Getting a Recovery for Medical Malpractice; the Case of the Wrong Transfusion and Getting a Second Legal Opinion


We settled a medical malpractice claim for $50,000 for the transfusion of the wrong blood type. 

    The client has sickle cell anemia.  His on-going treatment consists of a blood transfusion every 3 months.  The client had been getting his transfusions at the same hospital for 3 years. 

The client has type O+ blood.  On one of the visits the hospital transfused the wrong blood, type A.  The client was sent home from the clinic, and he did not know of the mistake.  He learned later that he was given the wrong blood.  Shortly after the transfusion the client returned to the hospital’s emergency room with heart attack symptoms.  He felt deathly ill.  He had to be admitted for 4 days where he was transfused a number of times with the correct blood type.  After discharge he had to stay home to recuperate for a period.  The client could have died from the wrong blood transfusion.

We made a pre-suit settlement presentation to the hospital, and we were able to settle the case quickly.

The client’s friends and another attorney told him that the case was too small and would not be worth pursuing.   He also heard that he would get nothing from the case.  The client had no expectation of recovery when he hired us at the recommendation of a friend, one of our former clients.

This case has a couple of lessons for potential clients:

  1. If you have been rejected by one attorney, go to another for a second opinion.  Sometimes, the second attorney will see things that the first lawyer missed.  Or the second attorney might find a different “angle”.
  2. If the hospital or doctor are guilty of indisputable negligence, then defendant will settle if  the settlement is reasonable.
  3. Be reasonable in your expectations.  We were able to settle because the client was reasonable because he did not sustain a permanent injury.  In fact, he had no expectations of success when he hired us.  

If you have been injured due to medical malpractice, please feel free to contact me at 800-581-1434 or write to us at letters@seitelman.com.

Mark E. Seitelman, www.seitelman.com.

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