Does anyone know a good medical malpractice attorney in the PDX area?
January 5, 2014 9:13 PM   Subscribe

While in the hospital my mother died of a doctor prescribed accidental overdose of her heart medication. I need to speak to someone regarding an action relation to this but live in the Buffalo, NY area and don't know attorneys in PDX.

I've called Kenneth Hiller's firm, but they wanted me to put up $2,000 to have a doctor look over her records to see if there was a case. I have a letter from the hospital explaining that the doctor misplaced the decimal point when inputting the medication order, as well as the Death Certificate listing the overdose as the #1 cause of death. I don't have $2K to spend to have someone tell me what documentation from the hospital and the death certificate already tell me.

This happened some 10 months ago (I was grieving and unmotivated to do much of anything, as she was the only remaining close family I had), so the clock is ticking.
posted by Meep! Eek! to Law & Government (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Maybe start with the Oregon State Bar referral service. They'll ensure that you're choosing a lawyer in good standing with the Bar. They also have other resources on their website which may help you.
posted by hydra77 at 10:25 PM on January 5, 2014

Jan Baisch
Haven't used him but he has a strong reputation amongst those I know.
posted by coolsara at 12:21 PM on January 6, 2014

Most good medical malpractice attorneys will want their doctor or nurse/an independent doctor or nurse to review records before agreeing to pursue your case. Because it's an expense prior to agreeing to handle the lawsuit--an expense necessary to determining if there can even be a lawsuit--they will almost certainly want/need to be paid for that review, even if (ultimately) your representation agreement anticipates the attorneys' fees will come out of settlement. In the end, it protects people who believe they have a medical malpractice claim when attorneys have someone with real medical knowledge review the record before agreeing to pursue a case. It also allows competent attorneys to have a better idea how difficult the case will be to prove and what the likely outcome of the litigation will be.

I understand your perspective--I really do (I just went through this with a family member who ultimately chose not to pursue a malpractice claim while acting as the family's attorney in another capacity. I helped her interview potential medmal attorneys). However, most reputable attorneys you approach are likely to ask for the same thing. I suppose it might be different in Oregon--malpractice lawsuits are very jurisdiction-specific and a fond target of legislators--but in the places where I have practiced or have colleagues practicing, review by a medical professional prior to accepting a medical malpractice case is standard and a sign of a good attorney.
posted by crush-onastick at 2:39 PM on January 6, 2014

Seconding the Oregon State Bar referral service. $30 for a consultation is a no-brainer.
posted by tacodave at 4:13 PM on January 6, 2014

I actually worked as a legal secretary in the field for a decade here in NYS, and at the firm I worked at, we did not ask clients to pay for an evaluation up front, to my knowledge. It never came up in any of the medmal cases I worked on at least, and a couple of those were doozies that, IMO, no one should have even touched. NYS has odd laws, though, or so I'm told. Medical Malpractice cases have a totally different fee schedule than regular personal injury/wrongful death cases here.

I have contacted the OSB, and contacted the office they recommended as well as the ones that were sent to me via memail. So far, no replies whatsoever. I will contact Mr. Baisch as well, and I thank you all for the suggestions and input.
posted by Meep! Eek! at 2:36 PM on January 7, 2014

Oh, and the doctor that they wanted to evaluate my case was someone that they would recommend, not one of their employees. An independent doctor, who no doubt had a working relationship with them. It's good to know that this is the way it works in some places, though, and I thank you for that. I'm less interested in getting money than I am in making the hospital take some notice that this is not acceptable behavior, and the only way I can think to make any corporation take notice of anything is by hitting them in their wallet. Sad state of affairs.
posted by Meep! Eek! at 2:40 PM on January 7, 2014

Well, so far the people I have contacted are not interested, and the OSB referral has not gotten back to me, so I'm going to close this up. :(
posted by Meep! Eek! at 12:59 PM on February 5, 2014

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