Shellie’s Medical Malpractice Nightmare

and her

Fight for Freedom of Speech

Medical Malpractice

According to the Chicago Clerk of Court, as of November 2008, Dr. Robert S. Kagan has been sued TEN (10) times for medical malpractice. Dr. Kagan has been represented in most of these lawsuits by the same attorneys.

Medical Malpractice Resources

Each state investigates and disciplines doctors differently. How does your state stack up? Find out through the Federation of State Medical Boards of the United States, Inc. (

What Constitutes Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice or negligence arises when a patient has been injured through the improper action or the inaction of a health-care professional or medical facility.  Legal liability may be proven if the plaintiff can establish the following:

  • The existence of a duty was owed to the plaintiff by the medical professional and there was an established relationship between the parties.
  • The health-care professional deviated from the applicable standard of care causing a breach of duty to occur.
  • The breach of duty was the cause of injury or death to the patient.
  • The patient suffered damages because of the injury or wrongful death.

In order to be successful in a medical malpractice lawsuit, the plaintiff must show that the damages were proximately caused (what led to the injury) by the malpractice of the health-care provider. If the injuries are severe, permanent and disabling, members of the patient’s family may be able to file a claim.

Keep in mind that when filing a case of medical negligence, the plaintiff has a time period, also known as the statute of limitations, in which to file their case. In order to obtain an in-depth review of your case, you should consult a medical malpractice attorney promptly to provide you with advice on how to proceed with your claim.

How to Find a Good Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you were injured as a result of medical malpractice, you will want to seek the assistance of a medical malpractice attorney. Medical malpractice claims can be worth a lot of money, so spending time to find an experienced attorney to handle your case is worth the investment. Because medical malpractice claims vary based on the injury sustained, you should ask questions of a medical malpractice attorney to learn more about his experience, qualifications and expertise in handling your case.

Ask the attorney certain questions to determine how his experience fits the facts and circumstances of your specific case. Ask whether there are any medical malpractice issues specific to your case that he has not dealt with before. To find out his overall experience as a medical malpractice attorney, ask how long he has been trying medical malpractice claims and about how many cases he has handled. While past history does not always reflect future performance, ask how many medical malpractice claims he has won, how many he has settled and how many have gone to trial.  Look at the attorney’s track record.

Ask the attorney what his costs and fees are, and if it is a contingency fee, what percentage of the award will he be seeking

Ideally you want to work with a medical malpractice lawyer who is a member of a firm that has sufficient financial resources to pursue your case. Many personal injury attorneys have a background in the sciences as well as the law.

NOTE:  The costs of your case are separate from the contingency agreement, so if your case goes to trial, you will need to be able to cover court costs, witness fees and other costs related to the case. Be prepared for monumental costs as medical malpractice cases are very expensive.  According to a 2006 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, for every dollar that the victim of medical malpractice is compensated, 54 cents went to the administrative expenses, the lawyers, experts and courts.

Interesting Medical Malpractice Facts

In the event that you are injured or suffer medical abuse or medical malpractice you are protected and the doctor will be exposed and punished, right? WRONG! Each state has a “regulatory board,” and each state handles differently how they investigate and discipline doctors. The Illinois Department of Professional Regulations (IDPR) licenses and monitors doctors who work in the state of Illinois. According to Families Advocating Injury Reduction (FAIR), an Illinois consumer protection agency, the the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation has failed in its legislative duties to investigate medical abuses and to protect the citizens of this state. They are guilty of selective enforcement and of refusing to investigate physicians. They are not protecting the citizens which they serve to protect, but are more interested in protecting the doctors which they license. I am in total agreement with FAIR’s assessment of the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation. I phoned the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation to file a complaint against Dr. Kagan for performing a surgery on me that I did not consent to. I spoke to the chief medical investigator, William Shlifka, who refused to take my complaint. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Shlifka himself was charged with a crime and plead guilty. His employment ended with the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation. Emmons Russell replaced Mr. Shlifka as chief medical investigator. Mr. Russell, a former cop who served eight months of a two-year prison sentence for perjury and tavern shakedowns in 1973. Are these the sort of people that should be investigating matters of such great importance? The honesty and integrity of these investigators are crucial to insure the safety and well-being of the citizens of that state from dangerous doctors. How does your state stack up? Find out through the Federation of State Medical Boards of the United States, Inc.


According to, of the 621,000 licensed doctors in this country, the state boards in 1998 disciplined 4,520. That is only about three-quarters of 1 percent. 


Many doctors who get in trouble in one state simply resume practice somewhere else, even though the main purpose of the National Practitioner Data Bank is to prevent questionable physicians from moving state to state. By law, the National Practitioner Data Bank is kept secret, with only hospital administrators and licensing boards given access. The Courant’s ( analysis found that 1,079 physicians who lost their medical license in one state during the last 10 years retained a license in at least one other state. “The data bank is a joke,” said Hartley Hampton, a Houston trial lawyer who has sued several notorious Texas doctors. The hospitals have access to it, and are fully aware of these guys’ records, and yet they continue to extend privileges.” Courant’s (


According to, another problem can be lack of hospital discipline. Hospitals are supposed to take their own disciplinary action when warranted and inform the state medical board so it can impose further discipline or monitor the doctor. In some cases, a hospital will simply let the offending physician quietly leave without any disciplinary action and without notifying the state medical board. In the hospital setting, it is of course doctors policing doctors. The federal government keeps a comprehensive list of doctors who have been sanctioned by state licensing boards, as well as medical malpractice payouts.


A sensible person might call the state regulating agency to check their prospective physician’s record. In doing so, if the person at the agency responds to the inquiry by saying “no discipline, no complaints” a reasonable person might believe that their prospective doctor has a clean record. WRONG!! The agency will not tell you if the department has simply received complaints from patients about a doctor,or if it is in the process of an investigation. You will only learn of complaints against doctors when the doctor has been found guilty. According to a 1996 Chicago Magazine article, “Bad Medicine,” a phone call was placed to IDPR inquiring as to complaints against Illinois physician Dr. Bruce Vest. The IDPR employee responded “no discipline, no complaints,” in spite of the fact that they had been fielding complaints about Vest since 1987 and at least 18 patients have testified to its investigators against Vest.