Lubell Rosen Wins Lawsuit Involving Vague Consent Form for Sanford, Fla. Cosmetic Surgeon; Lawsuit Moved Up After George Zimmerman Waived “Stand Your Ground” Defense
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., May 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — A jury in Sanford, Fla. ruled in favor of a cosmetic surgeon represented by Steven Lubell, partner and co-founder of the Lubell Rosen medical malpractice defense firm, on April 27, 2013 in a medical malpractice trial. The case was presided over by Judge Debra Nelson, who is also presiding over the George Zimmerman trial, scheduled to start in June. When Zimmerman, accused of killing Florida teen Trayvon Martin in February 2012, elected to waive a late April hearing under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, Judge Nelson moved the malpractice case to the empty slot on her docket.
Lubell Rosen’s client is a prominent cosmetic surgeon from Lake Mary, Fla. The plaintiff, 41-year-old Sanford, Fla. resident Maria Ramos, claimed that as a result of a liposuction/fat transfer to the breast procedure, she developed breast cysts. Cysts are tiny, benign pockets of fluid under the skin. Ramos claimed that the cysts, which were mostly 3-4 mm in size, felt like lumps and caused her pain.
The issue in the case revolved around informed consent. Under Florida law, every doctor has the responsibility to provide his/her patients with a general understanding of risk and benefits of any medical procedure, and possible alternatives to the procedures. Ramos claimed that the informed consent document that the cosmetic surgeon provided didn’t warn her about the risk of lumpiness with regard to the breast procedure.
Lubell, a board certified civil trial attorney, and his associate Josh Bloom, Esq., argued to the jury that the plaintiff knew the risk of lumpiness of the breasts due to the many conversations that occurred between the cosmetic surgeon, his staff and the patient. Lubell called to the stand Ramos’ own treating doctor, a board certified general surgeon, who explained that breast cysts are a well-known complication of any breast procedure. The doctor also testified that breast cysts usually dissipate on their own, especially small cysts such as Ramos’.
Ramos’ legal team brought to the stand a hired “expert,” a plastic surgeon who evaluated Ramos about three weeks prior to the trial. The expert claimed that as a result of the cysts, Ramos would need to undergo a subcutaneous double mastectomy to remove the breasts and reconstruct or insert new breasts (a complicated procedure usually reserved only for cancer survivors).
The jury rejected the testimonies of Ramos and her expert, and ruled in favor of the cosmetic surgeon.
Prior to the trial, Ramos and her legal team made multiple attempts to settle the case. The cosmetic surgeon rejected all of her demands. Additionally, the cosmetic surgeon did not carry professional liability insurance for this claim. Had the cosmetic surgeon lost the case, he would have been personally liable for any judgment. Lubell Rosen instilled the doctor with the confidence and fortitude to maintain his defense, even with a vague consent form.
“Informed consent should be done both in writing and verbally,” said Lubell. “But in a court of law, only the written informed consent can be proved. Verbal informed consent comes down to the testimony of the doctor versus the patient. In this case, we had substantial evidence for the jury to believe the cosmetic surgeon.
“When a doctor uses a vague consent form, he/she gives plaintiff lawyers ammunition,” he continued. “However, when a consent form is detailed, most plaintiff lawyers will realize they are facing an uphill battle and not even accept the case.”
About Lubell Rosen
Lubell Rosen is a law firm dedicated to providing full service representation as well as defending and protecting physicians and healthcare professionals. The firm has been named a U.S. Top Ranked Law Firm by FORTUNE Money Magazine. Only the finest attorneys are invited to join the practice. Lubell Rosen’s headquarters are located at 200 S. Andrews Ave., Suite 900, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. The firm also has offices in New York, N.Y. and Miami, Fla. For more information, visit www.lubellrosen.com.
Duree Ross / Duree & Company, Inc.
SOURCE Lubell Rosen LLC