Dealing with a health issue is hard enough for anybody. But, being at an advanced age and enduring the exacerbation of said health issue due to medical misconduct can make life overwhelmingly difficult. And then receiving no assistance, retribution or even sympathy for a doctor’s mistake that caused the health issue to worsen? Now, that’s just unbearable!
Sadly, this is the reality of 85 year-old Georgia Bearden of Huntsville, Alabama. As reported by Amy Yurkanin on AL.com, in 2012, Bearden discovered that her pacemaker was being recalled by its manufacturer, Medtronic. Naturally, it was horrifying news. Apparently, Bearden wasn’t notified about a problem with the pacemaker’s battery for many months. As a result, she believes that the device has damaged her heart, leading to such issues as vertigo, seizures and congestive heart failure.
Not surprisingly, both Medtronic and Bearden’s doctors deny that the pacemaker has caused any of these problems or that any wrongdoing was committed. Bearden has been fighting for justice every since. She began with writing letters to members of Congress and the Huntsville City Council. She’s even gone so far as to reach out to former President Barack Obama and current President Donald Trump.
Of course, she’s also attempted to sue. And, to date, no attorney has been willing to take her case. The Alabama legal system, notes Yurkanin, has made it impossible for her to argue her case in court. Bearden did attempt to represent herself in a lawsuit against her cardiologist, hospital and Medtronic, but two months after she filed it, the case was dismissed by the judge.
“Alabama is one of the toughest environments for patients harmed by medical malpractice, with lower rates of payment than almost any other state in the country,” informs Yurkanin, “As a result, few attorneys specialize in representing patients harmed by medical errors. Attorneys who focus on medical malpractice only take the worst cases – those involving permanent injury clearly caused by shoddy care.”
Evidently, Bearden is the victim of living in a state with a very low rate for malpractice payments per capita. As a result, most attorneys reject medical malpractice cases. Steve Heninger is a Birmingham-based attorney who admits to reviewing upwards of a 1,000 medical malpractice cases a year. The most he has ever filed? Twelve. “What if someone lost two fingers because of medical malpractice?” he poses, “A lot of attorneys in this state wouldn’t take it.”
Bearden isn’t the only Alabamian facing an uphill battle suing doctors in her state. Yurkanin also reveals the story of Christal Kulungian, a woman who filed suit after her daughter, Lilly Belle died from complications in surgery. During a procedure to repair damage to Lilly Belle’s skull following a bone marrow transplant in her infancy, surgeons cut a vein in the little girl’s brain. Kulungian has been left with no other option than to represent herself in a case against the doctors.
At Allegiant Experts, we’re saddened to learn of the difficulties faced by those in Alabama who have endured medical misconduct. We strive to help attorneys to get the results they seek in their medical malpractice cases. For more information about our clinical expert services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 407-217-5831 or email us at email@example.com.