would not be in a position to have such a fulfilling professional life. I am truly grateful.