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Only one attorney in the State of Iowa receives this award each year.

On 11/5/20, the Iowa Association for Justice (f/k/a the Iowa Trial Lawyers Association) named Russ Hixson, of Hixson & Brown, the Outstanding Member Award recipient for 2020.

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Surgeon mistakenly removes woman’s kidney

Patients in Iowa who consent to routine surgery do not expect to wake up to find out that one of their kidneys has been removed unnecessarily. That is exactly what happened to a Florida woman who was having an anterior spinal fusion operation.

The doctor who removed the kidney spotted what he thought was a malignant growth in the woman’s pelvic region. After the organ’s removal, a pathologist discovered it was a pelvic kidney. The organ was a functional kidney besides being in an unusual location inside the woman’s body.

The woman filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor alleging that the surgeon performed a medically unnecessary procedure. She also alleged that he failed to review MRI images prior to assisting with the surgery which would have revealed the kidney’s location.

The surgeon settled the lawsuit but could still face a fine or loss of his medical license. His attorney claims that he has not acknowledged fault for the medical procedure but settled the case due to the uncertainty of litigation.

Medical malpractice can cause serious health problems and death in some cases. An attorney experienced in handling medical professional negligence cases may be able to help clients who believe that they have undergone an unnecessary procedure. There are several other types of common medical errors that cause injury and death every year such as wrong-site surgery, anesthesia errors, misdiagnosis and objects left inside patients after surgery.

The plaintiff in a medical malpractice case must prove that the medical professional committed malpractice and must demonstrate how they have been damaged as a result. An attorney may be able to assist clients determine what went wrong by examining medical records and consulting expert witnesses. An attorney may help clients prove their case in court through expert testimony, medical records and other evidence.

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