Category: Medical Malpractice

How Long is Too Long? The 30 Minute C-Section Rule: Ediger (Guardian Ad Litem) v. Johnston

by John McKiggan

This article is an excerpt from a paper I presented at the national Birth Trauma Litigation conference in Toronto. The paper considers the implications of the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Ediger (Guardian Ad Litem) v. Johnston.

Eidger involved (among other things) allegations that the defendant failed to meet the appropriate standard of care in not performing a timely C- section.

The arguments in Ediger with respect to the standard of care required for emergency caesarean section are similar to those made more than ten years ago in Commisso v. North York Branson Hospital.

Diagnostic errors costly: Medical malpractice claims in Canada vs. United States

by John McKiggan

Misdiagnosis a common cause of malpractice claims

According to a recent study in the Journal BMJ Quality & Safety, diagnostic errors (medical misdiagnosis) are the biggest cause of medical malpractice payouts in the United States.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University reviewed a 25 year data base of malpractice claims compiled by the NatioPractitioneroner Database. The database contained details of 350,706 medical malpractice claims between 1986 and 2010.The study also measured the frequency, severity and costs of different medical malpractice occurrences.

Supreme Court of Canada Upholds Judge’s “Copycat” Decision (In Part): Cojocaru v. British Columbia Women’s Hospital and Health Centre

by John McKiggan

Last week, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) issued a decision in a complicated medical malpractice case that raised the issue of when it is appropriate for judges to incorporate reasons taken from the briefs of one of the parties.


In Cojocaru v. British Columbia Women’s Hospital and Health Centre the mother, Monica Cojocaru had previously given birth by C-section. On the recommendation of her obstetrician, Dr. Yue, Ms. Cojocaru agreed to delivery of her baby, Eric Cojocaru, by “vaginal birth after Cesarean section”, otherwise known as VBAC.

Appeal Court Upholds Jury Decision in Med Mal Trial: Goodwin v Olupona

by John McKiggan

Judge or Jury?

In most provinces in Canada, it is possible to have a civil case tried by judge alone or by judge and jury. I discussed this recently in an article on my Halifax Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, Do I have a right to a jury trial in personal injury claims?

The Nova Scotia Supreme Court recently stated in Anderson v. Cyr, a claim arising out of a motor vehicle accident:

Medical malpractice litigation helps improve patient care

by John McKiggan

I read with interest this article in the New York times written by Joanna Schwartz, a professor of law at the University of California, Los Angeles.

One of the (false) arguments trotted out by oppontents of medical malpractice litigation is that it prevents disclosure because doctors and hospitals take a “circle the wagons” approach to litigation that inhibits sharing of information that could improve patient safety.

However, a study done by Ms. Schwartz showed just the opposite:

Doctors negligent, but family loses medical malpractice claim: Mangal v. William Osler Health Centre

by John McKiggan

This recent decision from the Ontario Supreme Court highlights the difficulties faced by families who want to pursue a medical malpractice claim for the loss of a loved one.

Sharon Mangal was admitted to the William Olser Hospital on February 16, 2004 to give birth to her second child through caesarean section. Although she ultimately gave birth to a healthy baby girl, Sharon did not survive the procedure.

Sudesh Mangal, Sharon’s husband, along with Vincent and Sarina Mangal, her children, sued the hospital and the doctors alleging their negligence caused Sharon’s death.

Multi-million dollar award to child who suffered birth injury: Court examines compensation for “pain and suffering”

by John McKiggan

Child Claims Millions Due to Birth Injury

An Alberta court recently decided a case involving a child who was permanently injured during her birth. The case A.T.-B. v. Mah contained an interesting analysis of a variety of legal issues that typically arise in medical malpractice claims.

I thought the case was worth writing about because of the judge’s views regarding the plaintiff’s claim for compensation for “pain and suffering.”

Is it possible to reverse infant brain injury caused by ischemia?

by John McKiggan

Recent findings out of the Oregon Health and Science University questions the existing understanding that decreased blood flow to a premature fetus’ brain necessarily kills its brain cells.

The Doctors at the University and its attached Children’s hospital have discovered that low blood flow to the developing brain does not necessarily result in permanent loss of brain cells, but rather that it prevents the cells’ abilities to mature. The implications for medical malpractice and birth injury layers is that it may be possible to reverse, or at least mitigate the damage caused by lack of oxygen.

Dr. Stephen Back, professor of pediatrics and neurology at the Oregon University is quoted as saying that the new findings mean:
“…we can focus greater attention on developing the right interventions, at the right time early in development, to promote neurons to more fully mature and reduce the often serious impact of preterm birth. We now have a much more hopeful scenario.”
Approximately 8-percent of births in Canada are pre-term births. There are a number of added risks when a child is born even a few weeks early. One of the major risks is hypoxia or ischemia.

Hospital Medication Errors in Canada: Are patients safer in Canada?

by John McKiggan

Pat Malone, in my opinion, is one of the most capable medical malpractice lawyers in the United States. That is why I frequently read his D.C. medical malpractice blog.

I am currently representing the family of a young man who died because he received the wrong medication during his treatment in hospital. So an article Pat recently wrote on Hospital Medication Errors caught my attention.

Medication errors common

Why I Wouldn’t Want Dr. Oz to Operate on Me

by John McKiggan

Pat Malone is a friend of mine and an excellent malpractice lawyer in Washington D.C. He’s also a great source of information about issues pertaining to medical malpractice. That’s why I frequently read his blog and just came across once of his recent posts Should Mehmet Oz Operate on You?

Who is Dr. Oz?

You would have to be living under a rock (or not own a television) not to know that Dr. Oz is an American surgeon who was featured on the Oprah show and now has his own television series – The Dr. Oz Show. His daily program focuses on medical issues.