How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Lucy, Esq. Your Own Question
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 30372
Experience:  Criminal Justice Degree, JD with Criminal Law Concentration. Worked for the DA and U.S. Attorney.
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
Lucy, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I was admitted as an inpatient into Mercy Hosp, Sac, CA

Customer Question

I was admitted as an inpatient into Mercy Hosp, Sac, CA for pneumonia 5/31/2014. I am extremely allergic to Heparin, my prior med records indicate I've almost died after administered in any form ie even in the use of catheters that are pre-coated with
heparin used in blood transfusions and/or hemodialysis, etc. I had been in the same hosp on prior occasions so their system had documented my extreme adverse reaction to heparin. The pulmonary specialist assigned to my case exposed me to heparin on several
occasions, even after he contacted my significant other who also reinforced that in no situation I should be given heparin, even though the doctor kept insisting its use would stop the major blood clotting I was having. Ironically, the specialist should have
known that the use of heparin was causing the blood clots.I had a major lung hemothorax that required removal of 410 ml of blood from a lung embolism after I was administered a drug to dislodge a blood clot in a heparin instilled catheter in my right femoral
vein. A catheter used for a blood transfusion (I had 5 blood transfusions in 6 days) had to be removed due to the skin surrounding it starting to fall off (catheter had been pretreated with heparin) The machine used for hemodialysis I was hooked up to, had
been pre-set to shut itself off if the patient was in any mortal danger & thank god it did, because before the hosp personnel finally got new orders to stop the HD treatment my blood pressure dropped to such a low level I could have/should have been rendered
in a coma, had a stroke, or died! My medical records, which I have acquired, also indicate that I was given a PAP smear & stain, & billed for a vaginal wash kit. First of all, I was in the hosp for pneumonia, and I have had a hysterectomy so there was no medical
need or emergency that would have warranted that procedure. I was kept under heavy drug induced sedation for the first 4 days of my hosp stay & have no memory of what transpired from my arriving in the emergency room until the day before my hosp discharge.
During & after being discharged from the hosp, both of my arms were covered with various sized bruises and levels of red discoloration, appearing that I had been beaten up. The ICU nurses had even questioned me as to how I had gotten all the bruises. For an
unknown reason, on the 2-3rd day as an inpatient, I was transferred to another ICU for care. It was during that period the PAP smear & stain was ordered, as per my med rec. After my discharge from the hosp and prior to my obtaining my medical records, I couldn't
explain to myself why I was having recurring nightmares that I was being beaten up while struggling to defend myself from being raped while in a hosp bed placed in the far corner of a vacant hosp room.My medical records have documented all the above & more
medical errors and attempted possible cover-ups while in the hosp. Do I have a legal standing to pursue a malpractice/med negligence lawsuit?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.


I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

The statute of limitations for medical malpractice in California is only one year after the patient discovers the negligent act. So, in order to bring a case here, you have to be able to establish that you couldn't have known what happened until they sent your medical records, AND you must have received those records within the past 365 days. That's tricky with the allergic reaction, especially if your significant other was telling them at the time not to use that medication. The bruising is something you'd have been aware of right away, as are the nightmares. And it sounds like the damages from the allergy also resulted in immediate symptoms.

So, while you very likely would have had a case if you'd brought the claim within the statute of limitations, you said that this happened in May of 2014, and that unfortunately means that you are not able to bring a suit now. You'd need a local attorney who could help convince the judge that there's no way you could have known about the negligent acts at the time they happened.

If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Iunderstand i'm past satute of limitations but i i could still file if i have been trying to get an attorney, which i have.
also, the other drs i've talked to said it was hardly unlikely that my situation could have/would have been the result of the hospitable or the drs so i was discouraged from keeping trying to get an attorney, Also, other attorney's have given me conflicting advice as to what state i should get an attorney. I moved to NV from CA where this hospital happened
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

A lawsuit has to be filed where the defendant is located, which would have to be California. There are plenty of lawyers licensed in both states, but you'd need someone to be licensed in California.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I thought this question/answer would be covered in my joining the membership which I did If not, then the details described on this website for the advantages of membership are false
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

A customer still needs to rate questions covered by their subscription, because that lets the site know that an expert has answered your question, and it tells them to release payment to us. You should not be charged again.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

If you're having trouble, Customer Service can at 1(###) ###-####

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
With my further additional info re: my trying & advice from attnys & drs discouraging me, do I still have a viable case if I retain a lawyer?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

I still think that you will have serious trouble overcoming the statute of limitations, unless you can prove that it was impossible to notice your symptoms at the time of your hospital stay and that things the hospital did caused you not to become aware of the situation.

You may have a better chance of recovering against the people who abused you while you were in the hospital, because that's assault, not malpractice, and that has a 2 year statute of limitations.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm still confused about your answer. Are you saying I'd have a better chance of suing the individual drs & not the hosp? I was aware of the bruises 2 days before my discharge when I came out of the drug induced coma the drs kept me in which is why I have/and continue have, to memory from the time I fainted just prior to the ambulance arriving until the 2nd day before my discharge. I'm not completely satisfied with your answers & I'm becoming even more frustrated & discouraged having to keep going back & forward with these written text questions. I feel like you're trying to brush me off & just get out of this conversation I'm going to contact customer service re: the $52 fee for you is not covered in my membership which right now, I'm considering canceling This is my first question and I'm not satisfied with how it's been conducted as well as the major confusion over what is included (advantages) of paying for a membership.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

I apologize if you feel that I'm trying to brush you off or get out of this conversation. Sometimes tone does not come across well in written conversations. I wouldn't have entered the conversation if I didn't want to talk to you. I am not asking you to pay a $52 fee. The site offers telephone calls as an ADDITIONAL service for an extra fee. You are free to decline if you are not interested in that service. If you'd prefer to talk to someone, though, you can make that request - but it's not covered in the subscription.

The statute of limitations for suing the hospital for medical malpractice has run. You have not said anything that makes me think you'd be able to extend it. You have to be able to show that they fraudulently concealed the events that give rise to your cause of action. Asking you not to sue does not rise to that level. But if people at the hospital assaulted or raped your while you were sleeping, that's not medical malpractice. That's assault and battery. It's also criminal. The statute of limitations for assault is two years. Since it's been more than a year since the incident, yes, you may have a better shot at recovering some money for everything you've gone through. An action for assault includes punitive damages.