Doctors who err escape penalties

medical malpracticeAll Susan Zwaschka wanted was a light chemical peel to smooth and cleanse her face before a family vacation to Chicago.

But minutes after Dr. Patrick Carney applied the solution, she winced in pain and pleaded with him to stop. Carney took several breaks but continued even after Zwaschka pushed his arm aside and sat up near tears. Days later, pain from the burns intensified. Open wounds on her swollen face oozed fluid and blood.

Devastated by what she saw in the mirror, the 44-year-old attorney, who had often defended physicians in malpractice cases, sued Carney over the 2007 incident and urged the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice to take action against him. The dermatologist argued in court records that Zwaschka was warned of the procedure’s risks. In a deposition, he admitted he was to blame for a peel that “went wrong” and resulted in a “bad outcome.”

Doctors who err escape penalties

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