Articles Tagged with “Boston medical malpractice lawyers”

Boston personal injury lawyers Breakstone, White & Gluck

Left to right: Attorney Ronald E. Gluck, Attorney Marc L. Breakstone and Attorney David W. White have been recognized by Best Lawyers in America© 2019.

Breakstone, White & Gluck announces that our partners have been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© 2019. Best Lawyers© is the oldest and most respected attorney ranking service in the world, providing a resource for those searching for legal services for more than 30 years. It ranks lawyers in partnership with U.S. News & World Report and other media partners.

Best Lawyers© compiles its annual list of attorneys based on a peer-review process. Nominations can be submitted online by members of the public, clients and other attorneys. But attorneys alone provide evaluations. Nearly 87,000 lawyers around the world are eligible to participate. For the ninth year, lawyers in the Boston region chose to rank Breakstone, White & Gluck. Our rankings:

Doctor and patient in medical office

Patients should be aware of medical errors at Rhode Island and Massachusetts hospitals before they book their next procedure.

When you visit a hospital, you expect to be treated, then leave on your way to recovery. But two recent stories out of Massachusetts and Rhode Island should raise concern among patients. As medical malpractice lawyers, we hear about these stories too often, but the general public is not always informed.

When you book your next medical appointment or surgery, we urge to remember that any type of medical treatment is serious. Please take time to ask questions, even if you have to make an extra appointment with your doctor.

Breakstone, White & Gluck is pleased to announce that Marc L. Breakstone, David W. White and Ronald E. Gluck have been selected to the 2017 Massachusetts Super Lawyers list. Our attorneys were recognized for their work for clients in personal injury and medical malpractice cases. We are proud to share this news. It marks the 14th year they have been selected to the list, which only recognizes the top 5 percent of attorneys in the state.

The Super Lawyers selection process evaluates attorneys based on 12 areas, including verdicts and settlements, experience, honors and awards, bar and professional activity, pro bono and community service and other achievements. The selection process includes input from the Super Lawyers research department and peer review from other attorneys.

Boston Attorney Marc Breakstone

Marc L. Breakstone

Attorney Marc L. Breakstone has been recognized to the Top 100 New England Super Lawyers and Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers lists numerous times over his career. He was recognized on the 2017 Massachusetts Super Lawyers list as a top rated medical malpractice attorney, an honor he has received each year since 2004. His settlements and verdicts include a $10.2 million settlement for an infant who suffered severe injuries due to ambulance negligence and $7.5 million for a family who lost a loved one in a propane gas explosion at a construction site. He also won a $7.1 million award for a pedestrian who was hit by an MBTA bus. Attorney Breakstone, a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law, has practiced in Boston for more than 30 years.

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David W. White

Attorney David W. White has been selected as a Top 100 New England Super Lawyer, a Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyer and Massachusetts Super Lawyer numerous times over his career. He was recognized on the 2017 Massachusetts Super Lawyers list as a top rated personal injury attorney. A past president of the Massachusetts Bar Association, Attorney White has practiced law in Boston for almost 35 years. A graduate of Northeastern University School of Law, Attorney White has been recognized for his work on personal injury cases, as well as in insurance law. Attorney White’s settlements and verdicts include $4.35 million for a construction accident victim and $2.5 million for a client who suffered severe burns due to a homeowner’s negligence.

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Ronald E. Gluck

Attorney Ronald E. Gluck is an accomplished, widely respected and results-driven lawyer who has obtained multi-million dollar awards for his clients in a range of serious personal injury cases for over 35 years. Each year since 2005, Mr. Gluck has been named a top rated personal injury “Super Lawyer” in Massachusetts. His career has focused on cases ranging from those involving pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists injured or killed by the negligence of others to disasters involving train crashes, truck accidents and medical malpractice causing wrongful death, traumatic brain injury and severe orthopedic injury. Attorney Gluck’s approach is to get the best results in the most efficient and effective manner for his clients while making sure that the responsible party is held accountable for their negligence. Following the attacks of 9-11, Mr. Gluck donated his time and expertise to represent the family of a young professional who was killed while a passenger aboard the American Airlines plane that crashed into the World Trade Center. Awards and settlements for Mr. Gluck’s clients include a $3.75 million award to a motorcyclist who suffered brain injuries; $2.5 million to a businessman who suffered spinal injuries in an 18-wheel truck crash; $2 million to the family of a child with mental health disabilities who died as a result of medical negligence, and a confidential settlement to the family of a physician who was hit and killed by a truck while she was riding a bicycle. Mr. Gluck is widely known and respected for his technical legal skills as well as his compassion and professionalism.

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Our Results for Clients
$10.2 million Award for an infant injured by ambulance malpractice
$7.5 million Award for family which lost a loved one in a propane gas explosion
$7.5 million Award for an infant who suffered severe brain injury from medical malpractice during and after anesthesia
$7.1 million Award for a woman who was hit by an MBTA bus
$5.7 million Award for the victim of medical malpractice
$4.35 million Award for a worker who fell as a result of a defective railing
$3.75 million Award for a motorcyclist who was hit by a negligent driver

About Breakstone, White & Gluck
In 2017, Breakstone, White & Gluck celebrated our 25th year of serving clients who have been injured in personal injury, car accident and medical malpractice cases.  We represent clients in Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Quincy and across Massachusetts. If you have been injured by someone else’s negligence, learn your legal rights. Contact us for a free legal consultation at 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676. You can also send us a message using our contact form.

marcbreakstone_125.jpgIt has been two years since Massachusetts implemented sweeping medical malpractice reform, which imposed new restrictions on plaintiffs and attorneys and forced them to wait out a “cooling-off” period before filing claims.

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly recently interviewed some of Boston’s leading medical malpractice lawyers on the law and how it has changed their work. They shared criticism but acknowledged there have been a few benefits. Attorney Marc Breakstone of Breakstone, White & Gluck was interviewed. The article appeared in this week’s edition.

Under changes made to G.L. c. 231 §60L, plaintiffs became required to provide defendants with notice of intent to sue, then wait 150 days before filing a claim in court. This is meant to provide doctors and patients time to resolve a matter outside of court. During this time, doctors are now allowed to make apologies for medical mistakes. This has been one of the most controversial parts of the legislation. But these apologies are not admissible if a claim proceeds to court, unless a doctor makes a contradictory statement under oath.

While the legislation has brought challenges, Breakstone said doctors now have a space to explain to patients what happened during their care. Even if a doctor offers no apology, patients are often satisfied merely to receive an explanation of what happened and expressions of regret, he said.

“It is the betrayal that drives clients to lawyers in many cases,” said the Breakstone, White & Gluck partner. “And under the new statute that encourages disclosure, transparency and apology, I surmise there is less feeling of betrayal.”

Another change is some plaintiff’s attorneys are now sending their initial letters of notice to sue with letters from experts laying out their case.

Breakstone said that is because most lawyers will not accept a case until they can get that letter, and they are happy to provide it at the outset since the statute provides a structure for “systematic information exchange.”

“Before the statute … I would not even bother to put a potential defendant on notice of the claim,” he said. “I would just file the claim. To the extent this statute provides for forced exchange of information, one could say that’s a benefit.”

Read the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly Article: Two years in, med-mal reforms show promise (Subscription Required).
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We are pleased to announce our attorneys have been selected as Super Lawyers for 2014. This is the 11th year they have been recognized as among the best in Massachusetts and New England.

Our partners, Marc L. Breakstone, David W. White and Ronald E. Gluck, have been selected to various lists, including the Top 100 New England Super Lawyers, Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers, New England Super Lawyers and Massachusetts Super Lawyers. Our associate, Samuel A. Segal, has been selected to Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Stars, for the second consecutive year.

Super Lawyers is a national rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. The top 5 percent of attorneys in each state are selected. The Super Lawyers list will be published in November’s edition of Boston Magazine.

Attorney Marc Breakstone was selected for the following 2014 Super Lawyers honors:

  • Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers, Plaintiff’s Medical Malpractice
  • New England Super Lawyers, Plaintiff’s Medical Malpractice

marcbreakstone_125.jpgBreakstone has also been named a Top 100 New England Super Lawyer four times, in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013. It is the eighth year he has been recognized to the Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers and his 11th year as a Massachusetts and New England Super Lawyer in the category of plaintiff’s medical malpractice.

Breakstone has established a reputation as one of the top medical malpractice and personal injury lawyers in Massachusetts and New England. For over 25 years, he has represented clients who have been seriously injured by negligence in cases involving wrongful death, construction accidents, gas explosions and transportation and truck accidents. He is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law.

Attorney David W. White was selected for the following 2014 Super Lawyers honors:

  • Top 100 New England Super Lawyers
  • Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers, Personal Injury General Plaintiff

david-150-2.jpgWhite, a past president of the Massachusetts Bar Association, has been named to the Top 100 New England Super Lawyers list three times and the Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers list six times. He has been recognized on the Massachusetts Super Lawyers list in the personal injury category for 11 years.

White has practiced law in Boston for over 25 years and specializes in personal injury cases, representing clients seriously injured in bicycle accidents, car accidents, construction accidents and those injured in product liability and premises liability cases. He is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law.

Attorney Ronald E. Gluck has been selected for the following 2014 Super Lawyers honors:

  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers, Personal Injury General Plaintiff
  • New England Super Lawyers, Personal Injury General Plaintiff

gluck_150.jpgGluck, who represented victims of the 9-11 attacks, has been selected to the Massachusetts Super Lawyers list for 10 years and New England Super Lawyers for 8 years. He has represented seriously injured clients for over 30 years in cases involving wrongful death, car and truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, liquor liability, premises liability and product liability. He is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

Attorney Samuel A. Segal has been selected for the following 2014 Super Lawyers honors:

  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Stars for 2014
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Stars for 2013

sam-125.jpgSegal handles personal injury cases in all areas of the firm’s practice, including medical malpractice, premises liability, car accidents and construction accident claims. He is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law. The Rising Stars list recognizes the top 2.5 percent of lawyers in the state who are either 40 years old or younger or who have been in practice for 10 years or less.

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doctor-patient-2014.jpgDespite years of patient safety initiatives, reports of serious medical errors at Massachusetts hospitals are rising rapidly.

In 2013, Massachusetts acute-care hospitals reported 753 serious medical errors and other patient injuries, according to The Boston Globe. This was an alarming 70 percent increase from the previous year. Other hospitals, including those providing psychiatric and rehabilitative care, saw a 60 percent increase from 2012.

Some say the reason may be broader reporting requirements from the state. Since 2008, hospitals have been required to notify the state Department of Public Health about serious reportable events. In addition, the Department of Public Health now has a computerized system for reporting, a change from when medical errors were reported by fax.

In the past, hospitals had to report incidents which left a patient with a “serious disability.”
In 2012, the term became “serious injury” and it has new categories, including if a patient dies or suffers serious injury if a medical professional fails to communicate test results.

State officials say the new requirements have been fully implemented. That means the conversation should move on to safety and preventing medical malpractice.

There were very serious injuries reported in 2013 and these are the areas which saw the largest increases:

  • Patients who underwent a procedure on the wrong body part
  • Patients who were burned in an operative room fire or by a heating pack
  • Patients who were exposed to contaminated drugs or improperly sterilized equipment

Massachusetts is working to reform medical malpractice along with many other states and the federal government. In 2012, the state passed a health care cost containment bill. The goal of the bill was to save the state $200 billion in health care costs over the next 15 years. Measures included $135 million in grants to help community hospitals adopt electronic medical records and a 182-day cooling off period for injured patients to negotiate out-of-court with hospitals and physicians.

A few months earlier, some Massachusetts hospitals had also joined a plan which would allow doctors to apologize to patients for medical errors and work to settle malpractice claims out of court. It was based on a model developed by the University of Michigan Health System which was credited with reducing the number of lawsuits.

Our Resources for Patients
Our lawyers have over 100 years combined experience handling medical malpractice and personal injury claims. Please view our patient safety resources.

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syringe-150.jpgAuthorities have arrested a former New Hampshire hospital technician accused of infecting over 30 people with hepatitis C by injecting himself with syringes which were later used to treat patients.

David M. Kwiatkowski, 33, was a traveling technician who worked at Exeter Hospital’s cardiac catheterization lab from April 2011 through May 2012, when he was fired. He is accused of stealing syringes containing fentanyl from the lab, injecting himself and refilling the tubes with a liquid such as saline. Patients were then treated with the syringes.

Kwiatkowski told authorities he learned he had hepatitis C in May 2012, but further investigation showed he tested positive for the infection back in June 2010.

Kwiatkowski was arrested Thursday at an undisclosed Massachusetts hospital where he is receiving treatment for an undisclosed condition. He told authorities he has not taken drugs and a syringe found in his vehicle with a fentanyl label did not belong to him.

When Kwiatkowski is discharged, he will return to New Hampshire to face federal drug charges.

Hundreds of Exeter Hospital patients have been tested over the past few months and more are being notified. So far, 31 patients have tested positive for hepatitis C, a blood-borne infection which can cause liver disease and long-term health problems.

Two dozen lawsuits have been filed against the hospital for medical malpractice. A New Hampshire medical malpractice attorney is also representing 90 individuals for a possible class-action lawsuit which would allege medical malpractice and negligent supervision on the part of hospital.

The potential medical malpractice plaintiffs include 30 individuals who still do not know whether they have hepatitis C and another 30 or 40 who tested negative. These individuals have been told they must undergo periodic future testing, take medications for side effects and may not be intimate with their partners.

Kwiatkowski is a “serial infector,” said U.S. Attorney John Kacavas in comments reported by the Associated Press. He worked in hospitals in at least six other states and authorities are investigating whether he infected more patients.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has received similar reports of 13 hepatitis C outbreaks at medical facilities between 2008 and 2011, though state and federal authorities have no reporting requirement. At least two of the medical negligence cases have resulted in criminal charges.


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emergency-room-200.jpgThree Massachusetts hospitals have been cited in the past six months for sending away patients from their emergency rooms without treatment. One case resulted in the wrongful death of a patient during transport to another hospital.

The hospitals are Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River, St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester and Lahey Clinic in Burlington, according to a Boston Globe article. The three hospitals were investigated by state officials and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which reported to the facilities they would not lose their Medicare contracts because they had taken corrective action to prevent future cases of ER malpractice. The cases have been referred to the Office of the Inspector General to determine whether the facilities will be fined.

Federal law passed in 1986 guarantees every patient who needs emergency medical care receive it, regardless of citizenship, legal status or ability to pay. Hospitals are required to provide patients a medical screening exam and stabilize any emergency medical conditions. There were 11 violations in New England last year, 13 in 2010 and seven in 2009. Hospitals can lose their Medicare contracts and face fines for repeated violations of medical malpractice.

Charleton Memorial Hospital
In the Charlton Memorial Hospital case, a patient who had been diagnosed with a serious lung disease as a child arrived at the emergency room on Aug. 9 at 7:30 p.m. The patient spent several hours in the ER before a physician cleared him to travel to another hospital. But the patient deteriorated after another doctor began his shift about 10:30 p.m. and hospital officials say the second doctor allowed the patient to be transported, despite the ambulance crew’s concerns. Following the patient’s wrongful death, Charleton Memorial Hospital mandated that doctors and nurses reassess all patients before transfer.

St. Vincent Hospital
At St. Vincent Hospital, a patient arrived at the ER on Oct. 16 shortly before 8:30 p.m. He reported symptoms of a fever and pain from an abscess on the right buttock. The evaluating physician concluded the patient was in poor condition and needed emergency surgery to remove dead tissue. But, according to state investigators, the hospital failed to provide a surgeon. A surgeon on call would not come in that evening and the patient was transported to nearby UMass Memorial Medical Center so he could receive the surgery. The Globe was unable to obtain the patient’s treatment outcome following the medical malpractice.

Lahey Clinic
At Lahey Clinic, a doctor and nurse were placed on 30 days of unpaid leave after an incident at the hospital’s Peabody location on Nov. 19. A patient walked in and was told he was banned from the hospital as well as its Burlington emergency room.

The patient was escorted from the hospital in a wheelchair by a security guard. The patient went to another hospital for treatment and officials there contacted Lahey. Hospital officials apologized and he was later admitted to Lahey’s Burlington facility.

In addition to placing a doctor and a nurse on administrative leave, Lahey required them to undergo re-training in emergency care laws. All doctors and nurses will also undergo annual education on the regulations.


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Boston Medical Malpractice Attorney Marc L. Breakstone Comments on His Experience with Medical Record Cover-Ups in His Record-Breaking Recoveries

marcbreakstone_125.jpgBOSTON – (February 9, 2012) – Boston medical malpractice attorney Marc L. Breakstone said today, “The Mongan Institute for Health Policy Survey concerning doctors’ adherence to medical standards confirms what we have learned through years of litigation experience: Doctors often conceal their errors to avoid the consequences of their mistakes.”

Mr. Breakstone, who has recovered two of the largest medical negligence awards for individuals in Massachusetts history ($10.2 million and $7.5 million), said that he has seen numerous cases in which doctors have altered medical records or created false medical records to “cover their tracks.” In these two cases, it was shown that physicians, nurses, EMTs and others had either altered, destroyed or recreated falsified records.

These bogus records were revealed after years of investigation and intensive discovery efforts. Mr. Breakstone pointed out that “these falsified records appeared genuine to the patients’ families. It was not until we dug up original pre-altered records that the cover-ups were revealed.” Mr. Breakstone lamented that the falsification of medical records is rarely disclosed. Without the civil justice system, “most wrong-doing would go unnoticed and unpunished,” he said. He also said that it is rare for a physician to admit they had made an error, big or small.

Mr. Breakstone added that it is important for patients to learn as much as they can about their medical procedures and conditions so they can ask hard questions if matters become complicated. “Patients have a right to review their records at any time, even while in the hospital, and this is one way to make sure mistakes are not buried.”

Mr. Breakstone is available for further comment on the Mongan Institute Report as well as other patient safety issues. For more information, call 978-284-3401 or 617-723-7676.

Click here to read: Doctors Admit They Lie to Patients and Hide Mistakes, Survey Reveals, The Boston Globe, Feb. 9, 2012.
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medical-instruments-200.jpgThe Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is studying why some medical facilities are failing to properly sterilize medical devices for reuse in surgeries and endoscopy procedures.

The result is patients are being exposed to microscopic amounts of blood, body fluids and tissues from other patients, according to a recent FDA Consumer Update. This exposure may have resulted because the devices were not properly reprocessed, cleaned, disinfected or sterilized.

Patients are being exposed through surgical instruments such as clamps, forceps and endoscopes. Endoscopy procedures are often performed to diagnose cancer and other illness.

The FDA states that transmission of infection was extremely rare in reports it has received about patient exposure. It states the risk for acquiring an infection from a reused medical device is low.

The FDA states patients can protect themselves by learning about their medical procedure and asking their medical facility what steps it takes to reprocess surgical instruments.

The agency suggests patients also research their procedures on the websites of professional organizations, such as the American Academy of Family Physicians.

The FDA is working to prevent this type of medical malpractice by:

  • Making sure manufacturers are providing clear cleaning instructions.
  • Making sure hospitals and staff understand and follow the instructions.
  • Improving medical device design to facilitate cleaning and sterilization.

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