Chuck Hehmeyer leads a team at Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer on behalf of victims of medical malpractice and other types of negligence in Philadelphia and throughout the country.
CLAIMS AGAINST MAKERS OF DEFECTIVE DRUGS AND MEDICAL DEVICES
Mr. Hehmeyer has served as lead counsel in large, complex cases in over 20 states. An unyielding champion for kids suffering from medical mistakes, Mr. Hehmeyer has secured many seven- and eight-figure recoveries in birth injury and other cases where babies or children were severely injured by substandard hospital or physician treatment. These financial resources help assure that our clients receive the best care for the rest of their lives and give families peace of mind.
He has represented clients, both children and adults, whose care involved virtually every medical specialty, including primary care, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics, otolaryngology, gastroenterology, surgery, pediatrics, cardiology, oncology, endocrinology, genetics, hematology, neurology and ophthalmology. Sometimes these cases involve suing drug or medical device manufacturers to address products that are defective or have inadequate warnings.
Mr. Hehmeyer maintains a national practice, representing children who have suffered birth injuries or mistreatment of rare, complex medical conditions. He is the only lawyer in the country who regularly represents families of children who have metabolic disorders, inborn errors of metabolism and other rare genetic disorders.
Through his advocacy, he has helped facilitate important improvements in newborn care, including expanding newborn metabolic screening for infants.
Having focused on medical malpractice for almost thirty years, Mr. Hehmeyer has earned the respect of the finest medical experts across America – with whom he regularly consults. He strongly believes that lawsuits should be brought against medical providers only if they have clear merit. Frequently medical providers themselves refer injured patients to Mr. Hehmeyer. No case is filed unless multiple highly-qualified physicians support the matter fully.
In addition to medical negligence, Mr. Hehmeyer also focuses on bus and truck accidents. These disasters are almost always caused by some combination of drowsy driving/hours-of-service violations, improper hiring, or failure to perform proper maintenance. These accidents can be horrific and deadly. Bus/truck companies will mount an immediate well-funded defense and often their lawyers will be at the scene of the accident within hours. These companies are prepared for any legal action taken against them. Mr. Hehmeyer’s team has been very successful using video simulations to recreate accidents and demonstrate the defendants’ misconduct.
Mr. Hehmeyer is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and Washington State and has represented clients in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Ohio, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Florida, Georgia, Texas, Louisiana, North Carolina, California, Arizona, and Colorado. Mr. Hehmeyer also is admitted to practice in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States District Courts for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Hehmeyer is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. The College is composed of the best of the trial bar from the United States and Canada. Fellowship is extended by invitation only to those who have mastered the art of trial advocacy, and whose careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethics and professionalism.
$14 million settlement for pediatric malpractice
When an honors student died mysteriously in the hospital after months of inpatient treatment for gastrointestinal symptoms, her parents turned to Chuck Hehmeyer to find out why. Tragically, her physicians had made the wrong initial diagnosis and then performed the wrong type of surgery. Ignoring the signs of her deteriorating condition, her doctors never reexamined their diagnosis while she slowly and painfully wasted away until she died. As part of the settlement, the hospital instituted new patient safety procedures to help ensure that this never happened to another child.
Eight figure combined settlement for child with metabolic disorder
When a Georgia boy was born, his pediatricians failed to detect that he suffered from maple syrup urine disease (MSUD), a metabolic disorder which prevented him from being able to metabolize certain types of protein. When the boy became ill, his parents brought him to the well-respected local hospital. During a protracted stay, the hospital failed to recognize that he was displaying classic symptoms of MSUD and failed to provide the appropriate therapy, resulting in permanent neurological damage. Because of Chuck Hehmeyer’s national reputation for helping children with metabolic disorders, the family sought his assistance. Mr. Hehmeyer documented the proper diagnosis, established that the proper treatment would have prevented any injury, and demonstrated through compelling video presentation the devastating effects of the medical errors. Prior to trial, the hospital settled the claims against it, and the case went to trial against the pediatrician. The jury rendered a verdict in the boy’s favor. The pediatrician then settled, yielding a total confidential recovery exceeding ten million dollars.
$9.9 million settlement for failure to diagnose and treat a metabolic disorder
A newborn girl returned to the hospital shortly after birth, now critically ill. Despite the hallmark signs of a metabolic disorder – high ammonia, acidosis, and a substance called “ketones” in the urine – doctors delayed transferring the baby to a children’s hospital. As a result, she suffered a brain injury. The parents contacted Chuck Hehmeyer, who represents families of children with metabolic disorders across the country. Investigation revealed that the treating doctors did not have proper training in identifying metabolic disorders and missed the diagnosis.
$9.5 million settlement for failure to properly treat stroke
When a patient presented to a hospital having suffered a thrombotic stroke, a stroke team administered clot-busting medication too late after the onset of symptoms, causing a massive hemorrhage and further brain injury. Pretrial discovery revealed that the head of the stroke team had advised an interventional radiologist not to perform the procedure, but he did it anyway.
$9 million settlement for failure to treat a congenital dacryocele
When a pediatrician failed to diagnose and treat a cyst near the right eye of a newborn boy, the cyst became infected; the boy eventually suffered septic shock. Then there were critical delays in treating the baby, and he suffered a brain injury from lack of perfusion to the brain. Investigation revealed that the pediatrician should have treated the cyst before it became infected and that hospital doctors critically delayed administering cortisol to the baby after learning that he was cortisol deficient. Chuck assembled the top experts in the country, most of whom were current or past presidents of their respective professional societies, and the case was settled before trial.
$8.5 million settlement for failure to properly manage bridging anticoagulation prior to surgery
A woman with a clotting disorder underwent surgery. A miscommunication between her hematologist and her surgeon resulted in the surgeon failing to properly continue anticoagulation prior to surgery, resulting in a stroke. Our review of the case revealed that the surgeon failed to follow the directive of the hematologist to use bridging anticoagulation and instead based his decision on a phone conversation with the drugmaker’s representative (not a doctor) to discontinue protection, a decision the treating hematologist agreed was malpractice. The case resulted in the largest medical malpractice settlement ever in Maine.
$8 million settlement for failure to follow rare-disease emergency protocol
Chuck Hehmeyer has represented several families whose children were injured as the result of doctors failing to follow an emergency protocol presented by parents in a hospital emergency department. In this case, parents in Maine brought their daughter, who has a treatable metabolic disorder, to a hospital and provided the nurse and doctor with a protocol stating that their daughter required IV glucose when she decompensated. The protocol was ignored, and the child did not receive glucose. As a result, their daughter suffered a cardiac arrest and a severe brain injury, leaving her dependent on others for most of her needs.
$8 million settlement for delay in performing C-section
Hospital personnel improperly disconnected fetal heart monitoring on a woman undergoing a high-risk trial of labor after C-section, despite warning signs that something was wrong. The woman was suffering a uterine rupture, which requires an emergency C-section. Investigation revealed that there was an over 30-minute delay in performing the C-section, which resulted in the baby suffering a brain injury.
$7.2 million settlement for failure to diagnose heparin induced thrombocytopenia (HIT)
After surgery, a woman received heparin to protect against blood clots. Doctors noticed that her platelet level was dropping, highly suggestive of HIT – a dangerous condition, but they took no action to rule it out or treat it. She suffered a stroke. Pretrial discovery disclosed that a doctor who saw the dropping platelet count assumed that other doctors would notice it and act on it but failed to tell anyone.
$7 million settlement for failure to provide Glucose to a boy with a mitochondrial disorder
An Arizona family asked Chuck to investigate why their baby suffered brain damage at an emergency room. Chuck learned that the child had a previously undiagnosed mitochondrial disorder. The ER ordered a glucose level when the child arrived unresponsive, but the ER staff failed to check the result. It was critically low. The delay in providing glucose resulted in the boy suffering brain damage.
$7 million settlement for child whose neurological disorder was misdiagnosed
A boy was admitted to a large children’s hospital and misdiagnosed with Guillain-Barré Syndrome, despite many symptoms being inconsistent with the diagnosis. The child therefore did not receive treatment for the disease he actually had, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM), which could have been managed if he was promptly treated. This misdiagnosis has left the teenager confined to a wheelchair. Chuck Hehmeyer, working with Roy DeCaro, investigated the hospital’s treatment and, using a powerful video settlement brochure, negotiated a $7 million settlement that will address the boy’s life care and educational needs.
$6 million settlement for failing to following up on abnormal newborn screening test
After a newborn girl in New York tested borderline positive on a newborn screening test, a hospital failed to assure that she had appropriate follow-up testing resulting in an almost three-year delay in diagnosis, causing a brain injury.
$5.5 million settlement for child who was not properly screened for metabolic disorders
After a California family found out their son was injured by the delayed diagnosis of his metabolic disorder, they asked Chuck Hehmeyer to review his care. Chuck discovered that the hospital had been participating in a state pilot program to provide supplemental metabolic screening to all newborns, but had failed to offer the test to this family. The hospital argued that it was not obligated to provide the screening because it was a “pilot” program, despite knowing that the inexpensive screening could have detected the child’s disorder and, with prompt diet changes, prevented a lifetime of disability. As Chuck has done in a number of states, he convinced the hospital that, even when there is not a state mandate, good medical care mandates screening all children for metabolic disorders.