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Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death

San Francisco Medical Malpractice Attorneys

When the death of a loved one comes at the hands of health professionals, it is especially difficult for survivors to understand.

For more than 50 years, the medical malpractice lawyers at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger have helped families deal with the legal and financial realities that surround the death of a loved one caused by a medical professional.

Need A Wrongful Death Lawyer In California?

If you have suffered the loss of a loved one to medical malpractice in California, Walkup Melodia can help you. Contact our legal team by calling us at (415) 981-7210 or contact us online.

Our attorneys handle wrongful death cases throughout the Bay Area, including those involving the UCSF Medical Center, John Muir Medical Center, the California Pacific Medical Center, Washington Hospital, Sequoia Hospital and any Kaiser Permanente medical center.

Unparalleled Experience In Medical Death Lawsuits

Our San Francisco medical malpractice wrongful death attorneys include a board-certified, California-licensed doctor-lawyer as well as a second doctor-lawyer available to consult within 24 hours’ notice.

We have more than 55 years of experience pursuing medical malpractice wrongful death cases and know how to obtain and review medical records, where to find experts, and how to effectively deal with the attorneys and insurance companies that represent doctors and hospitals.

Walkup’s experienced California medical malpractice wrongful death attorneys have spent years developing a network of medical experts we can rely on to verify standards of treatment.

If a family member has died because of medical or hospital neglect, a physician’s mistake or malpractice, talk to our legal staff, tell us what happened and why you think medical malpractice was involved. We will evaluate and investigate the case and help you determine what actions to take.

If your medical negligence wrongful death case involves Kaiser Permanente, talk to the San Francisco, California, lawyers who have handled more Kaiser Permanente arbitration claims than any similar law firm.

California Fatal Medical Error Case Studies

Postoperative Pain Medication Error — $5.65 Million Settlement

The Walkup medical malpractice team of attorneys successfully sued a doctor and a hospital for failing to recognize and correct signs and symptoms of a postoperative drug reaction. The decedent’s pulse became tachycardic and his blood pressure dropped in the hours after surgery. Nurses and doctors on duty failed to correct these problems and the decedent went on to suffer respiratory arrest, which caused fatal brain damage. The settlement represented the lost future earnings and benefits that the decedent’s surviving wife and children sustained.

Mismanagement Of Anesthesia — $5 Million Settlement

Our team of medical malpractice wrongful death attorneys negotiated a multimillion-dollar settlement on behalf of the husband and daughter of a 33-year-old woman who died as a result of the mismanagement of anesthesia. The deceased was suffering from gastric pain and sought medical care from a gastroenterology group. Despite the woman’s history of complications with sedation during ERCP procedures, the GI doctors did not consult an anesthesiologist about safe sedation procedures. During the surgery, the sedation nurse failed to monitor the woman’s airway. As a result, the woman suffered cardiac arrest. The surgery team failed to administer timely resuscitation and did not attempt to defibrillate the patient until the Code Blue team arrived. This failure to respond resulted in a loss of oxygen to the brain, irreversible brain damage and death.

In-Office Anesthesia Overdose — $3.15 Million Jury Verdict

Walkup’s team of medical malpractice wrongful death attorneys brought suit in Superior Court on behalf of the surviving wife and children of a San Francisco man who suffered cardiac arrest after an in-office plastic surgical procedure. The attending plastic surgeon was shown to have been negligent in leaving the man in the care of an inept nurse after surgery. The nurse failed to summon help when the man’s postoperative course deteriorated. The jury’s verdict was upheld on appeal.

Failure To Diagnose Head Injury — $3 Million Jury Verdict

Our medical malpractice wrongful death trial lawyers prevailed in a case brought on behalf of the parents of a 29-year-old man who died of an undiagnosed head injury. The young man presented to the defendant emergency room physician with a head laceration after being struck with a surfboard. Ignoring the possibility of a head injury, the defendant doctor neglected to order a CT scan or palpate the wound and merely sutured the laceration and discharged the patient with a prescription for Vicodin. Shortly after being discharged, the patient fell unconscious in his living room and was emergently taken to San Francisco General Hospital. There, CT scanning demonstrated a depressed skull fracture, which lacerated the middle meningeal artery. Extensive intracranial bleeding resulted in brain death. At trial, Walkup wrongful death lawyers demonstrated that palpating the wound would have resulted in discovery of the skull fracture and the institution of timely life-saving care. The jury agreed, awarding the plaintiffs a total of $3 million in damages for the loss of their son. The judgment was later reduced pursuant to the provisions of California’s 32-year-old MICRA law, which limits general damages to $250,000.

Surgical Error During Biopsy – Major Confidential Settlement

Our wrongful death medical malpractice team of lawyers negotiated a wrongful death settlement in a MICRA medical negligence case arising from the death of a 25-year-old woman. The claim was brought on behalf of her parents. Our clients’ daughter died following what was anticipated to be a routine lymph node biopsy. Intraoperatively, her oxygen mask erupted in flames, causing serious burns to her face. She was transferred to a hospital offering a higher level of care. There, while recuperating from her burns, doctors attempted an experimental biopsy procedure. This procedure included substantial risk because of the proximity to vital organs. It was carried out by a Fellow who had only performed one similar biopsy. Walkup’s medical malpractice specialists showed that he breached the standard of care when he punctured the decedent’s heart during the biopsy. Our clients’ daughter died minutes later. The Walkup team argued that the conduct of the Fellow constituted battery, and as such, was outside the limits of MICRA.

Emergency Room Negligence — Major Confidential Settlement

Our medical malpractice wrongful death trial lawyers obtained a major confidential settlement in a wrongful death case on behalf of the surviving wife and daughter of a 55-year-old contractor who died of an undiagnosed aortic dissection after spending 36 hours in the hospital without ever being seen by a cardiologist. The doctors who saw the patient failed to recognize that he needed an emergency evaluation to rule out aortic dissection. A cardiology consultation and echocardiogram would have made the diagnosis, but were never ordered. Instead, the doctors continued to prescribe nitroglycerine and intravenous morphine for ongoing chest pain. The decedent died shortly after a stress treadmill test, which worsened the tearing of the aorta.

Failure To Diagnose Deadly Cervical Cancer — Wrongful Death

Our medical malpractice lawyers successfully concluded a case on behalf of the two surviving daughters of a 35-year-old woman who died of cervical cancer. Our attorneys proved that both the woman’s primary care physician and a laboratory that failed to follow up properly on biopsy slides were responsible for the failure to diagnose and treat cervical cancer in its early stages. Through the testimony of experts in pathology, our attorneys demonstrated that Pap smears were underreported. Experts in cytology testified that the laboratory should have brought these abnormalities to the attention of the primary care physician. The confidential settlement included an initial cash payment and future installment payments to cover the surviving children’s educational and other maintenance expenses through age 23.

Failure To Diagnose Pelvic Fractures — Wrongful Death

Our medical malpractice wrongful death specialists successfully represented the wife and adult child of a 48-year-old junior high school principal who died of complications from undiagnosed pelvic fractures after a fall. Our attorneys demonstrated that X-rays taken at the time of his initial treatment were misinterpreted and that, as a result, he developed pulmonary emboli that ultimately caused cardiac arrest. The defendant hospital and its physicians claimed that the original injuries from the fall were by themselves sufficient to produce death and that the failure to correctly interpret the X-rays was not negligent. The amount of the settlement, confidential in nature, included the maximum amount available for general damages representing loss of care, comfort, society and love, as well as an amount equal to the present cash value of the decedent’s lost future wages, earnings, support and benefits.

Contact Our California Medical Malpractice Death Lawyers

If your loved one died because of a misdiagnosis, a failure to diagnose, a surgical error, an emergency room mistake, a hospital-caused infection, a birth injury, an infected tissue transplant, a prescription error or any other medical mistake, contact our California medical negligence lawyers today. To make an appointment for a free consultation, call us at (415) 981-7210 or contact the Walkup firm online.

Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger handles medical malpractice cases throughout the Bay Area, including San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland and Vallejo.