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Florida Surgeon Retains License Even After Causing Death, Sparking Eleventh Medical Negligence Lawsuit

An emergency appendectomy resulted in Susie Dunphy’s death.
The named defendant in this lawsuit, Dr. Ernest Rehnke, has a long history of medical negligence lawsuits (11 in total) dating from 2000. It is a dubious distinction that ties him for the most lawsuits of any Florida physician. This case was ultimately settled for the maximum his malpractice insurance company would pay for a sole claim, $250,000. Oddly, his license to practice was not restricted or suspended.

In fact, numerous Florida doctors continue to practice even after being sued on multiple occasions. It is surprisingly rare for doctor’s license to be revoked solely on the grounds that he or she provided negligent medical care.

The deceased and the plaintiff in this story were a married couple, both doctors. When they were together with their family on a vacation in 2009, Dr. Susie Dunphy was diagnosed with appendicitis. She underwent emergency surgery. Two days later, she had bled to death.
Upon reading her medical file, her widower, Dr. James Dunphy, discovered that her death could have been prevented. Chart notations indicated that her blood pressure was dangerously low after surgery, but nothing was done to track down the reason for it. Dr. Dunphy filed a wrongful death and medical malpractice lawsuit against the surgeon for failing to adequately monitor his patient after surgery.

In this case, Dr. James Dunphy may have benefited from applying for litigation funding. Pre-settlement funding would carry him and his two children through the toughest financial straits until a settlement or trial was concluded.

A lawsuit loan is used for anything the qualifying plaintiff wishes. However, by the time a litigation funding applicant receives the lawsuit loan, he or she usually opts to pay urgent medical bills and save the rest for other pressing expenses.

Many plaintiffs in difficult financial situations find lawsuit loans an appealing solution. They do not need a credit check, do not pay any fees and are treated with the utmost respect on applying. Should the plaintiff lose the case, the lawsuit loan funds remain vested with him or her, with no strings attached.

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