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  1. #1
    Truegoddess22 is offline Junior Member
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    Exclamation Lawyers won't take my case. Do I have a case?? Advice please!

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? North Carolina
    [B][I]
    So I think I have a medical malpractice involving the death of my dad but no one else (lawyers) don't think so. Here's a short version of what happened:

    November 2010: He's goes to the ER because his right shoulder was hurting and he thought he pulled it or something. They did an X-ray and said it was bursitis (little spurs in the joints) sent him home and that was that. A week and half later they sent a letter home saying they reviewed his X-ray again and saw a large mass in his right lung.

    December 2010: He goes for his initial cancer appt. on the 22nd, they do a biopsy and complete blood work. The mass is malignant and they want to operate since it's just a small mass in his upper right lung.

    February 2011: The surgery is scheduled for the 11th at 7am. The surgeon gets into his chest and find out that it's the whole entire right lung instead of the small area they thought it was. He removes the whole right lung and closes him back up. My dad wakes up in recovery coughs and then passes [B][I]away. This last entry was given to my mom by the surgeon so we are not sure of the exact details. The surgeon told my mom that he didn't know that the cancer had spread that much. I don't know whether he coughed and was gasping for air or whether he coughed and blacked out. We went to the local courthouse and got his death certificate. Cause of death was heart disease.

    So about a month after his death, we got his medical records from the cancer clinic. Going over his records we noticed that there were many things that the doctor didn't tell us like he also had a mass in his lower left lung since 2008 that we NEVER knew about, along with other things that we weren't told about. I have called about 5 lawyers and so far, only one seemed interested in taking the case because of the COD but since we can't prove it with an autopsy she declined to take the case.

    Does anyone have ANY advice or what do you think about the situation? Thanks


    UPDATE: So I called my dad's surgeon just to get some closure and to understand what happened in his last moments. I asked the surgeon what happened and he said after surgery, he was in the recovery room and all of a sudden his blood pressure dropped and his heart stopped. I, also asked him about the cause of the death which is listed as ischemic heart disease on the death certificate. The surgeon said that this was NOT the cause of death and that the cause of death is still unknown to this day (5 months later)
    Last edited by Truegoddess22; 07-21-2011 at 04:48 PM. Reason: new info
  2. #2
    cyjeff is offline Senior Member
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    I am not being mean... and I sincerely am sorry for your loss.

    Usually, if a number of lawyers won't take the case, there isn't a case. maybe there would have been if an autopsy had been done to firmly establish the cause of death, but it didn't.

    I think you need to move on.
  3. #3
    petman is offline Junior Member
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    Cool Not so fast!

    I think the record speaks for itself. I am not an attorney; I just play one on TV. If you have the hospital records backing up everything you just said, then you have plenty of circumstantial and factual (i.e., Xrays etc.) evidence to show malpractice was committed if it was in fact committed. A person doesn't have to die to prove malpractice. If your father had somehow survived in a semi-vegetative state, their negligence would still be grounds for a malpractice case. If the AMA has determined by concensus on: % of lung capacity necessary to sustain life = ? You said they already knew for a considerable time that he had a malignant tumor in his left chest. If he had 70% capacity in his left lung and they removed his entire right lung knowing that it would be highly unlikely that he could recover from surgery and/or sustain life with at best 35% of his regular breathing capacity; then they accidentally or arbitrarily killed him. Of course his heart is going to stop! And the disease that caused it was lack of oxygen; the obvious cause of death is likely suffocation induced by the doctors poor decision to not just carefully sew him back up and let him live his last day, week or possibly months that God had intended for him. Negligence that leads to or causes someone's death is probably still homocide. So I would bet that they'd settle.
  4. #4
    TheGeekess is offline Senior Member
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    I don't know who the 'Petman' is, but like you were told by another senior if the lawyers won't take it on contingency, then you don't have a case.
  5. #5
    Proserpina is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by petman View Post
    I think the record speaks for itself. I am not an attorney; I just play one on TV. If you have the hospital records backing up everything you just said, then you have plenty of circumstantial and factual (i.e., Xrays etc.) evidence to show malpractice was committed if it was in fact committed. A person doesn't have to die to prove malpractice. If your father had somehow survived in a semi-vegetative state, their negligence would still be grounds for a malpractice case. If the AMA has determined by concensus on: % of lung capacity necessary to sustain life = ? You said they already knew for a considerable time that he had a malignant tumor in his left chest. If he had 70% capacity in his left lung and they removed his entire right lung knowing that it would be highly unlikely that he could recover from surgery and/or sustain life with at best 35% of his regular breathing capacity; then they accidentally or arbitrarily killed him. Of course his heart is going to stop! And the disease that caused it was lack of oxygen; the obvious cause of death is likely suffocation induced by the doctors poor decision to not just carefully sew him back up and let him live his last day, week or possibly months that God had intended for him. Negligence that leads to or causes someone's death is probably still homocide. So I would bet that they'd settle.

    You've got to be a troll.

    Nobody with half a brain-cell would post this tripe.
  6. #6
    Truegoddess22 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyjeff View Post
    I am not being mean... and I sincerely am sorry for your loss.

    Usually, if a number of lawyers won't take the case, there isn't a case. maybe there would have been if an autopsy had been done to firmly establish the cause of death, but it didn't.

    I think you need to move on.
    Thanks for commenting. There wasn't an autopsy done because the hospital said he didn't need one. They just ruled his cause of death as ischemic heart disease. We had his body cremated because we couldn't afford a funeral so there's no way to go back and look.
  7. #7
    Truegoddess22 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proserpina View Post
    You've got to be a troll.

    Nobody with half a brain-cell would post this tripe.
    How is he a troll? I am completely new to this and so I am looking for advice about my situation. His comment seems legit. What is your take on it?
  8. #8
    LillianX is offline Senior Member
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    Truegoddess, check out his post history. Other than this one post in your thread, he's only ever posted one other thing on this site, and that was asking a question.

    You think he sounds legit because he's telling you what you want to hear.
  9. #9
    Proserpina is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Truegoddess22 View Post
    How is he a troll? I am completely new to this and so I am looking for advice about my situation. His comment seems legit. What is your take on it?

    Because his comment is completely off, legally speaking.

    The poster gave you false hope, mentioning things like "homicide" and the hospital settling.
  10. #10
    OHRoadwarrior is offline Senior Member
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    OP, by your own admission of facts, dad was going to die no matter what they did. His choice was to try and prolong his life by the decision he made. The lawyers recognize this and know even if they could find a sympathetic jury the facts speak for themselves. You have my utmost sympathy. My father died making the same decisions. We choose to dwell on the fact that he was able to live all but the last year or so of his life the way he wanted. I hope you can do the same.
  11. #11
    Truegoddess22 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LillianX View Post
    Truegoddess, check out his post history. Other than this one post in your thread, he's only ever posted one other thing on this site, and that was asking a question.

    You think he sounds legit because he's telling you what you want to hear.
    I actually did check out his post history and saw that he had only posted to me and his original question. His answer does sound legit BUT at the same time, I don't want to be taken for a fool and then being played you know? So with that being said I want advice that is legit and also helpful to me.
  12. #12
    Proserpina is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Truegoddess22 View Post
    I actually did check out his post history and saw that he had only posted to me and his original question. His answer does sound legit BUT at the same time, I don't want to be taken for a fool and then being played you know? So with that being said I want advice that is legit and also helpful to me.

    TrueGoddess, I really do feel for you.

    But the truth is, if you've been to several attorneys and they won't take your case on a contingency basis - you really don't have a case.

    I'm sorry for your loss and I realize that's not what you'd like to hear. But, it's the legal reality.
  13. #13
    Truegoddess22 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by OHRoadwarrior View Post
    OP, by your own admission of facts, dad was going to die no matter what they did. His choice was to try and prolong his life by the decision he made. The lawyers recognize this and know even if they could find a sympathetic jury the facts speak for themselves. You have my utmost sympathy. My father died making the same decisions. We choose to dwell on the fact that he was able to live all but the last year or so of his life the way he wanted. I hope you can do the same.
    I understand that he was going to die, I mean everyone is eventually but at the same time, IF my family and I had known that the cancer had taken over the WHOLE lung instead of the just the right upper lung we would have made the decision NOT to operate.
    He went to the E.R. for his arm and the cancer was found by accident. If he had not went he would have not known and he would have continued living the life he was living. He had NO symptoms beforehand that he had cancer.
  14. #14
    Truegoddess22 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proserpina View Post
    TrueGoddess, I really do feel for you.

    But the truth is, if you've been to several attorneys and they won't take your case on a contingency basis - you really don't have a case.

    I'm sorry for your loss and I realize that's not what you'd like to hear. But, it's the legal reality.
    Thank you for commenting.
  15. #15
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    Just because an answer is what you want to hear does not make it legally valid or correct.

    YOU didn't know about the mass in the left lung but chances are HE knew and was told about it when it was found. There must have been a reason nothing was done about it then, perhaps you can get more information from his doctors. But that may have had nothing to do with the cancer he developed later.

    An x-ray is not the most precise imaging technology available and there is no way to know exactly what you will see when you open someone up until you actually do it. An MRI would have provided more information but since surgery was already scheduled it was likely found unnecessary.

    Even if they had known how bad the cancer was, they might have still advised surgery, and even if he had lived a little longer, it probably would have been in great pain and discomfort from the cancer treatments he would have needed. It sounds like as it was he did not suffer at all and everything happened pretty fast. That is very traumatic for you but less so for him. I would suggest some grief counseling to help you deal with your unexpected loss. I do not see any case for a lawsuit because lawyers won't take the case, and because his cancer sounds like it was terminal regardless of what treatment was performed.

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