The following is a representative sample of cases, which have been successfully pursued by Robert H. Hovis, III, on behalf of victims of medical negligence and their families.
Unauthorized and Unknowing Experimentation:
The death of a nineteen-year-old young man who was treated for schizophrenia with high doses of propranalol. The treatment was experimental and neither the victim, nor his family were ever advised of the experimental nature of the treatment or of the fact that the doses to be given, were five times the recommended dose. The drug is a drug, which is used in the treatment of
heart disease. The victim was discharged from the hospital with no instructions for monitoring by his family and no regular medical follow-up or evaluation. He was killed by administration of the prescribed dose of the drug.
Failure to perform C-section and failure to recognize and treat seizures in the period following the birth:
Cerebral Palsy and brain damage which were caused by the failure of the obstetrician to perform a Cesarean Section and the misuse of forceps in the delivery of a newborn. The fetus was in obvious distress and the obstetrician allowed the labor to continue for an extended period of time without intervening and then failed to perform a Cesarean Section and effected a delivery
with excessive force using forceps. In the period following the infant's birth, he began to have seizures, which were not appropriately treated. The result was a child who is brain damaged and will suffer from Cerebral Palsy for the remainder of his life.
Twenty-four year old mother of two children underwent surgery for a bleeding ulcer in which the surgeon ligated the victim's common bile duct and injured other portions of her gastric system. The victim of this procedure has subsequently had to undergo nine major surgical procedures and spent almost two years in the hospital. She has a markedly decreased life expectancy and
neither her life or that of her family will ever be the same.
Failure to Recognize and Treat Heart Attack:
A forty-eight year old father of two children was brought to the Emergency Room while exhibiting clinical signs of an on-going heart attack. The computer, which ran the electrocardiographic equipment, read his EKG strip as being consistent with an evolving myocardial infarction or heart attack. After consulting with his primary physician, the ER physician discharged the
victim with instructions to see his internist the following morning. He died in the internist's office, the following morning from an arrhythmia, which was precipitated by the heart attack, which he had suffered the night before.
Surgical Precipitation of Stroke:
A twenty-four year old mother underwent disk surgery, which was supposed to relieve pain and numbness in her arm. The surgery was on a disk in her neck. In the course of the surgery, the surgeon cut off the blood supply to her brain when he tried to stop bleeding at the surgical site in her throat. She suffered a stroke, which left her disabled, and with a permanent pain
syndrome which required the implantation of a stimulator in her brain.
Wrongful Amputation of Arm and Shoulder:
A two-year old child was referred to a major medical center with a swelling which the surgeon thought was a tumor since the biopsy was read as being a tumor. The child had no tumor. The surgeon operated, expecting to remove a portion of the muscle from the victim's back. In surgery, he discovered that the "lesion" was much more extensive than he had thought before
surgery. He should have known that tumors do not grow so rapidly as to have resulted in as extensive an involvement as was present. He didn't, and "in order to get all gross tumor" he amputated her entire shoulder and right arm. This extensive surgery further aggravated the condition, which she did in fact have.
Failure to Diagnose Cancer:
A sixty-year old woman died of throat cancer which she had battled for one and a half years following diagnosis. A dentist was the first to have suspected the true nature of her problem. She had been treated with steroids for a recurrent sore throat over a two year period of time by her family physician who had totally missed the fact that she in fact had cancer, and that a
sore throat would not last for a two year period of time.
A forty-eight year old man underwent a surgical procedure for removing benign polyps for a condition known as Peutz-Jager syndrome. The surgeon attempted to eradicate all of the polyps when he should not have and injured the blood supply to his bowel, which subsequently died. He was left with a short bowel, which did not
have the ability to absorb nutrients normally and will be required to live on total parental nutrition the remainder of his life. He has suffered numerous infections and problems as a result of having to take nourishment thru the tubes implanted in his chest.