Medical negligence, more commonly known as medical malpractice, occurs when a healthcare provider fails in his or her duty to the patient. This may come in the form of a delayed diagnosis, surgical error, improper medication, or a host of other serious and potentially deadly issues. If you have been the victim of medical negligence, Watkins, Lourie, Roll & Chance is here to help.
When medical malpractice occurs, it is important that an attorney get involved as soon as possible. Having an attorney on your side is one of the most effective ways to seek justice. It is also essential for setting precedent and making sure negligent doctors and healthcare practitioners lose their licensure and are prevented from hurting anyone else. When these steps are not taken, it is possible that negligent healthcare professionals will remain careless and continue to cause harm with impunity.
Take, for example, the case of Dr. Yvon Nazaire:
Dr. Yvon Nazaire was found responsible for gross medical negligence in his treatment of five different patients in a Brooklyn ER - one of which ended in death. In 2006, Dr. Nazaire was placed on probation by New York’s Office of Professional Medical Conduct. That same year, he was hired by the state of Georgia to serve as physician to the female prison population.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that, during Dr. Nazaire’s tenure, at least nine women died “agonizing deaths under questionable circumstances,” largely neglect. All the while, Dr. Nazaire continued to earn the praise of prison officials for “saving the prison system money by limiting outside consultations.” While the state prison system was aware of these deaths, it was not until the AJC conducted an investigation into his past that he was let go. Dr. Nazaire was terminated from his position in 2015. He is now working as a doctor in New York.
How Was This Doctor Hired While on Probation?
Dr. Edward Bailey, who hired Dr. Nazaire, admits to not reading the full medical board report when bringing Nazaire on. Bailey knew of disciplinary action against Nazaire, he even knew what it was for, but he didn’t think the matter was serious, according to the AJC.
Despite being on probation, the Georgia Composite Medical Board placed no restrictions on Dr. Nazaire’s practice, and shortly after obtaining his medical license in Georgia, he was contacted by Physician Providers Inc, a physician recruiter, looking for a new medical director for Pulaski Women’s Facility. According to the AJC, this recruiter faxed 12 pages of credentialing documents to the department of corrections, not a single one of which mentioned Nazaire's probation.
Dr. Nazaire was hired on full time after several “successful” months at the facility. This was the first point at which his license in New York was looked into. Despite his probation, admission of negligence, and four malpractice death claims, one of which resulted in a $ 3 million settlement, no action was taken to protect his current patients.
In 2015, Bonnie Rocheleau died of pneumonia while under the “care” of Dr. Nazaire. A sufferer of COPD, the 58-year-old woman is believed to have died in great discomfort as her symptoms went largely ignored by the doctor.
The family was awarded nearly $100,000 in a recently settled wrongful death claim. Lance Lourie, of Watkins, Lourie, Roll & Chance, was among the attorneys representing the Rocheleau family.
Tragically, Dr. Nazaire was not reprimanded by the Georgia Composite Medical Board before his license lapsed. In the state of Georgia, once a license has lapsed, the board has no authority for disciplinary action. This means that Dr. Nazaire was able to obtain his liscence in New York.
This is a tragic failure of the system and a clear indication that there is a desperate need for attorneys, like Lance Lourie, will do the job medical licensing boards seem unwilling to do: hold negligent medical providers accountable and see that they are prevented from ever harming a patient again.
Medical malpractice lawsuits serve the dual purpose of justice for victims and precedent for future cases. If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed by a negligent medical provider, call 404-948-4893 for a free consultation. Watkins, Lourie, Roll & Chance serves all of Georgia from our Atlanta location.