Monthly Archives: June 2011

Anesthesia Malpractice In ‘Simple’ Eye Case $2.25 Million Judgment


It was to be a routine outpatient eye surgery done thousands of times per day across the country. In fact most anesthesia providers would describe it as a boring, bread and butter clinical procedure from their perspective. In Tseng v. Mazzocco Ambulatory Surgery Center, the plaintiff was to have an artificial lens placed in one eye. Depending on the surgeon, this is generally a 10-30 minute procedure done under local anesthesia with varying degrees of sedation. According to court documents filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, the plaintiff claimed both the anesthesiologist and Mazzocco Ambulatory Surgical Center were negligent, resulting in significant brain damage to the plaintiff. And the jury agreed.

The plaintiff contended that the anesthesiologist administered IV sedation in an amount greater than was clinically indicated, resulting in the plaintiff’s breathing being compromised. To make matters worse, the anesthesiologist then left the room and failed to properly monitor … (Continued...)

Teva Wins HUGE In Propofol Case Credit U.S. Supreme Court


It has been over a year since we told you about a jury verdict in Nevada against Teva Pharmaceuticals a while ago that cost them $500 Million Dollars. The case involved a Nevada resident who contracted Hepatitis C allegedly from contaminated propofol, the anesthetic used to sedate him for a colonoscopy at the clinic of infamous Dr. Desai where 40,000 former patients were potentially exposed to the virus. In a novel approach, the plaintiff sued the drug manufacturer claiming that improper packaging of the drug encouraged re-use of the single use vial, which led to the contamination. The jury agreed and punished the drug makers with a huge judgment.

Easy come, easy go, Teva is off the hook.

On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and other generic drug makers “cannot be sued under state law over allegations that they failed to provide adequate label … (Continued...)

Self-Proclaimed Cosmetic Surgeon On Trial For 3 Patient Homicides


It is rare that the death of a patient while under the care of a physician, even when negligence is the cause, is ruled a homicide and the physician is charged with murder. So the case of Arizona’s Dr. Peter Normann, on trial in Maricopa County Superior Court, charged with 2 counts of murder and 1 count of manslaughter, is all the more of an anomaly. We can find the explanation in a brief discussion of criminal law and the facts of the case. This is far more than a case of negligence, for which the civil action of medical malpractice would be the appropriate redress.

Murder of varying degrees and manslaughter have rather similar definitions and elements state to state, but each state is responsible for their own, along with proscribed penalties, through their state criminal code. In Arizona, where these deaths took place, Title 13 of the Arizona … (Continued...)

Pediatrician Found Guilty of Multiple Child Rapes

Delaware Pediatrician Abuse Charges

Former Lewes, DE pediatrician Earl Bradley has been found guilty on all 24 counts charged in his trial for 2nd degree rape and sexual assault. Bradley has admitted to raping or assaulting at least 86 children he treated and videotaping the attacks. 13 hours of video was introduced as evidence in the June 7 bench trial before Judge William Carpenter in  Sussex County, Delaware Superior Court.

Bradley faces a potential life sentence without parole on each count. Sentencing will take place on August 26. Armed with the overwhelming video evidence, prosecutors presented a  mere 6 hour case before resting. The defense presented no evidence or witnesses and vows to appeal in attempt to have the videos excluded from a new trial.

In February of 2010 Attorney General Beau Biden announced a 471-count indictment against Bradley, which included a laundry list of charges involving 103 young patients over a 10 year … (Continued...)

Federal Lawsuit Against Law Med Blog Circles The Drain


Back on May 24 we told you about a company called Righthaven. It wasn’t that there was anything about Righthaven that you really needed or wanted to know actually. We were being selfish. You see, Righthaven filed a federal lawsuit in Nevada Federal District Court against this blog. In that lawsuit they claimed that Law Med violated copyright by re-printing  content from the Las Vegas Review Journal (no link to that publication from us unless absolutely necessary…google it if you must). “Well what about it?”, you may ask. There is a little something called Fair Use of copyrighted material under the law. Imagine if we all had to go about our day being careful never to share with another copyrighted material. Never use a book, or newspaper, or video to educate or stimulate conversation, or inform, or rally a cause, without first running about and writing for permission from … (Continued...)



Roberts got off easy…..well, easy-ish. The jury has sentenced Roberts to four years felony probation for the two counts each of misuse of official information and retaliation. Roberts has also been sentenced to serve 100 days in jail on each of the four felony counts to be be served concurrently. He will also have to pay a $6,000 fine.

Roberts will be automatically be removed as Winkler County Sheriff and will have to surrender his peace officer’s license. One down and two to go.… (Continued...)



A jury in Midland Texas has just found Winkler County Sheriff Robert Roberts GUILTY on all six counts. The jury deliberated for about two hours before delivering their verdict. Roberts faces up to 10 years in prison when the penalty phase begins later today or Wednesday.

Law Med predicted a guilty verdict based on the mountain of damning evidence and testimony provided against the sheriff. He mounted a flimsy “I’m a good guy” defense. He had no choice since his actions were indefensible. Dr. Rolando Arafiles and county attorney Scott Tidwell must be seeing the writing on the wall today as they await their turn in the dock.… (Continued...)

Hear The Story of the Winkler County Nurses from Those Involved [AUDIO]


A production from WBEZ’s This American Life on the “Old Boy’s Network”. Hear Anne Mitchell, the Winkler Nurse prosecuted and found innocent after being arrested and charged with a felony, her co-author of the complaint to the Texas Medical Board, Vickie Galle, their attorney John Cook, and various other co-workers and patients of Dr. Rolando Arafiles, telling their stories in their own words. Read all about the saga on our Winkler County Page.

In a small west Texas town called Kermit, two nurses were accused of harassment after they complained to the medical board that a doctor was putting patients in danger. The nurses were fired and then arrested, facing ten years in prison. Reporter Saul Elbein found that a group of powerful men in Kermit went to extreme and sometimes ridiculous lengths to try to bring down these nurses. Saul wrote a version of this story for the


Jury Gets Winkler County Sheriff Case Today [VIDEO]


As this goes to press the attorneys in the criminal trial of Winkler County Sheriff Robert Roberts are delivering their closing arguments to the jury. Closing arguments and jury instructions should be completed by mid-day and once completed the jury will be given the case for deliberation. Law Med would expect a verdict before days end but juries can be unpredictable. But let’s face it…this is not a complicated case.

Jurors certainly will not have to spend much time sifting through the evidence presented by the defense. Yesterday’s defense witnesses spent the morning telling the jury what a great guy the sheriff is. Defense witnesses Friday did more of the same with some ‘Anne Mitchell  is a hard ass’ theme ribboned throughout. The defense rested its case, such that it was, around 11am yesterday. After some bickering amongst the attorneys as to when closing arguments should begin, the judge left … (Continued...)

Winkler Sheriff Trial Day 5 BLOCKBUSTER! 3rd Nurse Sent Complaint

winkler nurses and arafiles

The prosecution rested their case in The State of Texas v. Robert Roberts yesterday but not before a heretofore unknown 3rd nurse took the stand and testified she also sent a letter of complaint to the Texas Medical Board  concerning the medical practice of Dr. Rolando Arafiles.

Winkler County Memorial Hospital nurses Anne Mitchell and Vickie Galle, who were responsible for Quality Assurance and Medical staff credentialing at the facility sent an anonymous letter to the Board (though they revealed themselves to the Board and the Board kept the letter anonymous) listing specific patient care incidents involving Arafiles. After his golfing buddy and former business partner, Dr. Arafiles, came to him complaining someone was making trouble for him with the Board, Sheriff Roberts began an investigation complete with search warrants for computers and deceptive representations to the Board. As a result he arrested Mitchell and Galle and charged them with … (Continued...)

Anesthesia Drug Propofol Shortage Update


Shortages of the anesthesia drug propofol are lessening, with APP Pharmaceuticals notifying health care providers that their supplies are now available from all of their distributors. Hospira reports that  higher than anticipated demand continues to cause shortages. The exit of Teva Pharmaceuticals from the propofol manufacturing business as well as product recalls and manufacturing problems has led to a significant supply disruption. See the FDA Drug Shortage webpage for the latest info on all drug shortages HERE.

From APP:

APP has increased production in response to the increased demand. Please see additional information on availability in the Related Information section

APP has available ALL generic Propofol 1% sizes (20mL, 50mL and 100mL) and generic Novaplus propofol (20 mL, 50mL and 100 mL) vials available through wholesalers and distributors.  Effective May 19, 2011 orders should be placed directly with wholesalers and distribution centers.  See disclaimer icon for more information.

APP Diprivan … (Continued...)