About Mark E. Novotny

Mark Novotny is a founding partner of Lamson Dugan & Murray LLP and a member of the Firm’s Litigation Department. For over 30 years, Mr. Novotny’s practice has included handling all areas of civil litigation representing clients in all courts, tribunals, alternative dispute resolution forums, arbitrations and with governmental regulatory bodies and agencies.
22 Jun, 2023

Misdiagnosed Ankle Sprain Leads to Amputation

2023-06-28T10:52:58-05:00June 22nd, 2023|Latest News, LDM MedMal Forum|

  A jury just came back.  A fireman and his wife were awarded $7.6 million dollars in a medical malpractice lawsuit alleging a physician misdiagnosed a bacterial infection as an ankle sprain.  The fireman alleged the misdiagnosis resulted in an eventual amputation of the lower portion of his leg.  Until recently, there was a cap on non-economic damages in Florida.  However, recently, the Florida Supreme Court threw out that [...]

5 May, 2023

How Long Will It Last??

2023-05-19T10:50:19-05:00May 5th, 2023|LDM MedMal Forum|

  If you are a healthcare practitioner wondering if you will be sued someday, the numbers are in: According to a recent study, on average 7.4% of all physicians (regardless of specialty) had a medical malpractice claim annually. By age 45, 36% of physicians in low-risk specialties and 88% in high-risk categories had at least one such claim. By age 65 those numbers skyrocket: 75% of physicians in low-risk, [...]

7 Mar, 2023

The Coverup Can Be Worse Than The Crime

2023-03-07T11:46:20-06:00March 7th, 2023|LDM MedMal Forum|

PLEASE! Don’t go back and change the health care records after a bad medical outcome. Jurors in Atlanta in late 2022 awarded a $75 million verdict against a pair of Georgia hospital physicians who did just that. The 32-year-old male patient was taken to the ER. It was alleged the physicians failed to diagnose a brain stem stroke for over a day causing catastrophic paralysis. The patient’s family alleged [...]

6 Jan, 2023

No . . . You May Not Be Able to Use ALL of the Plaintiff’s Medical Records to Defend Your Case

2023-01-09T12:26:58-06:00January 6th, 2023|LDM MedMal Forum|

There is a great misconception that all of the plaintiff’s medical records may be used in your defense when your patient sues you for medical malpractice.   That is not true.  Generally, medical records are hearsay (out of court statements) and are not admissible in court proceedings to use in your defense unless an exception to the hearsay rule applies.  Good news-there are such exceptions; bad news-the exceptions are not as [...]

26 Aug, 2022

Document, Document, Document — Accurately!

2022-09-19T14:27:59-05:00August 26th, 2022|LDM MedMal Forum|

In defending medical malpractice cases, we are often faced with issues pertaining to the accuracy of the medical records.  It was originally thought that Electronic Medical Records (EMR) would provide a completely accurate contemporaneous record of what occurred in the medical care.  Unfortunately, EMR is only as good as the efforts used to correctly input the data.  Even the slightest discrepancy or ambiguity may result in protracted litigation. In the [...]

19 Jun, 2022

No, You Don’t Have to Talk

2022-06-27T18:39:29-05:00June 19th, 2022|LDM MedMal Forum|

When recently defending my physician client in a medical malpractice deposition, Plaintiff’s counsel started asking questions outside the lines. I objected and he immediately retorted back that I did not know the Rules of Evidence and that his questions were legitimate. He claimed certain testimony privileges only apply in criminal matters. I stood on my objections and my physician client followed my lead and did not answer the questions. But [...]

11 Nov, 2014

“Landmark” Informed Consent Case: Physician Not Liable

2018-04-24T00:00:14-05:00November 11th, 2014|Health Care Law, Medical Malpractice, Midwest Medical Legal Advisor|

In a case decided in June of 2014 described as “landmark,” the Washington Supreme Court held in favor of a physician as to claims of lack of informed consent. Generally, informed consent addresses the need for a physician to advise the patient of the risks, benefits and alternatives to certain treatment or procedures for a medical condition before the care is undertaken.  The usual standard is then that a reasonably [...]

28 Aug, 2014

No Sweeping Under the Rug

2018-04-24T00:00:14-05:00August 28th, 2014|Health Care Law, Litigation Tips, Medical Malpractice, Midwest Medical Legal Advisor, Risk Management, Tort Reform|

It happed in California several weeks ago.   After 2 ½ days of jury deliberation, the jury awarded a $4 million verdict against a hospital for allegedly covering up the cause of the post-operative death of a patient.  The jury did not find that the hospital committed malpractice and did not award punitive damages (which cannot be awarded in Nebraska). The patient had a surgical cervical disc.  Post operatively he had [...]

21 Aug, 2014

Who is getting the money?

2018-04-24T00:00:14-05:00August 21st, 2014|Medical Malpractice, Midwest Medical Legal Advisor, Tort Reform|

When it is determined that a medical malpractice / professional negligence lawsuit or claim needs to be settled, or when one of the few times a jury sides with the patient, money is paid.   Don’t be dismayed by what actually happens to the money.  Between contingent fee lawyer contracts paying the plaintiff’s lawyers up to 50% (these actually happen in Nebraska), to exorbitant expert witness fees to huge health are [...]

23 Jul, 2013

Malpractice Litigation: The Neverending Story?

2018-04-24T00:00:15-05:00July 23rd, 2013|Medical Malpractice, Midwest Medical Legal Advisor, Tort Reform|

 You have been sued.  How long until there is resolution of a professional negligence lawsuit?  Six months?  A year?  Maybe two?   Pyramids have been built faster than some cases get resolved. All participants want civil litigation over in a reasonable time, but medical malpractice lawsuits can become long and drawn out.  As noted in the Nebraska Supreme Court opinion of Simon v. Drake, M.D.,285 Neb. 784, __ N.W.2d __ (2013), [...]

22 May, 2013

Is the Patient’s/Plaintiff’s Expert Witness Qualified to Testify Against You?

2018-04-24T00:00:15-05:00May 22nd, 2013|Health Care Law, Medical Malpractice, Midwest Medical Legal Advisor, Tort Reform|

Many years ago, in a Nebraska gynecological case alleging medical malpractice, an oncologist testified favorably as to the applicable standards of care relating to the defendant physician.   After the jury returned a verdict for the defense, the plaintiff appealed this inclusion of this expert witness’ opinions to the jury.  The Nebraska Court of Appeals upheld the decision in Hoffart v. Hodge, M.D, 9 Neb. App. 161, 609 N.W.2d 397 (2000).  [...]

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