When you choose a doctor to receive treatment from, regardless of what their specialty is, you expect that the care you receive meets the standard level. That is, you should receive the same level of care you would no matter what doctor you choose to go to. Sadly, not all physicians meet this standard as some engage in behavior that is not required for a patient’s treatment or neglect to provide treatment despite the diagnosis that has been given. And when a physician is found guilty of negligence or failing to provide a patient with adequate care that results in them developing a more severe condition or even an injury, they risk being sued for medical malpractice.
One physician in Iowa who recently retired back in May is now being recognized for medical malpractice by a former patient who is accusing him of touching her without her consent [Source: Global Gazette]. Dr. Steven Thorn served as an OB-GYN doctor, working out of Mercy Medical Center in North Iowa for several years. Over the span of his career, he delivered approximately 7,000 babies and practiced for nearly 25 years in total until he decided to retire earlier this year.
While Thorn’s career may have been over, that didn’t stop Terra Gaffney from filing suit against him after she claimed he “committed an unconsented and not medically indicated physical touching of her” during a visit on October 4th, 2017. Gaffney’s representing attorney stated that they weren’t going to be providing the details as to what exactly occurred between the doctor and her client as their “allegation speaks for itself.” Aside from Thorn being named as a defendant in the medical malpractice lawsuit, it also lists Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa and its Gynecology Clinic as defendants as well.
Gaffney also filed suit after she received a voicemail on her phone on October 17th from Thorn “along with other unidentified females, allegedly making disparaging remarks about Terra Gaffney’s mental health, past medical treatment, the paternity of her unborn fetus, and the health of Terra Gaffney’s unborn fetus.” The court documents filed state that the voicemail led Gaffney to suffer from “physical and emotional distress” which led to her having to change prenatal care providers.
Gaffney is now seeking an unknown sum in damages after Thorn and the clinic employees
“violated the duty of care owed” to her and for Thorn’s unconsented touching that wasn’t required.
What should I do if I am a victim of medical malpractice in the state of Iowa?
Generally, when a person wants to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against a physician or healthcare facility because negligence was displayed which led to them suffering physically and/or mentally, there are four conditions that must be met in order for a victim to recover compensation. These four conditions include:
- Duty- You must first prove that there was a physician and patient relationship that existed and that the doctor who treated you had the duty to provide you with the standard level of care.
- Breach of duty- You will then need to prove that the doctor’s level of care fell below the required standard.
- Harm- The next condition requires that a jury decides that the deviation from the custom treatment that was expected to be provided “was so unreasonable that it caused you harm.
- Causation –Finally, you will have to prove that the cause of your injury or illness was foreseeable and that it could have been prevented.
[Source: US National Library of Medicine].
Now, the best way to determine if your injury meets all four conditions is to meet with one of the IA medical malpractice attorneys at Eells & Tronvold Law Offices, P.L.C. Our firm has handled various cases ranging from personal injury to medical malpractice and we have the experience and expertise to help you prove a doctor or other healthcare professional caused you to suffer an injury.
So, if you recently received treatment from a physician or underwent surgery that you believe has led to you suffering more than you were prior to the care being rendered, contact our firm today to schedule an initial consultation.
You can reach Eells & Tronvold Law Offices, P.L.C. at:
1921 51st Street NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
Phone: (319) 393-1020
Fax: (319) 393-4000