On April 27, 2013, Steven Lubell, Esq., secured a victory for a leading cosmetic surgeon from Lake Mary, Florida who was accused of negligence and malpractice by a former patient. Lubell, a partner and co-founder of Lubell Rosen, successfully represented Dr. Carlos Mercado, and presented evidence to prove that Dr. Mercado acted responsibly and with the informed consent of his patient, plaintiff Maria Ramos.
In 2012, Maria Ramos, then 40 years old, visited Dr. Carlos Mercado at Eterna Medical Rejuvenation Center in Lake Mary to have her breasts surgically enhanced through a liposuction-fat transfer augmentation process. Four months after the procedure, Ramos experienced pain in both breasts and felt small lumps. An ultrasound and a mammogram revealed a number of benign cysts, which are tiny pockets of fluid that form under the skin, in both her breasts. Ramos said that her 3–4 mm cysts felt like lumps and were extremely painful.
Ramos brought a malpractice suit against Dr. Mercado, claiming the cysts formed as a result of his negligence. Her lawsuit indicated she suffered from the painful lumps, as well as lopsidedness and sagging in her breasts. As a result of the procedure’s outcome, Ramos told the courts that she would have to undergo a subcutaneous double mastectomy, as well as reconstructive surgery.
However, Lubell and his associate, Josh Bloom, Esq., argued that the risks for a breast augmentation procedure – one of which is lumps or cysts developing afterwards – were clearly explained to Ramos by Dr. Mercado, and that her informed consent to the procedure was well-documented.
As a doctor, Dr. Mercado was required by Florida law to present Ramos with the full scope of her case, including a general understanding of the procedure she would undergo and the risks and benefits of the process. The law also requires that doctors discuss any possible outcomes, side effects or alternatives to a procedure before operating on a patient.
In her lawsuit, Ramos indicated that the informed consent document Dr. Mercado gave her did not say anything about the risks for lumpiness following a breast augmentation procedure. But at trial, Lubell and Bloom presented evidence that Dr. Mercado and his staff had many conversations with Ramos before performing the augmentation surgery, and warned her about any possible outcome that may occur. Lubell also called Ramos’ own doctor, a board certified general surgeon, to testify. He explained that breast cysts have been known to occur as a common complication following any breast procedure, and that these cysts usually dissipate on their own when they are so small and benign.
Although an expert for the plaintiff argued that Ramos would need the double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery to remove her breasts and reconstruct new ones, the jury rejected this testimony. Double mastectomies are highly complex and expensive procedures, usually performed on breast cancer survivors. The jury found that Ramos knew the risks of her procedure and Dr. Mercado had not been negligent in his responsibility to obtain informed consent.
At Lubell Rosen, a law firm that handles a variety of cases including medical malpractice defense, Steven Lubell and his team represent doctors in Florida who have been accused of malpractice or negligence. Contact Steven Lubell or another Lubell Rosen attorney to discuss your case today.