Any hospital may be involved in a medical malpractice lawsuit, even the best hospitals in the country. However, when one hospital is the subject of dozens of medical malpractice and negligence lawsuits at the same time, it could be a sign of bigger problems at the hospital. Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center in Brownsville, Brooklyn had just that problem.
Skin Disorder Leads to Brain Damage
Brookdale Hospital was one of 3 hospitals named in one of New York’s largest medical malpractice award cases, involving a 37-year-old woman who led a normal life before medical errors took their toll.
Jacqueline Martin had a rare skin disorder but doctors at multiple hospitals were unable to diagnose the disease. After suffering a seizure, Martin was given medication but suffered an allergic reaction. She then went into cardiac arrest, leading to a permanent brain injury.
As a result of the brain damage, Martin required 24-hour care. According to her mother, “she was not properly cared for and went through some of the worst monitoring I have ever seen.” Martin’s mother provided care for the adult woman and filed the malpractice lawsuit on her daughter’s behalf. A jury awarded the victim $120 million in damages.
Multiple Medical Malpractice Claims
According to the Daily News, at one time, there were at least a dozen lawsuits against Brookdale for medical malpractice and negligence. Some of these cases involved fatal injuries caused by traumatic brain injury (TBI) and infections. In one case, a patient with a medical bracelet showing she was allergic to penicillin was given penicillin.
The director of the Center for Justice and Democracy at New York Law School called the number of lawsuits “egregious,” and said for each lawsuit there are likely 100 other patients who felt like they received poor care but did not sue. “It sounds like there’s an epidemic of medical malpractice at this hospital.”
Failing Grade for Brookdale
Brookdale is one of a handful of hospitals in the U.S. that have earned an “F” for Hospital Safety Score. According to the New York Post, patients at failing hospitals are at higher risk of getting an infection, being given the wrong medication, suffering a fall injury, developing bed sores, or suffering some other injury.
The safety grade evaluator found the following statistics comparing Brookdale to national numbers:
- Patients are 10 times more likely to develop bedsores,
- Patients are 2x as likely to get a urinary tract infection (UTI),
- 13% of pneumonia patients get the wrong antibiotic, and
- About 1/3rd of patients with a blood clot get the wrong treatment.
More than Just Medical Malpractice
Multiple medical malpractice cases at Brookdale may be the sign of deeper problems. The Brookdale hospital was fined $78,000 by the Department of Labor in 2014 for failing to protect workers and unsafe conditions. Within a few months, more than 40 employees suffered head, eye, face, and groin injuries while working at the hospital.
According to OSHA director, Kay Gee, “Brookdale management was aware of these incidents and did not take effective measures to prevent assaults against its employees.”
When a Hospital Fails to Take Proper Care
When a hospital suffers from issues as an institution, it can lead to medical errors and mistakes for patients. The medical malpractice attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian are committed to helping our clients obtain the financial compensation they deserve to rebuild their lives after a medical error. To discuss your injuries with a member of our legal team, fill out an online case evaluation form or call (800) 529-6162 today.