Pegalis & Erickson
The blog of PEGALIS & ERICKSON, LLC: a medical malpractice law firm in Long Island representing those suffering from injuries caused by medical errors. Contact us for a free legal consultation today.

Shocking Medical Mistakes that Changed Medicine

Group of surgeons doing operation in hospital

Medical mistakes and medical injuries happen more frequently than you may realize. Though the majority of procedures successfully treat patients, some cause people greater harm. Medical injuries are a major concern within the healthcare industry, which is why many changes have been implemented to reduce their occurrence and increase care quality. The following medical mistakes have forced the medical community to take notice and make improvements for the health and wellbeing of future patients:

Forgotten Instruments
Even simple surgical procedures require the use of many instruments, sponges, and needles. These tools are necessary to perform the surgery. However, those in the operating room can quickly lose track of the instruments used during surgery. In some cases, the patient’s incision may be stitched close with one or more tools still inside the body. An instance in which a sponge was forgotten during a routine appendectomy led to improved methods for counting surgical tools, including using bar codes and x-ray visible threads.

Anesthesia Errors
Years ago, a straightforward hysterectomy procedure instead turned into an anesthesia-caused fatality. After the patient was intubated through the esophagus instead of her trachea, the medical community implemented several changes to prevent similar accidents. Additionally, with the introduction of electronic monitoring systems, attending anesthesiologists can now regulate a patient’s carbon dioxide levels to avoid unexpected surgical complications.

Wrong Limb Surgeries
All it takes is one mislabeled x-ray or incorrectly draped cloth to cause a medical injury. Miscommunication is the common culprit behind surgeons operating on the wrong arm, leg, or other body part. Unfortunately, it’s the patient who suffers for the rest of their life due to this oversight. In one case, a medical error cost the patient a functional leg. To prevent these medical injuries, surgeons must now mark the site that is to be operated on with the consent of the patient.

If you are the victim of a medical error, call Pegalis & Erickson at (516) 684-2900 for a consultation. Our team of medical malpractice lawyers provides high quality assistance to Long Island residents suffering from medical injuries. Let us help you claim your owed financial compensation.

The Untold Story of Brachial Plexus Injuries

Brachial plexus injuries are one of the most common types of birth injuries in the United States. This video explains how and why brachial plexus injuries occur.

If a child’s shoulders become wedged during birth, the attending physician may pull the head to loosen the baby. This type of trauma can tear and sever neck nerves, causing paralysis. Pulling should not be done, rather, there are certain maneuvers the doctor and medical personnel should use to dislodge the baby’s shoulders so as to avoid permanent nerve damage.

Have birth injuries forever changed your child’s life? Then call Pegalis & Erickson at (516) 684-2900. Our Long Island practice can help you proceed with a medical malpractice case.

Medical Malpractice in the United States [INFOGRAPHIC]


When you or someone you love suffers life-changing injuries as a result of medical negligence, you may be stuck wondering what your options are. Carelessness in the medical setting can lead to birth injuries, brain damage, and much more; a medical malpractice suit offers you a way to hold the negligent doctor, hospital, or surgeon responsible for your injuries. A Long Island medical malpractice attorney created this infographic to explain the surprising reach of medical malpractice in the US and which doctors are most prone to malpractice cases. Everyone deserves to know their rights when seeking medical care, so please share this information with as many people as you can.

Common Mistakes Doctors Make During Child Delivery

gavel & stethoscope

The birth of a child is meant to be one of life’s most joyous occasions. For some parents, however, this momentous event becomes a crushing tragedy. Each year, countless newborns experience birth injuries as the result of physician mistakes. A single wrong move or late reaction from a medical provider can cause irreversible harm to a newborn child. The following scenarios constitute some of the most common mistakes physicians make during delivery.

Pulling on the Newborn’s Head
When a baby is big or a mother’s birth canal is small, it can result in a particularly arduous labor. Once the baby’s head has exited the birth canal, the attending physician may find that her shoulders are lodged in place, making it difficult to remove the baby from the womb. In a panic, the doctor may try to pull or twist the baby’s head to release the shoulders. These actions can cause severe damage to the nerves in the neck, which may result in paralysis.

Delay in Addressing Fetal Distress
A baby can experience stress for any number of reasons during labor. Physicians have monitoring systems to track the child’s heart rate, which indicates whether the infant is tolerating the labor process. If the heart rate suddenly drops, time is of the essence. If there’s a lack of oxygen, the baby can suffer irrevocable brain damage in just minutes. A doctor who does not immediately attend to fetal stress or can cause the baby to sustain significant birth injuries.

Improper Handling of Umbilical Cord Trauma
The umbilical cord can easily become entangled around the baby’s head or neck. If it does, it’s the physician’s responsibility to respond appropriately. As with fetal distress, a tangled umbilical cord can cut off the child’s oxygen supply, which can then lead to brain damage and cerebral palsy.

Don’t let a doctor’s delivery mistake cost your child more than she has already lost. Pegalis & Erickson can help ensure that your medical malpractice claim results in the financial compensation you deserve. To speak with a medical malpractice attorney, call our Long Island office at (516) 684-2900.

Pegalis and Erickson Wins Top Ranking: 4th Highest Verdict Amount for New York Medical Malpractice, 10th in NY State Among All Verdicts

Robert V. Fallarino

Pegalis and Erickson, LLC, announces it obtained the fourth highest verdict amount in New York State in 2012 for medical malpractice, and the tenth highest for all overall verdicts in NY State, according to Verdict Search, publisher of verdict and settlement news and research. Their publication, Top New York Verdicts, annually ranks the highest obtained verdicts of 30 law practice categories from all of New York State.
The particular case which earned the fourth highest verdict was tried by Robert V. Fallarino, of Pegalis and Erickson, LLC, in February 2012. “We are pleased to win another top verdict in our practice area, which is also in the top ten overall verdicts, “said Robert Fallarino, Esquire.
The case involved a mother on Long Island, NY whose radiologist, Dr. Paul Fisher, failed to diagnose cancerous tumors in her breast. Dr. Fisher failed to order a breast sonogram which would have allowed for earlier detection. The jury found that Fisher departed from an accepted standard of medical care. It determined damages totaling $15 million dollars.
Robert V. Fallarino has more than 20 years experience handling complex labor law, product defects and medical malpractice litigation. Pegalis & Erickson, LLC is a law firm who focuses on serious injured people that suffered medical negligence. We have won the largest verdicts in NY history for birth trauma, misdiagnosed cancers, and surgical errors. For more than forty years our dedication and commitment has helped patients and/or their families to secure some monetary restitution to continue day-to-day- living. We strive to be an advocate for patient safety by securing medical accountability and safer medical practices for better patient care. Visit us at

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