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Hulk Hogan squares off with clinic in medical malpractice claim

One of the most recognized wrestlers to Baltimore residents is making news for a personal injury lawsuit that seeks $50 million in damages. Terry Bollea, better known as Hulk Hogan, recently filed a medical malpractice case against a surgery center and several of its physicians based on care he received at the facility.

Hogan alleges that he needed traditional spinal surgery in order to continue his professional wrestling career, but he was told by physicians at the center that their minimally invasive procedures would allow him to continue his career instead. Despite undergoing 6 procedures in 19 months, Hogan claims his pain did not go away.

Hogan thereafter underwent traditional spine fusion surgery and was able to return to his career. Accordingly, he is suing the surgery center for numerous unnecessary surgical procedures, which he alleges destabilized his back and caused damage to his entertainment career, which accounts, in part, for the $50 million in compensation he seeks.

In cases like the one included in this post, the medical center may try to prove a number of defenses that could defeat a medical malpractice claim based on a worsened medical condition. For example, a hospital may claim a patient was negligent himself and failed to take recommended steps to mitigate the damage, causing much of the harm through his own action or inaction.

Similarly, the hospital may rely on informed consent and assumption of risk, or claim that the damage was an unavoidable known risk. Moreover, the hospital may allege the patient engaged in conduct that constituted an intervening cause to the harm in between the hospital's action and the patient's injury.

In any event, patients should be prepared to anticipate the medical clinic's defense strategies, and to prove his or her claim by invalidating their claims and provide evidence specifically demonstrating negligence.

Source: Renal & Urology News, "Wrestler Hulk Hogan files $50 million malpractice suit," Ann W. Latner, Jan. 18, 2013

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