Largest medical malpractice verdict in New Jersey history

Since you're here, we assume that you're considering contacting a New Jersey medical malpractice lawyer about a potential claim. If that's true, there are a few things you should know about our Firm:

Not ready to talk to one of our attorneys? No problem.

We invite you to keep reading to better understand what it means to have a medical malpractice claim in New Jersey.

  • We achieved the largest medical malpractice verdict of its kind in the state of New Jersey.

  • We offer free, no obligation case reviews. If you think you have a malpractice claim, you have nothing to lose by speaking to us about your case, and much to gain.

  • We work on a contingency fee basis. If you retain us to handle your claim you pay us nothing out of pocket.

  • Time is of the essence. In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice is 2 years.

What is Medical Malpractice in New Jersey, and Do I Have a Case?

It's important to understand that not all bad medical outcomes are the result of malpractice or negligence.

More often than not, bad medical outcomes are not caused by malpractice.

Here's the difference between medical malpractice and an unfortunate medical outcome:

Medical malpractice vs. a bad medical result

Medical malpractice in NJ requires that a doctor or other medical professional fail to adhere to the appropriate standard of care.

Conversely, a bad result is when a particular medical treatment (eg, surgery) doesn’t turn out how you or the doctor had hoped.

If an expert examination of the relevant medical records shows that the doctor adhered to the appropriate standard of care, but a bad result occurred, then that would not be considered malpractice or negligence and thus would not be actionable.

Medicine is not an exact science, and sometimes there are bad results.

The difference, though, is when a doctor deviates from accepted standards of care, and a bad result occurs that is actionable and can form the basis of a valid medical malpractice claim.

How can I tell if I have a valid New Jersey medical malpractice claim?

To understand whether you might have a valid medical malpractice claim, let's look at what elements form the basis of these claims.

Ultimately, the basis for medical malpractice is when a doctor, a hospital, or a nurse provides inappropriate care to a patient. It could be the failure to diagnose a problem or the failure to appropriately treat a problem.

A Medical Malpractice Claim is like a three-legged stool:

  • You need to show that a doctor, or a hospital or a nurse made a mistake, and was negligent in the care of a patient. This means that the healthcare provider did not give the level of care that a reasonable, similarly trained healthcare provider would have given under similar circumstances.

  • You need to show that there was damages as a result to that negligence. This can be challenging and may require expert testimony to establish a causal connection between the healthcare provider's actions and your injury.

  • And the third leg of the stool is the connection between the negligence and the damages.

If you or a loved one has suffered severe injuries or death due to suspected medical malpractice in NJ, our lawyers want to help. We invite you to contact our Firm 24/7 to discuss your case.

Disclaimer: Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.

common medical errors that warrant a malpractice suit

Common Forms of Medical Malpractice in NJ

medical malpractice lawyer in nj

The medical malpractice lawyers at O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble regularly assist clients with many types of medical malpractice claims, such as:

Examples of more specific forms of medical malpractice that fit into these categories include but are not limited to the following:

  • Misdiagnosis or wrong diagnosis claims, where the healthcare provider misdiagnoses an illness or disease, resulting in delayed treatment for the actual disease;
  • Delayed diagnosis claims, where the healthcare provider fails to provide the proper diagnosis promptly and the plaintiff’s condition worsens as a result;
  • Wrong-site surgery, where a surgeon performs surgery on the wrong part of the body;
  • Wrong-patient surgery, where a surgeon performs a particular surgery on the wrong patient;
  • Retained foreign object mistake, or a situation where a surgeon leaves an object inside a patient during surgery, such as a towel or a sponge;
  • Unnecessary treatment, where a healthcare provider recommends and performs an unnecessary treatment or surgery;
  • Doctor prescribes the wrong medication;
  • Doctor prescribes the wrong amount of a medication;
  • Doctor prescribes medication that has harmful interaction with another medication that the patient currently uses, which the doctor should have known about based on the patient’s medical records;
  • Pharmacist incorrectly fills prescription;
  • Doctor fails to detect and treat a maternal infection during pregnancy, resulting in an injury to the infant;
  • Failure to properly perform a C-section during birth;
  • Doctor fails to use childbirth tools, resulting in brachial plexus injuries properly;
  • Lab tech performs the wrong diagnostic test on a sample, resulting in an improper diagnosis; and/or
  • Laboratory tools are defective and result in incorrect lab test results.

You never gave up on me, and I will remember that and be grateful to you for the rest of my life.

Dear Mr. O’Connor,

Words can't truly express how much I appreciate everything you have done for me. When we started on this journey 2 years ago on “the eleventh hour,” I was very concerned because of the problems I was having before I retained you. You quickly put my mind to rest by explaining everything to me, and answering all my questions. The outcome of this lawsuit is nothing less than a miracle because of the many obstacles we faced. I know that your professionalism, knowledge, dedication and patience is what got us through. You never gave up on me, and I will remember that and be grateful to you for the rest of my life. The pride you have for your law firm shows. God Bless.

- Marie G.

Read More Client Testimonials

Disclaimer: Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.

Who Is Liable for Medical Malpractice?

Many different parties can be responsible for medical malpractice injuries, including but not limited to the following:

  • Doctor;
  • Physical therapists;
  • Surgeon;
  • Nurse;
  • Pharmacist;
  • Midwives;
  • Dentist;
  • Hospital;
  • Hospital staff members;
  • Designer or manufacturer of medical equipment;
  • Lab tech; and
  • Laboratory.

Types of Damages in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

When you bring a medical malpractice claim, you may be eligible to receive two different forms of compensatory damages, which compensate a plaintiff for losses. Those types of compensatory damages include:

  • Economic damages: direct financial losses, which may include hospital bills and lost wages; and
  • Non-economic damages: losses that do not have an objective dollar amount but instead are subjective based on the plaintiff’s own experience, which may include pain and suffering or the loss of enjoyment of life.

While punitive damages (N.J. Rev. Stat. § 2A:15-5.12) are rare in most personal injury claims in New Jersey, the law does allow for punitive damages in certain circumstances. While compensatory damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff, punitive damages are designed to punish a defendant in a particularly harmful case.

According to the statute, “punitive damages may be awarded to the plaintiff only if the plaintiff proves, by clear and convincing evidence, that the harm suffered was the result of the defendant’s acts or omissions, and such acts or omissions were actuated by actual malice or accompanied by a wanton and willful disregard of persons who foreseeably might be harmed by those acts or omissions.”

In other words, punitive damages are only appropriate in cases where the healthcare provider’s behavior caused severe injuries, and the healthcare provider’s behavior was particularly reckless or egregiously careless.

Lastly, you may seek wrongful death damages if a loved one dies as a result of the malpractice. These damages may include compensation to cover expenses for the funeral, loss of companionship, etc.

Our Record of Success in Medical Malpractice Claims in NJ

The team of attorneys at O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble has a record of success when it comes to obtaining settlements and verdicts for medical negligence injuries. The following are some examples of our recent settlements and verdicts (Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.):

  • $28,000,000 wrongful birth verdict when a healthcare provider failed to disclose a catastrophic genetic defect in an infant (the largest wrongful birth verdict in New Jersey);
  • $15,000,000 settlement for failure to perform necessary heart surgery, an omission that resulted in cerebral palsy;
  • $7,000,000 verdict for failure to perform appropriate diagnostic testing;
  • $7,000,000 settlement for a delayed C-section, resulting in brain injury and cerebral palsy;
  • $5,150,000 verdict for failure to treat a nosebleed, which resulted in a stroke; and
  • $5,000,000 settlement for failure to detect or diagnose seizures, resulting in a patient’s brain damage.

How Can a New Jersey Medical Malpractice Lawyer Help?

Medical malpractice cases are very complex and difficult to navigate.

This is often because the medical professional's career and reputation are at stake, and the court needs sufficient evidence to rule in favor of the victim.

This is where having an experienced lawyer by your side pays dividends. Here are additional reasons as to why you should consider having a consultation with one of our medical malpractice attorneys:

  • Investigation - our legal team will thoroughly investigate your case, including reviewing medical records, consulting with medical experts, and interviews with witnesses.
  • Damage Evaluation - we can help evaluate the damages you have suffered due to the malpractice, including economic and non-economic damages, and any other losses you have incurred.
  • Negotiation - if applicable, we'll negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to obtain a fair settlement for your damages.
  • Litigation - If your case goes to trial, our lawyers can represent you in court, presenting evidence and arguing your case to a judge and/or jury.
  • Communication - unlike some law firms, we take communication with our clients very seriously, and will keep you updated as your case moves along. You will not be left in the dark!

Our reputation for helping victims of medical malpractice in NJ speaks for itself. The following are testimonials from some of our previous clients that attest to the services we provide:

“It turned out my chin was full of cancer. Removing it was a very complicated and painful process. I had to undergo 10 surgeries over 4 years and will suffer from health problems related to the cancer for the rest of my life. I decided to seek legal counsel and a friend recommended O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble. After a first meeting they immediately filed a lawsuit. I was instantly impressed with the firm . . . . We won our case, and the award handed down was the largest medical malpractice award in Union County up to that time.”

William A., who suffered from undiagnosed basal cell carcinoma

“Scott Parsons told me up front that it was going to be a hard case to prove. But the research the firm did was phenomenal. They lined up such credible expert witnesses, and even went to Georgia to tape the testimony of one expert. They were just so thorough and efficient . . . .  [They] won the case for us, which settled out of court.”

Andrea K., whose husband suffered an arterial injury caused by a negligent chiropractor

Disclaimer: Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.

We are New Jersey's premier medical malpractice law firm, having secured the largest medical malpractice verdict of its kind.

$28 Million New Jersey Medical Malpractice Verdict

Details of the case: This case, the largest medical malpractice verdict of its kind in the state of New Jersey, concerned a failure to disclose an unborn infant’s serious genetic defect. It was an important case for many reasons.

After becoming pregnant, the new mom, a carrier of a muscle-wasting disease known as myotubular myopathy (MTM) sought genetic testing. When the amniotic fluid was sent to be tested, the wrong box was checked, indicating it was for an amniocentesis rather than a test for MTM, nor was a request written.

The doctor failed to request a test for MTM as part of the lab instructions, though he did indicate a family history of MTM. In addition, when the doctor asked the lab how much fluid, he was never informed that the lab didn’t do that kind of testing. Hence, fault was placed on the doctor, the testing lab and the lab director who signed the report.

The child was born with irreparable damage: around-the-clock care, a respirator and feeding tube, and the inability to sit up easily. The child will never be able to walk, and has been given a life expectancy of 30 years. As in complex cases, discovery includes taking depositions from all experts.

The primary issue being contested was how long the child would live and the costs associated with his care. The mother was awarded $15 million for future medical expenses and $13 million for anguish. (Attorney Paul O’Connor handled the case.)

See More Sample Case Results

Medical Malpractice Cases We Can Help With

Click on a link below to learn more about that specific area of medical malpractice and how the medical malpractice attorneys at O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble can assist you.

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Contact a New Jersey Medical Malpractice Lawyer

When you seek medical advice from a healthcare provider, or when you visit your doctor or surgeon for treatment, you should be able to anticipate that you will not suffer an injury as a result of your doctor’s negligence.

If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries as a result of a healthcare provider’s negligence, you should speak with our team of New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers to learn more about filing a medical negligence claim. You may be eligible to receive compensation.