Florida Hospital Accused of Medical Malpractice for Failure to Remove Dangerous Surgeon

August 2, 2022 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Florida Hospital Accused of Medical Malpractice for Failure to Remove Dangerous Surgeon

A Florida hospital is facing a malpractice lawsuit after hundreds of complaints. Ascension St. Vincent's Riverside Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, and Dr. Richard David Heekin are the subjects of these lawsuits after many patients have come forward with injuries related to knee and hip transplant surgeries.

They allege that Ascension St. Vincent's allowed Dr. Heekin to perform surgery after he exhibited highly concerning symptoms of a degenerative neurological disorder, resulting in significant injury to his patients. Hospital staff and patients repeatedly complained about his surgical mistakes, to no avail.

Dolman Law Group is providing legal counsel to patients impacted by the negligence of Ascension St. Vincent's Riverside Hospital and Dr. Heekin. If you have undergone surgery performed by Dr. Richard Heekin since 2018 and suspect that your surgical complications or injuries are the result of medical malpractice, reach out to our team as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. 

Injuries Caused By Jacksonville Surgeon Resulted in Devastating Outcomes

According to NBC News, Dr. Richard Heekin mainly provided knee and hip replacements while working for Ascension St. Vincent's Riverside Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida. These are relatively common procedures that involve removing deteriorated or injured joints and replacing them with artificial implants. Unfortunately, it appears that Dr. Heekin's health issues caused him to make significant mistakes during some of these surgeries, resulting in extensive personal injuries for his patients. 

For example, one of Dr. Heekin's former patients claims that he used the incorrect size hip implant, resulting in one leg being shorter than the other. In some cases, the long-term effects of the injuries listed below include permanent loss of function or sensation. In at least one instance, a plaintiff alleges that one of Dr. Heekin's patients died during a routine hip replacement surgery due to complications after he broke her femur. 

Examples of Injuries Caused by Substandard Medical Care:

When you look at the physical impact of a medical malpractice injury, you also have to consider the emotional injuries that often accompany a severe physical injury. Patients may develop mental health issues, such as depression, after enduring an extended and painful recovery or missing out on important life events and experiences. Emotional injuries can be just as detrimental to your health, which is why you need a skilled medical malpractice attorney to craft a compelling claim for damages.

What is Medical Malpractice?

It is a common misconception that you can sue a healthcare provider for medical malpractice just because they made a mistake. Medical malpractice is more than a simple error in judgment or application of treatment. For you to be able to recover damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit, you must be able to demonstrate with a preponderance of the evidence that your medical provider violated the standard of care. It is a medical provider's duty to treat their patients in accordance with the standard of care. 

The standard of care is the level of professional care that is “acceptable and appropriate”. In other words, you should be able to expect the same treatment from comparable medical professionals under similar circumstances. Individual medical providers can be sued for medical malpractices, as can the institutions they work for. In a medical malpractice lawsuit, a breach of duty would need to be connected to your injuries and resulting damages in order to recover compensation.

Common forms of medical malpractice:

  • Surgical errors
  • Delayed diagnosis/misdiagnosis
  • Failure to treat
  • Birth injuries
  • Prescription drug errors

Time is a factor in medical malpractice claims. Under Florida law, you have two years after discovering the injury (or when the injury should have been uncovered) or four years after the medical malpractice transpired. It can be critical to have an experienced medical malpractice attorney by your side to ensure that deadlines are met and the proper paperwork is filed in accordance with Florida's statute of limitations.

What Damages Can I Recover in a Florida Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

The ramifications of undergoing a botched knee or hip replacement surgery can be devastating to every area of your life. Pursuing damages in a personal injury lawsuit is meant to provide some measure of compensation for these losses. Economic damages refer to losses with set prices, such as the cost of a cane or transportation to physical therapy, and are often validated through receipts. You may also be eligible to recover non-economic damages, which are typically emotional losses, such as mental anguish or being forced to sacrifice a favorite hobby.

Examples of damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit:

  • Medical bills
    • Revision surgery
    • Medication
    • Physical therapy
    • Mobility aids
    • Hospital stays
  • Job-related injuries
    • Lost wages
    • Reduced earning capacity
    • Missed promotions
  • Pain and suffering
  • Wrongful death
    • Funeral and burial costs
    • Loss of companionship or consortium
    • Loss of parental guidance

When one of our medical malpractice lawyers calculates the value of your damages, they will evaluate the impact of your losses on areas of your life like your health, lifestyle, and career. For example, let's say your knee replacement surgery resulted in an injury that permanently forces you to navigate life in a wheelchair. If you work in a field like construction, you may be unable to resume your previous career, which could increase the compensation you receive in a settlement. 

Why Should I Choose Dolman Law Group to Represent Me in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

As medical malpractice lawyers, we are familiar with the physical, emotional, and financial toll a medical provider's negligence can take on a patient and their family. The medical malpractice lawyers of Dolman Law Group have over 10 years of experience successfully negotiating for maximum compensation in a variety of personal injury lawsuits.

Our personal injury law firm is distinguished by our dedication to treating your claim as a priority, rather than attempting to settle quickly to move on to the next case. As former clients will attest, Dolman Law Group takes our clients' needs seriously, and we make sure the insurance companies do too. 

As your Florida medical malpractice lawyers, we will review your medical records, bring in medical experts to support your claim for damages, and begin the work of negotiating a fair settlement. When your future has been jeopardized because the healthcare providers you trusted let you down, you need a reliable medical malpractice attorney who knows what's at stake. You can count on our team to tirelessly support you throughout the entire process. 

Contact Dolman Law Group Today For Help With Your Florida Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

In many cases, the injuries resulting from one of Dr. Heekin's knee or hip replacement surgeries had other costs beyond medical bills and lost wages. We recognize that permanent loss of function, pain and suffering, and other intangible costs are just as legitimate, which is why we have established the goal of recovering maximum compensation for our injured clients.

We won't be deterred from this goal by insurance companies who refuse to offer a settlement that covers the value of your damages. Our medical malpractice lawyers will relentlessly advocate for your claim at the negotiation table and at trial.

Dolman Law Group has recovered millions of dollars in damages for medical malpractice patients who were injured as a result of a negligent provider or medical institution. We encourage you to contact our medical malpractice attorneys by phone at (727) 451-6900 or anytime through our website. Our team of medical malpractice attorneys has the skills and resources to successfully negotiate your claim for maximum compensation.


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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