More on the Massive Medical Malpractice of Jaw Pain Resulting in Brain Surgery

Blog, Cases, Hospitals, Medical Malpractice Mistakes, Surgery, Wrongful Death

Any medical malpractice cap is horrible.  My last blog was on the surgery out of Michigan wherein a patient had jaw pain and was scheduled for a quick surgery, but doctors mixed up her chart and performed brain surgery—yes brain surgery—instead by mistake.  She ultimately died from complications from the unnecessary brain surgery—which included drilling into her skull and removing part of it to expose her brain.

Yes, removing part of her skull.

Apparently her surgery was something that her lawyer is saying could have been prepared in a dentist’s chair rather than in a neurosurgical operating room.  But that’s not what happened.  And the medical staff lied to the patient and her family.  And they lied because she spoke limited English.  The family came from India and they were learning to become Americans in our free society.

But it is our society that failed them.

Because not only did the medical professionals make massive errors, and then lie about them.  But her lawyer and her state’s government failed her too.

This is because Michigan’s government has a medical malpractice cap of $500,000.  Which is trouncing on the rights of patients hurt by medical errors in America.  Because of this cap, her lawyer thought he could get around the cap by arguing this was a negligence only case, not the more specific subset of negligence known as medical malpractice.  After all, this was a wrong patient surgery which is akin to pulling the wrong tooth—something that there is caselaw an expert is not required (but still a good idea!!).

Thus, to get around the cap, the patient’s lawyer brought a negligence only claim and WON $20 million from a jury of her peers—the people in society that know what is right and wrong.  But on appeals, that is, the appeal of the hospital that admitted to drilling holes and removing part of this patient’s skull by mistake—argued that the case must be medical malpractice, which it was not alleged, and the case should be dismissed.

Unfortunately, the court agreed with the soulless hospital and doctors that the claim should hav been brought as a medical malpractice claim that has the damages cap, and not as a regular negligence claim that does not have a cap.  The $20 million was vacated, and the case dismissed.

Horrible set of facts.  How does this happen?  Because insurance carriers are greedy and force the actions of others to do what is right.  The patient’s lawyer will likely be in considerable ethical trouble and/or malpractice trouble himself, but if Michigan respects the rights of patients, it would not have forced the lawyer’s hand.

But what do you think?  I would love to hear from you!  Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at  You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at