EDWARD ROBINSON RISKED HIS LIFE FOR US OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN …ONLY TO BE FORGOTTEN IN THE HOSPITAL

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  A Hero.

On June 6, 2010, Edward “Rob” Robinson of Fort Smith, Arkansas, was retired from the U.S. Army and National Guard. He served in Vietnam, Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm.

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He was also retired from Rheem in Fort Smith after thirty-six years and six months where he received several honors for his many years of service as a welder. He and his wife, Carolyn, had been married for 40 years, 4 months and 25 days, and raised two children, Golda and Edward Lee.

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When called to active duty for Operation Desert Storm, due to his age, the Sargent was told that he could decline to be sent to war, however Rob told his family that he would go …so that “maybe some young person wouldn’t have to.” Rob was a husband, a father, a gentleman and a citizen soldier who repeatedly risked his life for all of us. He was a hero in many respects and deserved to be treated as one.

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Forgotten.

On June 5, 2010, Rob was taken to the emergency department at a large hospital in Fort Smith by Carolyn and their daughter, Golda, after several days of being very sick. He had prostate cancer, yet he still had two to three years to live. His INR was very high, literally “off the chart.” INR measures the body’s ability to stop bleeding through coagulation. A high INR is extremely dangerous because if the patient has any bleeding at all, it will not stop, and the patient will bleed to death. The admitting doctor ordered “STAT” Vitamin K and “STAT” FFP (fresh frozen plasma) to lower his INR. Vitamin K helps the body develop blood coagulation ability and FFP gives the blood immediate coagulation ability. Put differently, FFP is a quick but temporary remedy, while Vitamin K is a slower acting long term solution. (Most medical professionals will tell you that “STAT” means “sooner than now.”)

Rob was admitted to the hospital and seven hours later he received the Vitamin K but he never received the FFP. The following morning, just after a doctor had been summoned to his room and told that the STAT orders had not been carried out, Rob Robinson coded and died.

A completely preventable tragedy.

According to our causation expert from the Cleveland Clinic, Rob began to hemorrhage at approximately 8:30 a.m. on the morning of June 6, 2010, and bled to death. The autopsy confirmed that he died from a massive hemorrhage. Seventeen hours after STAT life-saving FFP had been ordered …he literally bled to death in about an hour. This would not have happened if the doctor’s order had been carried out.

Why?

We contended, and provided expert testimony to establish, that the hospital nursing staff was negligent, plain and simple. In fact, it was never disputed that the day shift and night shift nurses all knew of the “STAT” FFP order, but unbelievably, seventeen hours passed with no one carrying out the order.

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Justice.

We were extremely proud to represent Carolyn and her family in fighting for justice for Edward Robinson’s family and estate. No one was more deserving of the best health care our country could offer than Rob.

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After nearly a year of litigation, a confidential settlement was reached with the hospital and the employer of one of Rob’s nurses, just three weeks before a jury would have decided the case. Carolyn and Golda Robinson and their family will always be near and dear to our hearts!

 

 

-bruce

 

 

THE TOP PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER IN ARKANSAS – as selected by Timothy J. Ryan and Associates

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Wow! I am so humbled and honored to have been singled out and recognized as the top personal injury attorney in Arkansas by Timothy J. Ryan and Associates. Here is what that firm announced regarding this:

Outstanding personal injury lawyers can be found in every state. Asking friends for a referral to a personal injury lawyer is the traditional way to find one, but your research should not stop there. The internet offers new tools to help you learn about personal injury attorneys who are licensed to practice in your state.

Reading the reviews that clients have given to the lawyers who represented them can help you decide which attorney is right for you. The Avvo website rates lawyers on a scale of one to ten. The rating is based on their accomplishments, experience, and recognition in the legal community. Avvo also allows clients to post reviews of their attorneys and gives attorneys an opportunity to endorse other lawyers.

 Arkansas

Bruce Mulkey handles medical malpractice cases as well as personal injuries and deaths caused by all other forms of negligence, including trucking and motorcycle accidents. Clients who posted reviews to Avvo admire the integrity of this Arkansas native. They also appreciate his willingness to return telephone calls promptly and to keep them informed of the progress of their cases.

Mulkey studied law at the University of Arkansas, graduating in 1990. The National Trial Lawyers organization named him one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers while an Arkansas newspaper placed him in the Best of the Best attorneys in Northwest Arkansas. Mulkey belongs to the Arkansas Trial Lawyer Association and the American Association for Justice.

Mulkey’s practice is based in Rogers (479-936-4384). His Avvo rating is 10.0.

The lawyers featured in this article — one from each state — were selected because they have a “superb” rating on Avvo and because they devote their practices primarily or exclusively to the representation of personal injury victims. Most importantly, they were chosen because their clients have given them stellar reviews. This article is not an endorsement by Timothy J. Ryan & Associates or by Timothy J. Ryan himself.

Mulkey Law Firm is not affiliated with, nor do we even know,  Timothy J. Ryan & Associates or Timothy J. Ryan, but we are honored to have made the list!

WHEN INSURANCE COMPANIES DEFEND THE INDEFENSIBLE – An Expert Witness Struggles to Help a Fellow Doctor

My client’s husband suffered immense pain for four days lying in a local hospital with a very swollen abdomen. Ordinarily a slender healthy man that walked three miles a day, later testimony of a friend that visited him on day four described him as looking nine months pregnant.

A radiologist reading a CT scan of his abdomen done upon his admission had measured his cecum (where the small intestine connects to the colon) at seventeen centimeters.  One of the slides in that CT scan revealed a  sign (said to resemble a bird’s beak) which was a classic indication that my client’s husband’s colon had twisted on itself (a sigmoid volvulus).

On day five in the hospital, my client’s husband’s internal organs shut down as his colon had been starved of its blood supply until it had died. He underwent emergency surgery, but it was too late. While he did survive the surgery, he spent his remaining days in a rehab facility, in what can only be described as horrific condition, never fully recovering. He went on to incur $1,800,000.00 in medical bills before he died six months later.

I was proud to file an Arkansas medical malpractice action on behalf of his wonderful wife and family. The primary defendants in the lawsuit were the radiologist, who we contended misread the initial CT,  and the internal medicine doctor, who we contended allowed his deterioration instead of involving a surgeon.  Although we provided detailed affidavits of numerous very good physicians, who found the radiologist and the attending physician to have acted beneath the standard of care resulting in this tragedy, we were fought every step of the way. Even after the defense attorneys deposed our experts, the insurance companies on the other side kept dumping money into defending the suit instead of accepting responsibility.

I tell this story as a preface to showing the following video clips. When defense attorneys are forced to hire expert witnesses to defend the indefensible, the results are often rather sad. (btw: The radiologist we sued testified that he considered the massive 17 cm cecum to be a “chronic” condition, although he never reported this, and thus, he did not call the ordering physician and alert him of the danger.) I asked his expert about this:

So how can you say he acted within the standard of care?

Mulkey Law Firm stands ready to help individuals and families whose lives are forever changed due to medical negligence. We look forward to showing big wealthy insurance companies the light!.

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE – IT’S ABOUT PATIENT SAFETY AND ACCOUNTABILITY

Several years ago, following the deposition of a plastic surgeon whom I had hired as an expert, the doctor and I visited alone in his office. He had just testified that his former roommate in medical school had acted beneath the standard of care when he left gauze in a patient’s groin following thigh reduction surgery.  Perhaps it was that particular circumstance which left the doctor feeling guilty, but out-of-the-blue the doctor looked at me and said, “Now will you please go tell all of your trial lawyer brothers and sisters that we can police ourselves?”

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I have thought a great deal about his comment over the years.  It perfectly illustrates the notion that many healthcare providers have of lawyers that take on medical malpractice cases. They view us as self-appointed malpractice police; just watching and waiting to pounce on mistakes.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  In fact, I would much prefer to never hear of another case of medical negligence for as long as I live.

Most healthcare professionals have no idea what is like to hear hundreds, if not a thousand,  stories a year from people who think, rightly or wrongly, that they have suffered harm as a direct result of medical negligence.  Many of the stories are heart breaking because, as an experienced attorney, I know that an expert would likely conclude that they had been the victim of substandard care which indeed caused their harm. The problem is that the harm, while bad, is not nearly bad enough to justify the enormous amount of time and expense an attorney would be required to invest in order to prove the negligence and hold the responsible healthcare provider accountable.

The truth of medical malpractice is that the vast majority of cases NEVER see the light of day; they do not result in a claim or a demand of any kind and certainly not a lawsuit. The victim just suffers.  The legal hurdles are sufficiently high so that most failures on the part of healthcare professionals are just absorbed by the healthcare system itself and fall by the wayside.  Sadly, those few claims that ultimately result in a lawsuit are simply the ones that have the most tragic outcomes; massive monetary damages, permanent impairment or death.

Trial lawyers are hardly policing the medical profession. We just handle the worst of the worst cases in an effort to bring some measure of accountability, not as to the medical profession as a whole, but merely as to the person or entity that acted beneath the standard of care and caused such horrible harm to our clients. If that is the only thing that keeps the healthcare profession in line so that we are all safer…I can live with that.

Some of the medical malpractice issues we have faced include:

  • Post-operative overdose of NSAID (common pain reliever) leading to gastric bleed and brain damage
  • Failure to diagnose colon cancer
  • Failure to recognize and treat esophageal perforation following throat surgery
  • IV administered to wrong patient
  • Failure to recognize fracture of the second metatarsal in the foot leading to permanent impairment
  • Hospital staff’s failure to administer life-saving insulin in accordance with ER Physician’s instructions leading to death
  • Improper episiotomy and failure to appropriately repair leading to permanent fecal incontinence requiring reconstructed rectum
  • Improper surgical repair of vaginal prolapse
  • Improper construction of anastomosis during bowel surgery
  • Failure to timely diagnose sigmoid volvulus
  • Overmedication and understaffing leading to hospital fall and death
  • Nursing failure to administer STAT, Vitamin K and plasma to patient with super-elevated INR leading to hemorrhage and death
  • Failure to remove gauze during cosmetic surgery leading to permanent muscle damage
  • Pressure ulcer (bedsore) leading to death of elderly patient in hospital
  • Failure to advise patient of abnormal PAP smear
  • Improper transfer of elderly patient leading to hip fracture
  • Failure to appropriately shield an eye during laser surgery to the face
  • Failure to recognize signs and symptoms of stroke leading to Locked-In Syndrome and death
  • Failure to properly manage high-risk pregnant patient in third trimester with aortic dissection leading to rupture and death of mother and brain-damaged child
  • Failure to manage amniotic embolism leading to maternal death

The Mulkey Law Firm provides free no obligation consultations regarding potential medical malpractice cases in Arkansas, seven days a week and evenings: 479-936-4384