By Anthony H. Gair;
New York medical malpractice attorney Anthony Gair discusses a medical malpractice case, which was tried in New York Supreme Court, New York County, in which a woman who had since birth a congenital abnormality known as an hemangioma on the left side of the face which is caused by an abnormal distribution of blood vessels. There are different types of hemangiomas such as capillary or cavernous hemangiomas which may actually cause physical impairment. The type of hemangioma the plaintiff had was an intradermal hemangioma often referred to as a port wine stain because of its color which does not cause physical impairment. Since her teenage years, she was able to cover it up with make-up. When she was 40 years old she developed what are known as blood spots or blisters, which are raised areas on the hemangioma which caused difficulty in covering it with make-up.
Being concerned about it, she consulted with the defendant-plastic surgeon. Plaintiff claimed she only went to the physician because of the blood spots. It was claimed she had lived her entire life with the birthmark and only desired treatment for the blood spots.
Plaintiff’s strategy at trial was that the defendant was solely a cosmetic surgeon, not a reconstructive plastic surgeon who dealt with devastating physical disfigurements. The idea was to portray her as highly mercenary, going so far as to advertise extensively for patients who she claimed she could make look better. Plaintiff asserted that she told the defendant she was concerned with the blood spots because she couldn’t cover them with make-up. She testified that the defendant told her not only could she get rid of the blood spots but that she could remove most if not all of the hemangioma. The plaintiff, as would be expected, became very emotional that after all these years the hemangioma could be removed.
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