Celebrities who fell victim
to medical negligence
They have fame, they have fortune and they have a fan following, but like every other person on earth, the most important aspect of a celebrity’s life is their health.
From placenta smoothies to vitamin drips, we’ve all heard some of the extraordinary lengths the rich and famous go to in order to keep their health in check. However, when an issue affecting their wellbeing does arise, they still need to turn to health professionals.
And despite the money at their disposal and access to top-line medical care, recent history suggests celebrities are by no means immune to the unfortunate consequences of medical negligence.
Here are four very interesting examples of famous individuals who fell victim to medical negligence, and in some cases successfully sued their health practitioners.
Kylie Minogue (cancer misdiagnosis)
Just prior to starting the Australian leg of her world tour in 2005, Aussie superstar, Kylie Minogue, wasn’t feeling the best and decided to have a full health checkup which included a mammogram. To the singer’s delight, she was given a clean bill of health and encouraged to push on with her tour.
However, she continued to feel under the weather some weeks later which prompted her to seek a second opinion and doctors decided to run more tests. This time, the mammogram picked up a small tumour, which upon further inspection was revealed to be cancerous.
As a result, Minogue underwent surgery and chemotherapy and has since gone on to make a full recovery. She did however wait a number of years before going public with her misdiagnosis ordeal, but is now a strong advocate for all women to trust their instincts and do all they can to avoid medical negligence.
“Listen, this is an opportunity for me to say something that I have not said before. I was misdiagnosed initially,” she said on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.
“So my message to all of you and everyone at home is, because someone’s in a white coat and using big medical instruments doesn’t necessarily mean they’re right.”
Hulk Hogan (botched/unnecessary surgery)
Back in 2009 wrestling legend, Hulk Hogan, was keen to extend his career and his earning potential, and so he decided to get proactive and address the pain he was experiencing in his back.
Hogan met with a number of back specialists who all recommended serious surgery, but he was ultimately convinced to undergo less invasive treatment by the Laser Spine Institute, as they claimed he was an ideal candidate for their suggested healing plan. Despite undergoing a number of procedures, the pain in his back got progressively worse, and according to Hogan, caused significantly more damage to his physical health.
Due to the severe back pain he was experiencing, Hogan was forced to stop wrestling altogether which significantly impacted his earning potential. The wrestling icon claimed that the treatment was never right for his condition and sued the institute for botched and unnecessary surgery and sought compensation for the millions he lost in potential income.
Dennis Quaid (medication error)
The birth of twins should always be a joyous occasion, but that certainly wasn’t the case for Hollywood actor, Dennis Quaid and his wife Kimberley.
In 2007, the Quaids welcomed twins Thomas Boone and Zoe Grace, who were mistakenly given 10,000 units of blood thinner medication, instead of 10 units to treat an infection. According to the actor, the gross error “turned the twins’ blood into the consistency of water” and left them in a critical condition.
Thankfully, the twins, after a week in intensive care, recovered but the incident infuriated the family and Quaid went on to sue Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for negligence and the matter was settled out of court for the sum of $750,000.
Julie Andrews (botched surgery)
According to singer/actor, Julie Andrews, her voice is the most important gift she has, and that’s why it was such a crushing blow when surgery left her with permanent vocal cord damage.
What was supposed to be routine surgery to treat non-cancerous nodules in her throat turned into a disaster, as she alleges the procedure not only stole her voice, but also left her with throat-related health issues.
Andrews also claimed she was never specifically told that the procedure could permanently affect her voice – if she had, she would never have agreed to undergo the procedure.
The veteran entertainer sued the two doctors who carried out the surgery and the matter was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.
Sometimes, things do go wrong when you’re receiving medical care. Whether you feel that you’ve been the victim of poor communication with negative consequences or even if you had good service but have sustained ongoing effects from your medical intervention, you may be eligible for compensation.