Elizabeth Kaveny Comments on New Study That Shows Diagnostic Errors as the Leading Cause of Medical Malpractice

A new study by researchers from Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland, examined medical malpractice claim payouts in the United States between 1986 and 2010, and concluded that medical diagnosis errors accounted for the largest percentage of claims – greater than mistakes in surgery or drug prescription errors – and caused the most severe harm to patients. The study appeared in the professional journal BMJ Quality & Safety and was reported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as well as in such leading news media outlets as The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. The Johns Hopkins researchers found that diagnostic errors accounted for more than 35% of payments made to settle malpractice claims during the 25-year period, an amount equal to nearly $40 billion. They also estimated that each year up to 160,000 U.S. patients suffer from potentially preventable injury or death related to medical misdiagnosis.

Elizabeth A. Kaveny, name partner in noted Chicago plaintiffs' law firm Burke Wise Morrissey Kaveny (BWMK), issued an online commentary thanking the Johns Hopkins team for its research, recommendations and bringing this issue to light. In April 2013 Ms. Kaveny filed suit in Cook County Circuit Court representing the widow and estate of a Chicago area gastric bypass surgery patient who died from internal bleeding after his physician put him on blood thinners without determining his propensity for blood clotting, and failed to investigate and rule out internal bleeding as the cause of the patient's dropping hemoglobin level after surgery. For more information on the case please click here. Ms. Kaveny commented that this medical error and misdiagnosis "demonstrated that multiple negligent deviations from the standard of care were committed by the attending physician and the medical group named as defendants."

BWMK lawyers regularly represent clients and their loved ones who have suffered due to negligent misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis by their health care providers. Ms. Kaveny and other BWMK members are skilled at demonstrating that such errors fell below the accepted standard of care, and at securing just compensation for the significant harm caused by such negligence.