Sordid Tale of Christopher Duntsch Illustrates Harsh Limitations on Rights of Injured Patients in the Lone Star State
The State of Texas has some of the harshest laws on the books regarding medical malpractice claims for compensation. These are statutes that severely limit what a patient injured as the result of medical malpractice can obtain in the way of compensation. The arguably widespread inability of a person injured because of a doctor’s negligence results in such an individual being prevented from obtaining the compensation that he or she actually deserves.
Recently, both a documentary and a limited television series became available for viewers across the United States. Both programs have adopted the title of “Dr. Death” in their respective telling of the horrific tale of Dalles neurological surgeon Christopher Duntsch.
Although the incomprehensible conduct of Duntsch took place between 2011 and 2013, the story of the now-incarcerated (former) doctor bears a revisitation today. The Duntsch saga not only illustrates how the incompetence or even intentional misconduct of a doctor can harm patient but provides other cautionary tales as well. These include:
- The story of Christopher Duntsch underscores the alarming limitations of the civil justice system and state laws in Texas when it comes to cases involving certain victims of medical malpractice.
- In addition, the chronicle of Duntsch illustrates how others in the healthcare system can and do circle their wagons around a doctor who has harmed a patient or patients as the result of negligence, incompetence, or even (as in the apparent case of Duntsch) intentional conduct.
- Finally, the Duntsch sage underscores the need for a victim of healthcare negligence to obtain an experienced, skilled, tenacious Dallas medical malpractice lawyer, like a member of the legal team at The Doan Law Firm.
During the time period referenced a moment ago (2011 to 2013), Christopher Duntsch operated on 38 patients in the greater Dallas area. Of that number, 31 surgical patients ended up with serious injuries. These included patients who were paralyzed and two who died at the hands of Duntsch. Only seven surgical patients escaped Duntsch without injury.
Despite Duntsch’s catastrophic results in most of these surgeries, he had privileges to operate at multiple medical centers in the Dallas area, including at Baylor-Plano (one of the most highly regarded hospitals in Texas if not in the United States). The administrators of all of the medical centers he operated at ultimately became aware of the devastating consequences of Duntsch’s surgeries.
Even armed with that information, they universally and intentionally failed to specific delineate what had occurred at their institutions. In other words, even if Duntsch left a hospital, another medical center had no idea what previously occurred. This untenable situation went on for years before a pair of doctors took it upon themselves to strive tenaciously to have not only Duntsch’s medical license revoked but to ultimately have him prosecuted.
In the end, Duntsch was prosecuted in a groundbreaking criminal case. He is now incarcerated, serving a life sentence.
The constraints of the Texas criminal court system as a result of relatively new laws in the state that limit compensation in medical malpractice cases was apparent in the matter of Christopher Duntsch. If you find yourself or a member of have been injured as a result of medical malpractice, the Dallas medical malpractice attorney team at The Doan Law Office is here to answer your questions and provide you with a thorough case assessment.
You can schedule an initial consultation with a Dallas medical malpractice lawyer from our firm by calling (214) 307-0000. We can schedule an appointment for you at our offices, which are located at:
The Doan Law Firm
2911 Turtle Creek Boulevard
Dallas, Texas 75219
We can also schedule an initial consultation at your home. In the alternative, a virtual case assessment can be arranged online as well. There is never a charge for an initial consultation with a Doan Law Firm Dallas medical malpractice lawyer.
The Doan Law Firm makes an attorney fee promise to you. Our firm will never charge an attorney fee in your case unless we win for you. Our medical malpractice lawyer team is committed to fighting tireless to obtain justice for you.