That single, old med mal case should have no bearing on all the good attributes that you detailed. Medical malpractice is mostly nonsense. Though, there are some legitimate injuries and claims. If you picked up 25 cases against one rhinoplastic surgeon, I'd be concerned.
I have several trial lawyers in my family. Here's how it works in California. Anyone a surgeon touches can sue him or her. If there is one penny paid out, whether it be in mediation, arbitration or even full on lawsuit, it has to get reported. This does not necessarily mean that the surgeon is admitting fault, in fact it is often at the behest of the surgeon's malpractice insurance company. Let's face it, malpractice insurance is in the business of limiting their liability so if they can get their client to give the plaintiff a small amount of money to go away, it potentially limits how much money they have to pay out later (including defense lawyer fees which can end up way more expensive than any payout).
Please do not walk away from a potentially gifted surgeon just because of something from almost 20 years ago. You certainly should feel comfortable asking him about it and giving him a chance to explain.
Unfortunately, malpractice claims can happen to the best of the surgeons. It seems like you liked your interaction with your doctor. I would recommend that you ask him/her about the claim; I'm sure you will get an honest answer. Good luck!
Hi and thanks for your great great question. Unfortunately malpractice cases are a fact of life for busy plastic surgeons. I would speak with the surgeon who would be happy to discuss honestly this malpractice case which occurred in the 1990s. No one who has a busy practice today is exempt from The realities of lawsuits. The most important decision you can make is choosing a surgeon with whom you feel comfortable. Your surgeon should be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. That is my best advice after 30 years performing aesthetic plastic surgery. Best of luck!
Richard Chaffoo, MD,FACS,FICS
Triple Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
Most physicians, who have been in practice for over 15 years, will have experienced a malpractice claim against their practice. This does not necessarily mean that their care or qualifications are substandard. If you are concerned about this case, contact your county superior court and ask for the records of this case. If the claim was made over 15 years ago, the case would have had to have been adjudicated, settled or dismissed. If you have difficulty finding the information, you are free to ask your surgeon about the legal aspects of the case. Best wishes, Dr. Lepore.
Tha chief of my plastic surgery program used to say if you have never had a malpractice suit you are not operating enough. It is Murphy's law!
There are many parameters to look at when choosing a rhinoplasty surgeon which include the experience and skill, their rhinoplasty before and after photo gallery, board certification, and whether or not you trust that surgeon. Make a secondary consultation with the surgeon to ask about the specifics of that malpractice case.
Dear trapezehealth, I would suggest scheduling a secondary consultation and ask the surgeon your concerns regarding the malpractice suit. I am sure he/she will be happy to explain the allegations. Best regards, Michael V. Elam, M.D.
If you like this doctor, ask him about the malpractice issue. Most board certified plastic surgeons will answer your question and tell you the truth.