Florida “wrongful births” leave health care providers liable

According to Institute of Medicine statistics, approximately 98,000 Americans die each year as a result of medical errors that could have been prevented. This is an example of ‘wrongful death,’ a term recognizable to many. However, the term ‘wrongful birth’ may not provide the same familiarity, but is causing just as much commotion in the legal arena.

In 2007, the Tampa Tribune provided details of such a case involving a University of South Florida doctor. This doctor told Daniel and Amara Estrada to go ahead with a second pregnancy, despite the fact that their first child had significant birth defects. However, the doctor did not provide all of the facts needed by the Estrada’s to make a decision about having a second child.

If this doctor properly diagnosed the first child with Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (a syndrome with which the doctor was familiar), the Estrada’s would have known that a 25% chance existed that their second child would have this same genetic disorder, and a test could have been done during the pregnancy to find out for sure. Had they known that their second child had Smith-Lemli-Optiz syndrome, the Estrada’s would have terminated the pregnancy.

According to the Tampa Tribune, the “jury determined the Estradas deserve $23.5 million for lifetime care of their second child, born with the same genetic disorder as their first. The award includes payment for the pain and suffering caused by the doctor’s misdiagnosis.”

A similar case just resolved in September in Palm Beach County. In this incident, a boy was born without arms and with only one leg, but his parents had no prior knowledge that this would occur, despite regular prenatal care and sonograms.

According to Miami Injury Lawyer Blawg, the jury found that the doctor and ultrasound technician involved with this pregnancy fell below the standard of care by negligently administering a sonogram. Had they not been negligent, they would have discovered the abnormalities. If the parents were made aware of these abnormalities, they would have terminated the pregnancy. The parents were awarded $4.5 million to help them buy prostheses, wheelchairs and other medical services needed to aid in their child’s care.

Both of these lawsuits deal with a controversial matter: the right of a parent to sue on behalf of children with disabilities, claiming that they wouldn’t have had the child had they known the extent of the child’s disability. Florida is one of approximately 25 states that allow for these ‘wrongful birth’ suits, which present sensitive issues for jurors.

Health care providers in Florida need to be aware of the protections provided for parents in similar cases and strive to go above and beyond the standard of care. To learn more about how to protect yourself in these matters, visit http://www.thehealthlawfirm.com/.

By |2024-03-14T10:00:25-04:00June 1, 2018|Categories: In the News, The Health Law Firm Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Florida “wrongful births” leave health care providers liable

Orlando Health Attorney Appointed to Health Law Certification Committee

On April 9, 2012, Gwynne A. Young, President-Elect of The Florida Bar, announced that George F. Indest III, President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, has been appointed to serve on The Florida Bar’s Health Law Certification Committee. Mr. Indest will begin his three year term on July 1, 2012.

The Florida Bar’s Health Law Certification Committee is responsible for overseeing the board certification process for all health law attorneys. Appointments to this standing committee are made by The Florida Bar’s President-Elect. There are only 116 attorneys certified by The Florida Bar in the legal specialty of health law.

Mr. Indest is a well-known attorney specializing in the representation of health professionals and health care providers throughout Florida. He is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. His practice encompasses all aspects of health law, including defense of professional licensing cases, representation in investigations, defense in credentialing matters, Medicare and Medicaid audits, formation of corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs), Board of Medicine hearings, peer review actions, clinical privileges hearings, representation of medical students, and other matters of health care law and legal representation of health care professionals.

In 1999 Mr. Indest started The Health Law Firm, which has three Florida offices in Altamonte Springs, Orlando, and Pensacola. A former Navy JAG Corps attorney, he has practiced law for over 30 years.

For more information about The Health Law Firm visit http://www.thehealthlawfirm.com.


About The Health Law Firm
The Health Law Firm was established in 1999, bringing together a team of experienced attorneys with decades of work in the legal and healthcare fields. With offices in Altamonte Springs, Orlando and Pensacola, Florida, the firm represents healthcare providers, including hospitals, nursing homes, physicians, dentists, mental health professionals and other licensed health professionals and entities. For more information about The Health Law Firm, visit http://www.thehealthlawfirm.com. 
For additional information contact:
Kara Large
[email protected]
Phone: (407) 331-6620, ext. 219
By |2024-03-14T10:00:29-04:00June 1, 2018|Categories: Our Firm, The Health Law Firm Blog|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on Orlando Health Attorney Appointed to Health Law Certification Committee

If You Are a Dentist Facing Legal Challenges, Choose an Attorney Who is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

George Indest HeadshotBy George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

Dentists, nurses, pharmacists, health professionals, and health facilities often face legal challenges from many different sources. These challenges can come from federal and state regulators, medical malpractice trial lawyers, hospitals, clinics and colleagues. If you find yourself faced with a legal problem, the first person you should contact is an attorney who is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law.

A Board Certified Health Law Attorney is Your Legal Specialist.

To find a lawyer who has expertise in the area of law relating to your legal needs, the Supreme Court of Florida directed The Florida Bar to offer a “Board Certification” program for Florida Bar members. The program is designed to help the public make an informed decision when seeking and selecting a lawyer. Not all states use board certification to designate attorneys, and those that do may not have board certification in the area of Health Law. However, both Florida and Texas are states that do offer a board certification program for their health lawyers.

While all lawyers are allowed to advertise, only certified attorneys are allowed to identify themselves as “Florida Bar Board Certified” or as a “specialist.” Being certified is the highest level of recognition by The Florida Bar of the competency and experience of attorneys in health law.

A lawyer who is a member in good standing of The Florida Bar and who meets the standards set by the state’s Supreme Court, may become a “Board Certified Health Law Attorney.”

Not all qualified lawyers are certified, but those who are board certified have taken the extra step to have their competence and experience recognized. You can read more about what distinguishes “Board Certified” attorneys from others by visiting The Florida Bar website here.

Requirements for Becoming Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law.

To qualify to take the health law certification examination, attorneys must:

1. be members of The Florida Bar for at least five years,
2. be engaged in the full-time practice of law,
3. be substantially involved, at least forty percent (40%), in health law for the prior three years of their practice,
4. complete at least 60 hours of advanced continuing legal education of approved health law credits and,
5. Pass a stringent peer review process.

To become certified in health law, an attorney is also required to pass a rigorous written board certification examination designed to test the attorney’s knowledge, skills and proficiency in the field of health law. All currently certified attorneys must apply for recertification every five years.

Read more on The Health Law Firm’s Board Certified Health Law attorneys here.

To view a press release on the recertification of George F. Indest III and Michael L. Smith, click here.

You Seek Specialized Medical Care from a Medical Specialist; Seek Specialized Legal Services from a Health Law Specialist.

If you have a medical issue you seek treatment from a physician who is board certified in a medical specialty, such as obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedic surgery, neurology or others. This is because they have superior education, training, knowledge and experience in that area of medicine.

Likewise, when you have a legal problem in the area of health practice, health licensing, health care regulation or other legal situations unique to the health care industry, you should seek legal advice and representation from a legal specialist in health law.
Contact The Health Law Firm to Speak with an Attorney who is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law.

The Health Law Firm currently has two Board Certified Health Law attorneys:

George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M, is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law.
Michael L. Smith, J.D., R.R.T., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law.

To learn more about all the attorneys at The Health Law Firm, click here.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.

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“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of and a registered service mark of The Health Law Firm, P.A., a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
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