A Florida physician’s lawsuit that alleges her employer covered up a doctor’s malpractice claims and then retaliated against her is being hailed as a rare win for patients and health care workers.
A medical malclass action lawsuit was filed Tuesday in federal court by Dr. Karolina G. Vlachopoulou, who says her employer failed to adequately respond to her complaints of pain in her neck, back and leg.
VLachopoulsou, a nurse practitioner, says she went to the hospital on April 1, 2015, for a back pain that lasted from eight hours to six hours, and she says she was diagnosed with a spinal cord injury and treated for her injuries in a surgical intensive care unit.VLachoPs lawsuit was initially filed in 2016, but in the intervening years has expanded into a lawsuit against several of Florida’s largest employers, including Florida HealthCare, the Florida Hospital Association, Florida Medical Association and Florida State University, alleging negligence and other civil rights violations.
In the suit, VLacopoulous is seeking damages for her back pain, including “an aggregate amount of at least $5 million, an aggregate amount for injuries sustained, and punitive damages.”
She is also seeking a declaration from the state that its failure to adequately monitor VLache’s medical records was intentional, which the lawsuit says is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“The plaintiff, as a nurse, has an expectation of privacy in her patient’s medical information, and the defendant, as an employer, must have a duty to monitor patient care and report any potential concerns,” the lawsuit said.
In an email to the Associated Press, Vlacopouls attorney, John Stoeckle, said the complaint is based on the patient’s testimony and does not require an expert opinion.
VlachoPoulou told ABC News affiliate WPLG in Florida that she was stunned when she was contacted by the state of Florida.
She said she has been in pain for six years and her doctor said she would have a better outcome if she didn’t get injured, she said.
“It was a very upsetting experience,” Vlachepoulou said.
“I was told I had nerve damage.
I had to have surgery and have two back surgeries and I was told if I don’t have surgery I would have spinal cord injuries.
That’s why I filed the lawsuit.”
Vlacheopoulos attorney, Matthew L. Stork, said Vlakopoulos pain is not unique.
He said he is aware of other cases where medical malClass actions have been filed, including in Arizona and California, and he believes that Florida is unique in that it is the first state to sue an employer for negligent treatment.
Vlahopouloulos lawsuit alleges the Florida Medical Board, Florida Hospital Group, Florida State Medical Association, and Florida Hospital Associates violated VLACopoulopoulos rights by failing to adequately investigate and correct VLichopoulo’s medical errors, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleges:A failure to report the injuries suffered by VLACHOPOULS injury and the failure to notify the plaintiff that she suffered the injuries, and a failure to disclose VLICHOPOULS medical condition, all without any reasonable cause or justification for these actions, and/or the failure of Florida Medical and/ or Florida Hospital to adequately warn the plaintiff of the risks and limitations of VLPOULPs treatment, and failure to provide appropriate treatment for the plaintiff for her pain.
A failure by Florida Hospital and Florida Medical to warn VLACEPOULOS medical condition and to provide adequate treatment for her medical condition before the patient went into the emergency room, and to warn the patient of the risk of harm from the treatment and to allow the patient to seek treatment and/OR the failure by the patient and/and/or her insurer to properly inform the patient that she would not be reimbursed for the treatment.
A lack of reasonable care and care of a reasonable amount of time by the medical board, the medical association, and by the hospital.
The failure to respond to VLACCopoulocs complaint, Vlahopous medical records and the investigation and correction process conducted by the Medical Board to determine her medical injuries and/ OR the failure for the Medical and Health Board to properly advise the medical organization that they did not know or understand VLaccopoulovs condition and/Or the failure on the part of the medical hospital to properly monitor VLAacopolys treatment.
And a failure by each of the companies to take appropriate action in a timely manner to rectify VLAaccopoly’s injuries, including:Not providing the patient with adequate and appropriate medical care; failing to provide the patient proper and appropriate care and treatment; not adequately providing the medical care required by the insurance coverage of the hospital; failing