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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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1 st Issue:My son recently passed away from an infection in

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1 st Issue:My son recently passed away from an infection in the heart valve caused from drug use. The doctors told us that this infection ( vegetation) had been there for a long time. He was incarcerated in 2010 (released in mid 2011)and while he was in prison they told him he had a heart murmur. A blood test would have given him the real results of this infection saving his life.
2nd issue: The same son in the 1st issue admiited to his crime and pleaded guilty to robbery. He had stolen silver coins and four handguns from his parents. His mother was present at the time of the robbery. He taped her up with packaging tape, no physical harm was dome to my wife. Immediately after the crime (same day, withon minutes) he pawned the guns so he could buy drugs. When he was arrested, he did not have any weapons. Doring the sentencing phase by the judge after I testified in my sons behalf asking the judge to send my son to a drug rehab . He did not take that into consideration, instead as the judge stood up to leave the courtroom he stated loudly " I will not let another murderer on the streets like _______. I cannot remember the mans name that the judge compared my son to, but this man went on a killing spree in Wichita Falls wounding people at a Hastings store and then killing a man at a local bar. This judge wronged my son and would not accept the 2 yr recommended sentence the ADA had recommended. Everyone in the courtroom heard him slander my son at the least. Again my son sold all the guns he stole to a pawn shop so he could buy drugs. He had no guns and he did not hurt anyone. Also,If this judge had included a drug rehab program along with my sons sentence, he might be alive today. They call this judge a hanging judge. While my son was alive, he did not want to press the 2nd issue because he did not want to bring anymore attention to himself and his family.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

1) This is an issue of potential malpractice leading to wrongful death for misdiagnosing him, for which you can sue the doctor who examined him. Under Texas law, you have only 2 years from the occurrence or the discovery of the malpractice to sue. See: TX Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code. § 74.251(a).

In order to bring a wrongful death/malpractice case you must get his records examined by a medical expert and they must be able to testify that had this infection been discovered sooner when it was misdiagnosed as a murmur, he would not have died. The Texas law states you must have an expert report to submit with any malpractice suit within 120 days of filing the suit or it will be dismissed. See: TX Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code. § 74.351. While TX courts hold that expert testimony is ordinarily needed at trial to establish medical malpractice, Hart v. Van Zandt, 399 S.W.2d 791 (Tex. 1965), even if expert testimony is not needed at trial, an expert report must be submitted. Murphy v. Russell, 167 S.W.3d 835 (Tex. 2005).

Thus, you do have recourse on the death of your son resulting from the misdiagnosis, but you need to get moving because the statute of limitations is running.

2) I am afraid that the judge has absolute statutory immunity in Texas law, which means that any judge in performing his duties is immune from any civil lawsuit for doing such. Thus, his comments would not subject him to a lawsuit by you as he is immune from any such suits by Texas laws.

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