Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law Blog

30-Year Old Woman in South Florida Dies While Undergoing Plastic Surgery

Posted by Briggs Bedigian | Jun 09, 2017 | 0 Comments

A Florida doctor who has battled efforts to revoke his license to practice based on incidents of medical malpractice had a patient die recently while he performed cosmetic surgery at a Doral clinic. Osakatukei Omulepu was conducting an operation on Lattia Baumeister when the paramedics were contacted after she was unresponsive. During that week, a Florida District Court issued a denial of a request by the Health Department prohibiting him from performing liposuctions. In the greater Miami area, there have been five patient deaths in plastic surgery operations since May 2016. The doctor, who heavily advertises his “Brazilian butt lift” procedures, had his attorney issue a statement indicating this was the first of his patients to have died during an operation.

A liposuction involves usage of a metal rod referred to as a cannula to extract fat through an incision point. In May 2015, Omulepu was accused of causing damage to the organs of two patients, while two others claimed to have developed severe infections. Steven Rosenberg, a dermatologist familiar with the problems, expressed his frustration with the courts attempts to revoke Omulepu's medical license. The process of appealing a claim can take several months and allows the physician to continue practicing during the interim. Rosmery Diaz of Miami filed suit recently after undergoing two surgeries by Dr. Omulepu which left her disfigured after she began vomiting and experiencing sharp pain. Thus far, the medical board and health department have unsuccessfully attempted to restrict Omulepu's practice.

Florida Medical Consent Law

In medical treatments other than those relating to 768.13, entitled the “Good Samaritan Act”, no recovery for damages is allowed in a court against any licensed physician, osteopathic physician, chiropractor, podiatrist, dentist, nurse practitioner or physician assistant in actions brought resulting from patient treatment or operation without their consent when:

  • A medical professional obtains patient consent or consent from a party authorized to do so on behalf of the patient in accordance with standards of health practice accepted among others in the profession with similar knowledge and training -and-
  • A reasonable person, based on information by the medical provider, obtains an understanding of the procedure, the alternative treatments, and inherent risks as recognized by others in the profession -or-
  • A patient, based on the circumstances, would reasonably have proceeded with the treatment had they been advised accordingly
  • A consent must be in writing and be signed by the patient, or a party authorized to do so on their behalf, who is competent mentally and physically

Florida Patient Compensation Fund

Medical providers pay a yearly fee to the fund. When a claim results in a judgment or settlement, the fund will pay up to the maximum coverage amount maintained by the provider. The limits of the fund's coverage are $1 million per claim with a yearly total of $3 million, or $2 million per claim with a $4 million yearly total, based on the provider's choice of coverage. Providers are responsible for any excess, or for any awards of punitive damages

About the Author

Briggs Bedigian

H. Briggs Bedigian (“Briggs”) is a founding partner of Gilman & Bedigian, LLC.  Prior to forming Gilman & Bedigian, LLC, Briggs was a partner at Wais, Vogelstein and Bedigian, LLC, where he was the head of the firm's litigation practice.  Briggs' legal practice is focused on representing clients involved in medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases. 

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