There are a lot of stories out there (and you have probably heard a few in your time) about horrific plastic surgeries gone wrong. It makes a popular theme for movies and TV shows, and stories about bad surgical procedures tend to make the news. Often, these stories involve some rogue doctor using dangerous drugs or dirty tools, or a storyline involving a doctor who has slowly gone mad.
They’re silly, we know – but the truth is, botched plastic surgery happens more often than you might think. Saline implants leak; people sustain permanent nerve damage. Every day, people get hurt while having elective procedures, because surgery is still surgery, no matter what your reason for it.
Lately, though, we’ve noticed an increased number of plastic surgery malpractice cases cropping up in our news feeds. Here are two stories that caught our eyes.
An unlicensed doctor performing complex surgery
Gerald Stanley, formerly of Sculpt Cosmetic Surgery is facing medical malpractice lawsuits after he performed liposuctions, breast augmentations, butt and eye lifts between 2015 and 2017, despite his only being board certified to practice family medicine. So far, at least 35 lawsuits have been filed against a former physician for allegedly performing plastic surgery procedures which he was unqualified to perform. According to 3NewsNow.com, Mr. Stanley’s Nebraska medical license expired in 2018, and the cosmetic surgery center closed in 2017. Stanley’s website was misleading in that is claimed he was accredited and that he had done a residency, but not for plastic surgery.
More than 600 woman have been disfigured in Florida
In another unfortunate case of multiple lawsuits filed against a doctor for botched plastic surgery procedures, a Florida plastic surgeon, Loren Clayman, has upwards of 600 women who have complained that he severely disfigured their breasts in surgeries that left patients with burning pain that persists years after the surgery. After the first three women’s stories were featured in the Times-Union newspaper, hundreds of women came forward to say that they had similar experiences after their procedures with Clayman. The Florida Department of Health investigators asked the women to file complaints against Clayman.
A local attorney representing some of the injured women postulated that Mr. Claymen was making a profit from the cheap surgeries because he was receiving a $1,200 reimbursement from Allergan, the manufacturer of the breast implants, for each surgical repair. Defective breast implants were also a factor in the Clayman cases.
Next steps if you were injured by your plastic surgeon
These cases of botched plastic surgeries took place in other states, but plastic surgery can happen anywhere. If you have been injured because of medical negligence, you may be able to take legal action against the surgeon. To prevail in a medical malpractice case, the plaintiff must be able to prove the following:
- A doctor-patient relationship existed, which establishes duty of care
- The physician’s actions or failure to act breached that duty of care
- The physician’s breach was the direct cause of the patient’s injury
- The patient suffered damages because of the physician’s negligence
A skilled medical malpractice attorney understands what it takes to develop a compelling case on behalf of a client who has been injured because of medical negligence. Just being dissatisfied with the outcome of a surgery is not enough grounds for a medical malpractice case. If you can prove with medical evidence that the medical professional’s breach of their duty of care was the direct cause of your injury, then you may have a viable case for medical negligence.