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Hundreds of Doctors Accused of California Medical Malpractice Were Not Disciplined by the State, Says Public Citizen

December 31, 1969

Public Citizen is accusing the Medical Board of California and state regulators of failing to discipline 710 doctors whose hospital privileges were revoked because of California medical malpractice, other serious mistakes, and incompetence. The non-profit consumer group's conclusions come from its analysis of the National Practitioner Data Bank.

Among the doctors who were not disciplined are 102 physicians that had been deemed an "immediate threat" to patients. The Medical Board, In its response to a letter written by Public Citizen's Dr. Sidney Wolf five months ago, said that staff vacancies and budget cuts were factors in its inaction.

Public Citizen has now written to California Governor Jerry Brown. According to Wolfe, the medical board is not acting to protect patients from these doctors with already documented poor records. Public Citizen also claims that the state doesn't seem interested in identifying these physicians.

Our Anaheim medical malpractice law firm would like to point out that disciplinary action against a negligent doctor doesn't have to happen first before you can file an Orange County, California personal injury lawsuit. We also represent victims of Los Angeles medical malpractice, San Bernardino County medical malpractice, and Riverside County medical malpractice.

Among the details Public Citizen found in the national database:
• One doctor had eight medical malpractice payouts totally about $2 million over a 17 year period. He lost his clinical privileges three times.
• Another doctor's hospital privileges were taken away because he was found to be a danger to his patients. He had six California medical malpractice payouts. One of his patients sustained serious permanent injury.
• Another doctor had 15 medical malpractice payouts. Two of the incidents involved foreign objects that were accidentally left inside patients. One of the physician's patients sustained serious permanent injury.

Unfortunately, every year there are people who sustain serious injuries and/or other health complications because a physician was negligent, careless, reckless, or made an avoidable mistake. Doctors and other medical professionals owe patients a duty of care to provide a certain standard of quality care. When failure to provide that care results in the patient getting hurt, he/she may have reason for filing a California medical malpractice lawsuit. Families of those who died because of medical negligence or neglect may have grounds for a California wrongful death complaint.

Some examples of medical mistakes:
• Medication mix-ups
• Failure to obtain informed consent
• Birthing errors
• Negligent prenatal care
• Poor post-operative care
• Anesthesia errors
• Wrong diagnosis
• Delayed diagnosis
• Wrong-site surgery
• Leaving foreign instruments in the body
• Negligent nursing care

A California medical malpractice has to be brought within a year of the claimant finding out about the negligent act but no more than three years after the date the injury incident happened. If the victim is a minor, then a California medical malpractice action has to be brought within three years of when the negligent act happened. However, if the child is younger than 6, the action has to be commenced within three years or before his/her eight birthday (whichever is a longer time period). Under California's pure comparative negligence rule, negligence on the victim's part can decrease the amount of recovery owed but it will not entirely eliminate recovery.

Report: California failed to discipline hundreds of dangerous doctors, OC Register, August 11, 2011

Read the letter from the Medical Board of California, (PDF)

Read the letter from Public Citizen

Related Web Resources:

National Practitioner Data Bank

Medical Board of California

Public Citizen

More Blog Posts:
Orange County, California Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Blame Roland Heights Osteopath For Two Prescription Overdose Deaths, California Injury Lawyers, July 13, 2011

Los Angeles Medical Malpractice: $2.25M Verdict Awarded to Eye Surgery Patient Who Suffered Brain Injury, California Injury Lawyers, June 17, 2011

Anaheim Medical Malpractice?: Wrong-Side Kidney Operation Performed on a Patient, California Injury Lawyers, June 6, 2011

Contact our Anaheim personal injury law firm and ask for your free case evaluation.