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itsnotrequired
07-13-2006, 08:53 AM
Former White Sox slugger Frank Thomas alleges in a lawsuit he filed Wednesday that two of the team's doctors failed to detect he had broken his foot in 2004--an injury that subsequently led to his departure from Chicago

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/whitesox/chi-0607130263jul13,1,5945391.story?coll=chi-sportsnew-hed

DumpJerry
07-13-2006, 09:34 AM
Hard to say what to make of this. I'm not a PI lawyer, but my gut says that if Thomas' injury was of the type not readily diagnosable, then the suit might not fly. Beckett, any thoughts?

If the docs followed the standard of care, then their liability exposure is greatly reduced.

Another hurdle Thomas needs to overcome is the fact that his damages are mostly speculative-even the buyout of his contract last year.

It should be noted that he is not suing the White Sox, so this won't effect ticket prices next year.

JorgeFabregas
07-13-2006, 10:00 AM
Well, that's something.

Mickster
07-13-2006, 10:04 AM
The fact that Corboy & Demetrio took the case tells me that his counsel felt that the suit has merit and that the standard of care was breached. Corboy's firm is generally regarded as one of the best plaintiff PI firms in the U.S. They are certainly not known for taking "sketchy" cases. I am not implying that all of their cases are of the "slam-dunk" variety, but they are generally well researched prior to filing and usually result in a large monrtary award. Frank will see a large settlement in the least.

Ol' No. 2
07-13-2006, 10:20 AM
Frank's second injury was not a re-fracture of the original break, but in a different place than the first. How is one related to the other? Am I missing something?

DumpJerry
07-13-2006, 10:30 AM
First of all, as a member of the legal community, I am not impressed by the fact that Demetrio took the case. Thomas is a celebrity.

Secondly, when you read about lawsuits/trials/legal matters in the mainstream press it is over 85% inaccurate. This is because the stories are being reported by reporters with no legal training. Beyond the simple basics of the story (i.e. "Thomas sues doctors"), there is very little useful information in these stories. Most of the time, the stories are regurgitation of the lawyer's spin. Be especially leery of stories where one side of the action either "declined to comment" or "denied the allegation" and says nothing else.

RKMeibalane
07-13-2006, 01:10 PM
Frank's second injury was not a re-fracture of the original break, but in a different place than the first. How is one related to the other? Am I missing something?

I'm only a second-year medical student right now, but I'll give this my best shot. Beckett, you're welcome to shoot me down if I'm wrong about something. :cool:

You are correct that the second fracture was in a different location than the first. However, it is possible that when a patient suffers a fracture at a particular location that he may, as a result of strucutural weaknesses in the area of the fracture, suffer subsequent fractures in ajacent areas. Grant Hill's well-documented ankle problems are another example.

It has been my understanding that the area around the navicular bone is also not highly vascularized, a factor that may have slowed the healing process of Frank's original fracture. Frank himself has said that he was only about 80% when he returned from the original injury.

Because of the weakness in the bone around the original fracture, combined with Frank putting his weight on his foot and ankle when he swings led to the second fracture. I think Frank believes that because the first fracture was not properly diagnosed that this initial injury ultimately contributed to his second fracture, which was the reason why the Sox bought out his contract.

Again, I hope I haven't mislead anyone with this. Hope this helps! :cool:

Ol' No. 2
07-13-2006, 01:15 PM
I'm only a second-year medical student right now, but I'll give this my best shot. Beckett, you're welcome to shoot me down if I'm wrong about something. :cool:

You are correct that the second fracture was in a different location than the first. However, it is possible that when a patient suffers a fracture at a particular location that he may, as a result of strucutural weaknesses in the area of the fracture, suffer subsequent fractures in ajacent areas. Grant Hill's well-documented ankle problems are another example.

It has been my understanding that the area around the navicular bone is also not highly vascularized, a factor that may have slowed the healing process of Frank's original fracture. Frank himself has said that he was only about 80% when he returned from the original injury.

Because of the weakness in the bone around the original fracture, combined with Frank putting his weight on his foot and ankle when he swings led to the second fracture. I think Frank believes that because the first fracture was not properly diagnosed that this initial injury ultimately contributed to his second fracture, which was the reason why the Sox bought out his contract.

Again, I hope I haven't mislead anyone with this. Hope this helps! :cool:It sounds like misdiagnosed isn't quite accurate. At most he might be able to claim they okayed him to play too soon. But this seems to hinge on whether residual weakness around the original fracture contributed to the second fracture. Could that really happen?

Where's Beckett when we need him?:cool:

RKMeibalane
07-13-2006, 01:21 PM
It sounds like misdiagnosed isn't quite accurate. At most he might be able to claim they okayed him to play too soon. But this seems to hinge on whether residual weakness around the original fracture contributed to the second fracture. Could that really happen?

Where's Beckett when we need him?:cool:

As far as I know, it can happen, but Beckett would know better than I would. I'll defer to his judgement.

voodoochile
07-13-2006, 01:34 PM
It sounds like misdiagnosed isn't quite accurate. At most he might be able to claim they okayed him to play too soon. But this seems to hinge on whether residual weakness around the original fracture contributed to the second fracture. Could that really happen?

Where's Beckett when we need him?:cool:

One example of this is when someone tears an ACL, their chance of a fracture in that leg increases during and post rehab. I don't know how long that increased percentage lasts, but I do remember it from when it happened to Jerry Rice.

DumpJerry
07-13-2006, 03:07 PM
IIRC, Frank said he was less than 100% when he came back last year. That will hurt his case vis a vis contributory negligence.

RKMeibalane
07-13-2006, 03:47 PM
IIRC, Frank said he was less than 100% when he came back last year. That will hurt his case vis a vis contributory negligence.

Yes, he did. As I said in an earlier post, Frank speculates that he was only 80% upon his return last May. I wonder if he may argue that the Sox medical staff shouldn't have cleared him to play if he was less than 100%. :?:

Iwritecode
07-13-2006, 03:53 PM
Yes, he did. As I said in an earlier post, Frank speculates that he was only 80% upon his return last May. I wonder if he may argue that the Sox medical staff shouldn't have cleared him to play if he was less than 100%. :?:

Wouldn't Frank know better than the doctors whether he's 100% or not? I mean he's the only one that knows if his foot still hurts or not.

RKMeibalane
07-13-2006, 04:16 PM
Wouldn't Frank know better than the doctors whether he's 100% or not? I mean he's the only one that knows if his foot still hurts or not.

That's a complicated subject, one that's puzzled doctors and lawyers alike for years. When he originally hurt his ankle, Frank may have known how much pain he's in, but decided to continue playing anyway. As a patient, he does have the right to refuse treatment if he doesn't believe he needs it.

On the other hand, it is the responsbility of every physician to look out for the best interests of their patients, and doctors are often held to a higher standard under the law with regard to job performance. It's a difficult line to walk- balancing patient rights and wishes with the responsbility of providing proper care, because the two do not always coincide, I'm sure Beckett can tell you. As a medical student, it's something I'm learning about day by day.

I hope that answers your question.

Ol' No. 2
07-13-2006, 04:17 PM
That's a complicated subject, one that's puzzled doctors and lawyers alike for years. When he originally hurt his ankle, Frank may have known how much pain he's in, but decided to continue playing anyway. As a patient, he does have the right to refuse treatment if he doesn't believe he needs it.

On the other hand, it is the responsbility of every physician to look out for the best interests of their patients, and doctors are often held to a higher standard under the law with regard to job performance. It's a difficult line to walk- balancing patient rights and wishes with the responsbility of providing proper care, because the two do not always coincide, I'm sure Beckett can tell you. As a medical student, it's something I'm learning about day by day.

I hope that answers your question.A doctor's duty is to give the patient the best advice he can. But he can't make him take it.

TornLabrum
07-13-2006, 04:18 PM
That's a complicated subject, one that's puzzled doctors and lawyers alike for years. When he originally hurt his ankle, Frank may have known how much pain he's in, but decided to continue playing anyway. As a patient, he does have the right to refuse treatment if he doesn't believe he needs it.

On the other hand, it is the responsbility of every physician to look out for the best interests of their patients, and doctors are often held to a higher standard under the law with regard to job performance. It's a difficult line to walk- balancing patient rights and wishes with the responsbility of providing proper care, because the two do not always coincide, I'm sure Beckett can tell you. As a medical student, it's something I'm learning about day by day.

I hope that answers your question.

There's also more than a potential conflict of interest for a team physician. His responsibility, since he's employed by the team, is to get the player back from any injuries ASAP.

RKMeibalane
07-13-2006, 04:22 PM
A doctor's duty is to give the patient the best advice he can. But he can't make him take it.

Exactly. Frank is capable of thinking for himself. I find it hard to believe that he didn't consider the possiblity that he may not have been healthy enough to play.

It's going to be interesting to see where this case goes. I feel badly for Frank because of everything he's gone through, but I can't shake the feeling that he's wrong for doing this.

RKMeibalane
07-13-2006, 04:24 PM
There's also more than a potential conflict of interest for a team physician. His responsibility, since he's employed by the team, is to get the player back from any injuries ASAP.

Right, and that's something that makes their jobs harder. I don't know if Sox management was pressuring them to give Frank a clean bill of health. I do remember Ozzie Guillen saying that the Sox wouldn't even consider activiating Frank until he had been cleared by doctors. That said, there's no way to know exactly what happened behind the scenes. We know what the media reports, and what they say isn't always accurate.

The Immigrant
07-13-2006, 04:24 PM
There's also more than a potential conflict of interest for a team physician. His responsibility, since he's employed by the team, is to get the player back from any injuries ASAP.

Yes, but it is also his responsibility to protect the team's investment in the player. Besides, players who suspect that a team physician may not be looking out for their best interests are free to get a second opinion.

DumpJerry
07-13-2006, 04:30 PM
There's also more than a potential conflict of interest for a team physician. His responsibility, since he's employed by the team, is to get the player back from any injuries ASAP.
I'm not sure if this is 100% correct. If a lawyer is being paid by someone's employer to represent the employee, the employee is the client, not the employer. If the lawyer follows directives from the employer and not the client, then the lawyer gets disciplined by the Supreme Court. A more common occurance is someone needs a lawyer and can't afford one, so her/his parent pays the legal bill. The lawyer must follow the directives of the client, not the parent.

I can't imagine the medical rules of ethics being much different except when the patient is a minor.

RKMeibalane
07-13-2006, 04:31 PM
Yes, but it is also his responsibility to protect the team's investment in the player. Besides, players who suspect that a team physician may not be looking out for their best interests are free to get a second opinion.

You make an excellent point. Frank has actually received much of his treatment from Dr. Richard Ferkel, a Los Angeles area physician. IIRC, Ferkel performed both of his surgeries.

That brings up another question, though- if Frank was being given advice by Ferkel that differed from what Sox doctors were telling him, one wonders why he didn't take more time off to be sure he could get healthy.

I can't remember if it was Ferkel or the Sox medical staff that cleared him to play last season. I seem to remember Frank flying to Los Angeles in early March of '05 to meet with Ferkel, and then joining the Sox in Tuscon, but I could be wrong about that.

RKMeibalane
07-13-2006, 04:34 PM
I'm not sure if this is 100% correct. If a lawyer is being paid by someone's employer to represent the employee, the employee is the client, not the employer. If the lawyer follows directives from the employer and not the client, then the lawyer gets disciplined by the Supreme Court. A more common occurance is someone needs a lawyer and can't afford one, so her/his parent pays the legal bill. The lawyer must follow the directives of the client, not the parent.

I can't imagine the medical rules of ethics being much different except when the patient is a minor.

It's a tough issue. I don't think management has the authority to order team physicians to clear players, but there have been several instances of doctors being pressured to do so. When Grant Hill originally broke his ankle, it was diagnosed as a severe high ankle sprain, and there were rumors circulating that Pistons management put the squeeze on team doctors to get Hill back in uniform.

I agree that the ethics of doing so are questionable, but I'll be honest and say that my knowledge in this area is limited. I'm anxious to see what Beckett says when he gets here.

russ99
07-13-2006, 05:23 PM
One more interesting note - the story names the Sox doctors as independant contractors to the Sox, not employees.

If they were directly employed by the Sox, I wonder if the White Sox would be named in the suit, possibly as the main defendant.

I really can't blame Frank for doing this. I think I'd feel differently if the Sox were being sued. It will be real interesting to see how this plays out, and also that Jeff Bagwell insurance suit in Houston. These 2 guys born on the same day, have eerily similar careers...

RKMeibalane
07-13-2006, 05:28 PM
One more interesting note - the story names the Sox doctors as independant contractors to the Sox, not employees.

If they were directly employed by the Sox, I wonder if the White Sox would be named in the suit, possibly as the main defendant.

I really can't blame Frank for doing this. I think I'd feel differently if the Sox were being sued. It will be real interesting to see how this plays out, and also that Jeff Bagwell insurance suit in Houston. These 2 guys born on the same day, have eerily similar careers...

I don't mean to hijack your post, but I just wanted to say that what the Astros have done to Bagwell is absolutely dispicable, telling him not to bother coming to ST, and then not allowing him a chance to sign with an AL team so he could DH.

Sorry. I just feel badly that he's been treated the way he has, because we're talking about a guy who's never done anything wrong.

DumpJerry
07-13-2006, 06:15 PM
One more interesting note - the story names the Sox doctors as independant contractors to the Sox, not employees.

If they were directly employed by the Sox, I wonder if the White Sox would be named in the suit, possibly as the main defendant.

I really can't blame Frank for doing this. I think I'd feel differently if the Sox were being sued. It will be real interesting to see how this plays out, and also that Jeff Bagwell insurance suit in Houston. These 2 guys born on the same day, have eerily similar careers...
Doctors are rarely "employees." When you see a doctor at the hospital, she is a contractor with hospital. Your doctor belongs to a "group" which is like a law firm: partners and associates. When there a is medical malpractice suit arising out of something that happened at a hospital, the defendants are the doctor(s) and hospital, separate from each other with their own lawyers.

There are two reasons why a pro sports team (or the Cubs) would not actually have a doctor as an "employee." The first one is that it is too expensive. As an employee, the doctor would be getting paid to sit around waiting for an injury situation. As a contractor, I'm pretty sure the docs get paid for acutal work done on a player. Secondly, like the hospital, the team escapes most liability if the doctor being complained of is sued (like in Frank's situation). As an independent contractor, the doctor is making medical determinations as a doctor at Rush, not as an agent (employee) of the White Sox. If the White Sox had a medical team which dictated to the doctors what the diagnosis/prognosis/treatment plans should be, then the White Sox can be sued. Instead, they rely on what the docs tell them.

russ99
07-13-2006, 06:36 PM
I don't mean to hijack your post, but I just wanted to say that what the Astros have done to Bagwell is absolutely dispicable, telling him not to bother coming to ST, and then not allowing him a chance to sign with an AL team so he could DH.

Sorry. I just feel badly that he's been treated the way he has, because we're talking about a guy who's never done anything wrong.

Actually, Bagwell came to spring training to try and play, and the last week of the spring, he voluntarily gave up, saying he couldn't do it anymore. He was having problems batting also, especially when he tried to play 2 days in a row, and DHing was most likely out of the question too.

The Astros seriously jeopardized their case by letting him play in spring games, but they felt they owed him a chance to try. He's still on their 60 day DL, so he can collect his salary, which he voluntatily deferred in years past to help the team compete.

As sorry as I am that Bagwell can't play anymore, I think the Astros did the classy thing by letting him try. That they bought insurance on him from such a sketchy company is a bit shady, though.

RKMeibalane
07-13-2006, 08:53 PM
Doctors are rarely "employees." When you see a doctor at the hospital, she is a contractor with hospital. Your doctor belongs to a "group" which is like a law firm: partners and associates. When there a is medical malpractice suit arising out of something that happened at a hospital, the defendants are the doctor(s) and hospital, separate from each other with their own lawyers.

Absolutely correct. Thanks for making that point, as it's something that is frequently misunderstood. :worship:

Edit: In addition, physicians have what are called "hospital priviledges," which allow them to admit patients to and perform procedures at a particular facility. There are different types of these prviliedges availible. Most doctors on a medical staff will maintain active priviledges, which typically have no cap or limit as far as the number of patients admitted each year. By contrast, a physician with only courtesy priviledges would only be allowed a certain number of admissions- 25 for example, or at least that's the standard in Indiana. It may be different elsewhere.

RKMeibalane
07-13-2006, 08:56 PM
Actually, Bagwell came to spring training to try and play, and the last week of the spring, he voluntarily gave up, saying he couldn't do it anymore. He was having problems batting also, especially when he tried to play 2 days in a row, and DHing was most likely out of the question too.

The Astros seriously jeopardized their case by letting him play in spring games, but they felt they owed him a chance to try. He's still on their 60 day DL, so he can collect his salary, which he voluntatily deferred in years past to help the team compete.

As sorry as I am that Bagwell can't play anymore, I think the Astros did the classy thing by letting him try. That they bought insurance on him from such a sketchy company is a bit shady, though.

My mistake. I wasn't aware that he left camp voluntarily. :redface:

TDog
07-13-2006, 09:06 PM
What a classy thing to do.

SluggersAway
07-13-2006, 10:27 PM
If a lawyer is being paid by someone's employer to represent the employee, the employee is the client, not the employer. If the lawyer follows directives from the employer and not the client, then the lawyer gets disciplined by the Supreme Court. A more common occurance is someone needs a lawyer and can't afford one, so her/his parent pays the legal bill. The lawyer must follow the directives of the client, not the parent.

I can't imagine the medical rules of ethics being much different.

Then you don't know much about the difference between the rules and regulations involved in the legal industry and those in the medical industry. There is a world of difference. Maybe if the doctors made the laws covering doctors, but instead lawyers make the laws for both industries. Take a look at the hippocratic oath for starters. Lawyers might want to try and follow it.

Oh yea, "occurance" is spelled "occurrence."

beckett21
07-13-2006, 10:53 PM
Right, and that's something that makes their jobs harder. I don't know if Sox management was pressuring them to give Frank a clean bill of health. I do remember Ozzie Guillen saying that the Sox wouldn't even consider activiating Frank until he had been cleared by doctors. That said, there's no way to know exactly what happened behind the scenes. We know what the media reports, and what they say isn't always accurate.
A lot of good posts in this thread. My ears have been burning all day. :D:

The boldface above pretty much summarizes things as I see it. Medical malpractice cases are very complex. Without looking at all of the facts involved, it is virtually impossible to render a fair opinion. Not only that, but you will always be able to find 'experts' who will support opposite sides of every argument. Whos' to say which expert is right?

As DumpJerry said, I think it will be hard to prove a breach of standard of care in this one. Following the timeline in the article, Thomas apparently suffered the original injury on 6/15/04. He did not seek treatment immediately, but he did seek it less than two weeks later. X-rays at that time were negative. 7/4/04, or just less than three weeks after the injury, he recieved a cortisone shot for continued pain. When that didn't work, he went to his own doctor who ultimately made the diagnosis with an MRI and a bone scan.

The question is, what is the standard of care in this case? For the average joe on the street, what the Sox doctors did was within the standard of care IMO. It is not routine to order an MRI on every person who complains of foot pain and has a normal x-ray. Since Thomas is a high-profile, highly-paid athlete, should the doctors be held to a higher standard?

We also don't know what Thomas said in his doctor visits. He may have been insistent upon playing. Sometimes patients try to get you to tell them what they want to hear; like ON2 said, doctors can give advice but they can't make a person take their advice.

From personal experience, the last navicular stress fracture I had did not show up on x-ray. It was a high-school soccer player, and the kid really wanted to keep playing. I immobilized him for a couple of weeks, and only after he failed to improve did I order the MRI which diagnosed the fracture. I saw him every two weeks for two months, and every time he begged me to let him play. It was hard for me to keep telling him no.

As far as being 'team physicians,' any doctor's first responsibility is to his or her patient. Period.

That said, there is a certain amount of prestige to be known as a 'team physician,' it's definitely great advertising. If the team thinks that the doctors are keeping players out unnecessarily, then they can find new 'team physicians,' if you catch my drift. I'm not saying that the Sox put pressure on their doctors to get players back sooner, nor am I implying that the doctors would put a player at risk soley to please management. However, in the back of their minds, I could see where the doctors might feel an obligation to the team and the public to get the athlete back on the field as quickly as possible. Doctors are human too.

In regards to the injury, could the second fracture have been related to the first? Possibly. The question is, did this 'delay' in diagnosis cause all of these subsequent problems or could they have happened anyway? I wouldn't call a 2-to-3 week delay negligent; 2-3 months, maybe, but not 2-3 weeks. Again JMO. Navicular stress fractures are notoriously slow healing, and also notoriously missed on initial presentation.

Does Thomas have a case? I don't know. There are not enough facts for me to say either way. It is really just a matter of interpretation of the facts of the case. My first reaction is no, but that is JMO based on the few facts available. I'm sure that he will have experts supporting his case--in fact, in order to even bring a malpractice suit there must be an outside doctor on record as having reviewed the case and acknowledging that it has merit. Proving the case, however, is another story.

TornLabrum
07-13-2006, 10:59 PM
A couple of things:

1) To Beckett: I don't know if you read the article, but I'd like to point out that iirc the person who caught the fracture was a podiatrist.

2) We had a discussion of this tonight at the WCSF board meeting. An interesting fact, the hospital with whom these doctors are affiliated pays to be the "official medical center of the Chicago White Sox." If you get what you pay for, the Sox are the ones getting paid for medical services.

beckett21
07-13-2006, 11:19 PM
A couple of things:

1) To Beckett: I don't know if you read the article, but I'd like to point out that iirc the person who caught the fracture was a podiatrist.

2) We had a discussion of this tonight at the WCSF board meeting. An interesting fact, the hospital with whom these doctors are affiliated pays to be the "official medical center of the Chicago White Sox." If you get what you pay for, the Sox are the ones getting paid for medical services.

TL,

1) Yup. :redneck

2) As I mentioned, this is the 'prestige' factor. I'm sure Rush pays big bucks to have that honor.

TornLabrum
07-14-2006, 12:03 AM
TL,

1) Yup. :redneck

2) As I mentioned, this is the 'prestige' factor. I'm sure Rush pays big bucks to have that honor.

The figure mentioned was in the millions spread over a number of years.

DumpJerry
07-14-2006, 12:18 AM
Then you don't know much about the difference between the rules and regulations involved in the legal industry and those in the medical industry. There is a world of difference. Maybe if the doctors made the laws covering doctors, but instead lawyers make the laws for both industries. Take a look at the hippocratic oath for starters. Lawyers might want to try and follow it.

Oh yea, "occurance" is spelled "occurrence."
Thank you. I love being the recipient of personal attacks. I won't point out your obvious typos.

What do you mean when you say lawyers should follow the Hippocratic Oath? I'm sure that when you hire a lawyer you will want her to be loyal to you and keep your secrets secret and protect your interests. Without that assurance, what good is the legal system?

BTW, you're right, doctors, the AMA, the AHA and Blue Cross have never contributed to the legislative process of health care.

TornLabrum
07-14-2006, 12:23 AM
Thank you. I love being the recipient of personal attacks. I won't point out your obvious typos.

What do you mean when you say lawyers should follow the Hippocratic Oath? I'm sure that when you hire a lawyer you will want her to be loyal to you and keep your secrets secret and protect your interests. Without that assurance, what good is the legal system?

BTW, you're right, doctors, the AMA, the AHA and Blue Cross have never contributed to the legislative process of health care.

Permit me to referee here. An attack on one's profession is not a personal attack. You may take it personally, but it is not an attack on you personally.

DumpJerry
07-14-2006, 12:25 AM
Permit me to referee here. An attack on one's profession is not a personal attack. You may take it personally, but it is not an attack on you personally.
*steps aside*

beckett21
07-14-2006, 12:32 AM
The figure mentioned was in the millions spread over a number of years.

I think our practice will just stick to sponsoring little league teams. :D:

MsSoxVixen22
07-14-2006, 01:46 PM
I was watching the Boston-Oakland game last nite with my Dad. I caught the tailend of the announcers saying something about Frank being "misdiagnosed" by the White Sox doctors and that he's planning on suing. Anybody else heard this? Do you guys think has the right to sue the White Sox? I can't believe Frank would stoop this low...:(:

itsnotrequired
07-14-2006, 01:48 PM
http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=75060

MsSoxVixen22
07-14-2006, 01:51 PM
http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=75060


Sorry guys! I didn't know there was a thread on this already! :redface:

CLR01
07-14-2006, 04:39 PM
Sorry guys! I didn't know there was a thread on this already! :redface:

Well if you would have bothered to take a quick look around you would have seen a thread titled "Frank Thomas sues White Sox doctors". I understand that is difficult though. :rolleyes:

MsSoxVixen22
07-14-2006, 05:08 PM
Well if you would have bothered to take a quick look around you would have seen a thread titled "Frank Thomas sues White Sox doctors". I understand that is difficult though. :rolleyes:


I did apologize. Sorry I don't go into Talking Baseball all that often. Sheesh. :redface: :(:

StockdaleForVeep
07-14-2006, 05:33 PM
A doctor's duty is to give the patient the best advice he can. But he can't make him take it.
A doctor has the ability to medically declare a player unable to play, regardless to what the player thinks.

Just curious since we live in a lawsuit society, i wonder if the blue jays may be used for evidence into the whole white sox medical care issue as a whole. We all remember shouldergate and the fiasco over sirotka being damaged goods and the club not knowin about it, plus how the staff's shoulders imploded after the 2000 season, im just wonderin if they may backlog the history of the organization to cite "Faulty medical practice"

StockdaleForVeep
07-14-2006, 05:38 PM
I was watching the Boston-Oakland game last nite with my Dad. I caught the tailend of the announcers saying something about Frank being "misdiagnosed" by the White Sox doctors and that he's planning on suing. Anybody else heard this? Do you guys think has the right to sue the White Sox? I can't believe Frank would stoop this low...:(:
If you were hurt on the job and felt somehow your company was negligent in your injury and recovery, odds are youd want to sue them too. This has nothing to do with frank stooping low or not. If the issue is true they misdiagnosed him, then that misdiagnosis took away half of his season and arguably cost him his job and future contracts due to him being a high injury risk now. Who knows, if frank knew the severity of the injury, he mighta waited longer before rejoining the club. For example, if a doctor told me i just had a severe sprain i wouldnt think much of it and "keep off it" but if i was told i had a broken ankle, well thatd change my actions because broken mentally means more than sprain as well. Kind of a crappy analogy but i hope it gets the point

RKMeibalane
07-14-2006, 05:50 PM
If you were hurt on the job and felt somehow your company was negligent in your injury and recovery, odds are youd want to sue them too. This has nothing to do with frank stooping low or not. If the issue is true they misdiagnosed him, then that misdiagnosis took away half of his season and arguably cost him his job and future contracts due to him being a high injury risk now. Who knows, if frank knew the severity of the injury, he mighta waited longer before rejoining the club. For example, if a doctor told me i just had a severe sprain i wouldnt think much of it and "keep off it" but if i was told i had a broken ankle, well thatd change my actions because broken mentally means more than sprain as well. Kind of a crappy analogy but i hope it gets the point

Well said. The Frank-haters are spewing their usual vitriol again it seems.

Edit: For the record, I don't think Frank has a strong case, but if he believes that his injury was treated improperly, I won't hold it against him for attempting to sue.

DumpJerry
07-14-2006, 05:56 PM
If you were hurt on the job and felt somehow your company was negligent in your injury and recovery, odds are youd want to sue them too. This has nothing to do with frank stooping low or not. If the issue is true they misdiagnosed him, then that misdiagnosis took away half of his season and arguably cost him his job and future contracts due to him being a high injury risk now. Who knows, if frank knew the severity of the injury, he mighta waited longer before rejoining the club. For example, if a doctor told me i just had a severe sprain i wouldnt think much of it and "keep off it" but if i was told i had a broken ankle, well thatd change my actions because broken mentally means more than sprain as well. Kind of a crappy analogy but i hope it gets the point
1. If you're hurt on the job, no matter how much the employer is at fault, you cannot sue. The Workers' Comp Act bars personal injury lawsuits against employers. In exchange, the employee get a simpler system for compensation which is a no fault system (Workers' Comp).
2. Count the number of times the word "if" appears in your post. You cannot sue on speculative or hypothetical damages. You have to show actual damages (money out of your pocket that otherwise would not have been lost) before you can claim compensatory damages (emotional harm) and punitives damages (intentional or willful and wonton conduct). One example is a 15 year old high school baseball player getting hit by a drunk driver causing injuries which makes any more baseball impossible for the kid. The kid's parents cannot say but for the accident he could have gone on to play for a major league team and signed a multi-million dollar contract and the driver now owes him that money.

If Frank did not go to a shrink to discuss how upset he is over the loss of playing time due to the injury which allegedly occurred due to the alleged misdiagnosis, he cannot claim much in the way of Compensatory damages. Big compensatory awards are based on more than "I felt real bad about myself" testimony. If you did not seek any kind of counselling for your bad feelings, then you could not be feeling all that bad. If he can't get compensatory damages, then punitives is pretty much out of the question.

As to Frank's actual damages, that is hard to calculate because for every single event which may have contributed to the second injury outside of the alleged misdiagnosis, it takes away from the culpability of the docs. I'm talking about any time he bumped the foot, came down on it wrong while walking, dropped a heavy object (like a drinking glass) on it, etc.

This case is not as open and shut as his lawyers make it out to be.

StockdaleForVeep
07-14-2006, 09:09 PM
1. If you're hurt on the job, no matter how much the employer is at fault, you cannot sue. The Workers' Comp Act bars personal injury lawsuits against employers. In exchange, the employee get a simpler system for compensation which is a no fault system (Workers' Comp).
2. Count the number of times the word "if" appears in your post. You cannot sue on speculative or hypothetical damages. You have to show actual damages (money out of your pocket that otherwise would not have been lost) before you can claim compensatory damages (emotional harm) and punitives damages (intentional or willful and wonton conduct). One example is a 15 year old high school baseball player getting hit by a drunk driver causing injuries which makes any more baseball impossible for the kid. The kid's parents cannot say but for the accident he could have gone on to play for a major league team and signed a multi-million dollar contract and the driver now owes him that money.

If Frank did not go to a shrink to discuss how upset he is over the loss of playing time due to the injury which allegedly occurred due to the alleged misdiagnosis, he cannot claim much in the way of Compensatory damages. Big compensatory awards are based on more than "I felt real bad about myself" testimony. If you did not seek any kind of counselling for your bad feelings, then you could not be feeling all that bad. If he can't get compensatory damages, then punitives is pretty much out of the question.

As to Frank's actual damages, that is hard to calculate because for every single event which may have contributed to the second injury outside of the alleged misdiagnosis, it takes away from the culpability of the docs. I'm talking about any time he bumped the foot, came down on it wrong while walking, dropped a heavy object (like a drinking glass) on it, etc.

This case is not as open and shut as his lawyers make it out to be.

Frank can show loss of wages, he can establish what his market value was before the injury and what it currently is. Where frank is now is a direct result of his ankle. The issue with yer drunk driver analogy doesnt work because there is no misleading issue. The driver didnt say hit the kid and the doctor say "Oh he's ok, give him a salt tablet"
Frank believes they said it was less worse than it was and it cost him. Hell, recall the sox waiting weeks before puttin him in a cast cuz they hoped it would "heal on its own"?

RKMeibalane
07-14-2006, 09:16 PM
Frank can show loss of wages, he can establish what his market value was before the injury and what it currently is. Where frank is now is a direct result of his ankle. The issue with yer drunk driver analogy doesnt work because there is no misleading issue. The driver didnt say hit the kid and the doctor say "Oh he's ok, give him a salt tablet"
Frank believes they said it was less worse than it was and it cost him. Hell, recall the sox waiting weeks before puttin him in a cast cuz they hoped it would "heal on its own"?

I don't mean to burst your bubble, but with a fracture of the type that Frank suffered in '04, it is standard procedure to allow the fracture to heal on its own before deciding on surgery.

DumpJerry
07-15-2006, 12:19 AM
Frank can show loss of wages, he can establish what his market value was before the injury and what it currently is. Where frank is now is a direct result of his ankle. The issue with yer drunk driver analogy doesnt work because there is no misleading issue. The driver didnt say hit the kid and the doctor say "Oh he's ok, give him a salt tablet"
Frank believes they said it was less worse than it was and it cost him. Hell, recall the sox waiting weeks before puttin him in a cast cuz they hoped it would "heal on its own"?
Frank lost exactly $0.00 in wages. His contract was paid. The Sox exercised their option which they can say with a straight face they were going to do regardless of his health. He cannot use what his market value in November, 2005 would have been if the ankle was not broken because that is completely speculative because you don't have any information about what his stats in '05 would have been if he was available for the entire season.

I think you misunderstood my drunk driver example. It has nothing to do with misleading issues, just that the kid cannot say what would have happened with his baseball career any more than what Frank could say. If they could, they need to be buying Lottery tickets.

I don't think it was the Sox who waited before putting Frank in a cast. I don't recall reading anywhere that Jerry, Kenny, Ozzie et al have medical backgrounds. We will never know the full story of Frank's (or any other injured athlete's) treatment protocol and who made what decisions based on what information.

This boils down to what I said early in this post and Beckett confirmed: if the doctors followed the standard of care, there is no negligence. If there is no negligence, there is no case.

StockdaleForVeep
07-15-2006, 04:41 AM
Frank lost exactly $0.00 in wages. His contract was paid. The Sox exercised their option which they can say with a straight face they were going to do regardless of his health. He cannot use what his market value in November, 2005 would have been if the ankle was not broken because that is completely speculative because you don't have any information about what his stats in '05 would have been if he was available for the entire season.

I think you misunderstood my drunk driver example. It has nothing to do with misleading issues, just that the kid cannot say what would have happened with his baseball career any more than what Frank could say. If they could, they need to be buying Lottery tickets.

I don't think it was the Sox who waited before putting Frank in a cast. I don't recall reading anywhere that Jerry, Kenny, Ozzie et al have medical backgrounds. We will never know the full story of Frank's (or any other injured athlete's) treatment protocol and who made what decisions based on what information.

This boils down to what I said early in this post and Beckett confirmed: if the doctors followed the standard of care, there is no negligence. If there is no negligence, there is no case.

In 2005, thomas made around 8 million due to his contract per baseballreference.com, now he currently is playin for a 100,000 contract with incentives The issue of the so called "misleading" of medical information has devalued Frank to whomever wants to take a possible risk. Had frank played the entire season, God knows where he woulda finished and how this team woulda done, it would upheld his market value to say the least. Im not discussing the top brass, i myself simply recall it was the medical team who TOLD frank not to get in a cast and see how it goes, and that that issue slowed down his recovery time. Look at bonds, should San Fran dump him, some team WOULD get him but for less money cuz what team wants a gimp legged dh?

If frank was not ready, the sox medical staff were liable to keep him down, unless the doctors expressed a big disagreement and frank signed off saying he absolved the doctors of any potential incident to occur due to him leavin early. The doctors knew what condition he was in and what could happen or not

DumpJerry
07-15-2006, 10:43 PM
In 2005, thomas made around 8 million due to his contract per baseballreference.com, now he currently is playin for a 100,000 contract with incentives The issue of the so called "misleading" of medical information has devalued Frank to whomever wants to take a possible risk. Had frank played the entire season, God knows where he woulda finished and how this team woulda done, it would upheld his market value to say the least. Im not discussing the top brass, i myself simply recall it was the medical team who TOLD frank not to get in a cast and see how it goes, and that that issue slowed down his recovery time. Look at bonds, should San Fran dump him, some team WOULD get him but for less money cuz what team wants a gimp legged dh?

If frank was not ready, the sox medical staff were liable to keep him down, unless the doctors expressed a big disagreement and frank signed off saying he absolved the doctors of any potential incident to occur due to him leavin early. The doctors knew what condition he was in and what could happen or not
I understand what you're saying, but it is still very speculative what his value would have been had his diagnosis been different (I won't say if the actual one was correct since I don't have access to his chart and could not interpret it anyway). What is known is that he had a broken foot in '04. That fact, regardless of the course of treatment, would cause his market value to diminish. This is magnified by the way he hits the ball-when he swings, he raises up his left (broken) foot and then slams it down on his downstroke. Given his weight, he was sending a shock of about 400-500 pounds into his ankle/foot everytime he swung for the fences. Given this, a subsequent injury was inevitable.

I say we take more of a zen approach to Frank. Whether the original diagnosis was correct or not, we cannot change the past, therefore, we need to live with the present situation.

I'm also not convinced that the Sox would have kept a healthy Frank on the roster. Konerko had emerged last year as a power bat on the right and Thome was available for power on the left. I can't mention Dye because we did not know until this year that he would become a power bat.

Beauty35thStreet
07-18-2006, 12:24 AM
The one thing posters on this site need to realize (and most do) is that #1, we don't have all the details on this case and #2, we all perceive things differently. This post is supposed to talk about why Thomas should not be chastised for suing and why this isn't necessarily a slap in the face to White Sox, but rather the medical group.

Thomas should not be chastised:
Although the information that is in the press (which may be false) indicates that standard of care was followed, how could anyone outside the medical field (specifically orthopedics/podiatry/sports medicine) possibly expect Frank Thomas or any other person to understand that? He has lawyers to help him out with that.

In addition, there seems to be a very legal, very sue, very dog eat dog, and very vindictive and spiteful culture that is in America. I find that a lot of people turn on lawyers and turn on the plaintiffs, yet these people probably would do the same thing or follow similar modes of course if faced with a comparable problem. That being said, how can Thomas, a professional athlete who bore a large burden to injury, be thought wrong to sue? Although I believe standard of care was followed (according to press, which may be inaccurate, see earlier posts for concurrence of my opinion), the injury could have been caught with an MRI. Does that mean that the doctors were wrong for not doing an MRI, probably not. However, it offers insight as to why he would be pissed.

Not a slap to the Sox:
If people interpret this as a slap to the Sox, I think people need to rethink and use a bit more brain, rather than emotion. Frank is suing the docs, not the Sox. There's a potential (that only those involved) that a mistake occurred and that will go to trial. I don't know exact details but was Butkus chastises for suing the Bears, or the Bears docs? I'm guessing a lot of people have double standards with Frank, which is just pathetic.

There are a lot of ortho groups and I'm sure the Sox wouldn't have too much trouble finding a replacement. Any smart employer would first look to see if a mistake was made rather than say, as MsSoxVixen22 said, "how can he stoop this low?" Usually the fans defend the organization in these cases, when the organization tends to be more understanding of the problem.

That being said, I understand where some Sox fans come from and interpret this as a slap to the Sox, but I really don't think that's the case. Know as I said earlier, you don't know all the facts and we all perceive things differently, and I need to realize that myself.





I was watching the Boston-Oakland game last nite with my Dad. I caught the tailend of the announcers saying something about Frank being "misdiagnosed" by the White Sox doctors and that he's planning on suing. Anybody else heard this? Do you guys think has the right to sue the White Sox? I can't believe Frank would stoop this low...:(:

TDog
07-18-2006, 04:00 AM
I am not a Frank Thomas hater. I used to defend him while a majority of fans I met at the ballpark were booing him. Many, in fact, believed they would rather keep Jose Canseco instead of bring Frank Thomas back, something I found laughable. I would find it easier to cheer for him now if he had signed with the Cubs, but that is irrelevant.

The way people are looking at this -- and unfortunately the way posterity, which won't be reading the posts in his defense, will look at this, will not be good. Thomas, who made millions of dollars a year playing baseball, is suing because doctors prevented him from making millions more?.

He is not a sympathetic plaintiff.

voodoochile
07-18-2006, 06:31 AM
I am not a Frank Thomas hater. I used to defend him while a majority of fans I met at the ballpark were booing him. Many, in fact, believed they would rather keep Jose Canseco instead of bring Frank Thomas back, something I found laughable. I would find it easier to cheer for him now if he had signed with the Cubs, but that is irrelevant.

The way people are looking at this -- and unfortunately the way posterity, which won't be reading the posts in his defense, will look at this, will not be good. Thomas, who made millions of dollars a year playing baseball, is suing because doctors prevented him from making millions more?.

He is not a sympathetic plaintiff.

Sympathy schmympathy, if the doctors screwed up (and I am NOT saying they did) they should be held accountable. Like it or not, people have a right to receive good medical advice and when that advice is poor and the person who received it gets screwed out of millions of dollars as a result, the insurance company of said doctors should foot the bill.

Butkus sewed the Bears after the team doctors lied to him about his knee and won. It doesn't seem to have hurt his reputation in Chicago at all. Yes, the times were a bit different in terms of money, but the basic premis remains the same.

Crappy doctors or ones who violate their Hypocratic oath by thinking in terms of what is best for the team they work for rather than the patient they are treating deserve to get hammered hard.

Again, I am not saying that is what happened, but if it did, more power to Frank.

Flight #24
07-18-2006, 10:44 AM
If indeed, Frank Thomas was misdiagnosed, then it's yet another piece in a truly star-crossed career.

1) Plays in a town where despite his dominant play, he never got the level of recognition he deserved, due significantly to the slanted local media.

2) Plays for a dumbass manager that seemingly gleefully and specifically tried to piss him off.

3) Suffers a freak injury (triceps), and another major injury (bone spurs) while still performing near the height of his career

4) Gets cheated out of the MVP by a steroid-bloated freak, resulting in the DSC being exercised

5) Gets hurt again, and during the year when his team finally achieves it's ultimate goal, he's forced to the sidelines (despite making a significant contribution and showing he can still play at a high level).

Now add to that misdiagnosis that significantly reduces his earning power and possibly (because of idiot voters), his HOF chances?:whiner: