$5 Million Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Awarded to California Track Star

A $5 million medical malpractice compensatory judgement against a California company and a high-profile San Diego physician has put the spotlight on a popular medical product used by orthopedic patients and athletes for years. The product, Polar Care 500, a cold therapy device was the subject of a medical malpractice lawsuit filed by a former San Diego track star (Whitney Engler), who sued the maker of the device, Breg International and her doctor (Dr. David Chao).

The Engler’s doctor as well as numerous doctors and hospitals in the San Diego area used the Polar Care 500 to treat surgical wounds and injuries whose typical treatment includes consistent cold therapy. The athlete filed the lawsuit after being subjected to the cold therapy following numerous leg reconstructive surgeries. After using the Polar Care 500 as instructed by her physician, the track star claims that her skin began to die. As a result of evidence presented at trial, the jury in this case found the doctor guilty of negligence and found that his “negligence was a ‘substantial factor’ in causing ‘harm’ to” Engler. Punitive damages are likely to be incurred as well once the jury considers this aspect of the case.

Evidence Preservation is Key to Proving a Medical Malpractice Claim

The key to proving any medical malpractice claim, as in the Engler claim, is in the evidence you present at trial. Once you have sought medical attention for your injury, followed your doctor’s advice and treatment options, the next steps you should take if you think you might need to file a medical malpractice lawsuit include

  • Work at your recovery.
  • See any referral physicians promptly and try to get help for your symptoms (failure to seek a solution to your ailments could result in reduced compensation).
  • Preserve evidence by:
  1. Get names and contact information of any medical professionals who carry out your treatments;
  2. Keep receipts of all medical supplies and prescriptions any healthcare professional instructs you to use;
  3. If you change doctors, keep all records of your medical treatment there to compare to any previous treatment or diagnoses you received for comparison, and
  4. Obtain copies of all tests performed during treatment for your injuries.
  • Contact a qualified personal injury lawyer experienced in medical malpractice claims to evaluate your case.
  • Don’t speak with any insurance adjusters or entertain settlement agreement offers without consulting your lawyer first.
  • Be patient, medical malpractice lawsuits are complex and can take a long time to settle or go to trial.

Contact an Experienced Ottawa Medical Malpractice Lawyer for Assistance if You Think You Have a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

Remember that the final decision as to whether or not you have a medical malpractice case is best evaluated by an Ottawa personal injury lawyer who has experience in medical malpractice law and a track record of positive outcomes in such cases. If you think you have been injured as the result of a
doctor’s negligence or that some medical procedure or device may have been the cause of additional harm to you, as in the case of Whitney Engler, contact an Ottawa personal injury attorney for assistance.

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