December 26, 2006

'Judical Hellholes'

Residents of South Florida, Cook County, and South Texas: You all live in Judicial Hellholes. At least that's what the American Tort Reform Association says.
"Judicial Hellholes are places where judges systematically apply laws and court procedures in an unfair and unbalanced manner, generally against defendants, in civil lawsuits."

Check it out, here.

Anyone think differently?

December 22, 2006

Action Grandmas and Lawsuit Experts Denied

GrandmaWe said, "don't resuscitate grandma." So now we're gonna sue. Read [Kaiser Network]
Who's at fault, here?

Pill pushing doc's patient overdoses, murder charges filed Read [Las Vegas Now]

'Soothing' ointment chafes grandma, payday ensues Read [Roanoke Times]

Chemo overload in San Mateo Read [San Mateo Daily Journal]

Oklahoma Supreme Court says experts don't need to sign off on med mal suits Read [Tulsa World]


October 13, 2006

News and Views From the US


August 30, 2006

Wistful Doc, Nurse Rescue Team, and Anchorman's Blues

Old Doc Codger retires, says some doctors need to be sued, but “somebody shouldn’t win a $2 or $3 million settlement for what was an honest mistake or honest misjudgment." Then he handed out penny whistles and moon pies.  Read [Tyron Daily Bulletin]

Nurses Union Launches National Disaster-Response Network, Again Assumes Liability in Post-Storm Chaos Read [Oakland Tribune]

'Paralyzed' Anchorman's Med-Mal Suit Gets Wet: Date of Speedo-Sportin' Photos Questioned Read [The Olympian]

July 19, 2006

Cruiseship Malpractice

Doc_1Hat tip to Kevin, M.D. for this high-seas story. Seems the Florida Supreme Court is deciding whether the Love Boat is responsible if Doc slips up with the scalpel while the ship is away from the dock. Read [Sun Sentinel]

July 18, 2006

Flea Gets Deposed

Flea_1_5Our old friend Dr. Flea is facing some heat. He has written for us about another experience getting sued and "driving a yellow bus" in the Northeast. Now he gives us the lowdown on going to see his lawyer. Thanks, Flea.

Flea was deposed today.

Today's events will require more than one post, as there are many facets to the story worthy of mention. Here's the first story:

I arrived at my attorney's office one hour early. This was not my intent. I left extra time because of fear of being late. There had been an horrific accident in downtown Boston yesterday morning and we were promised that traffic would be horrendous all day.

I tried to kill time by walking around Government Center. I recalled a radio interview I once heard with Livingston Taylor, on the subject of stage-fright and performance-preparation. Taylor said he does two things before he performs on stage: First he arrives at the performance space early (okay, I had done that); Second, he thanks God for the privelege of being where he was, about to perform. I took Taylor's advice and gave thanks.

When the deposition was over and I was back in my car, I called my office and spoke to my staff. I had not arranged for coverage during my deposition. The thought had simply never occurred to me that I may be away from the office for so long that I might be needed in the morning. The culprit was most likely denial. I didn't want to think about the deposition at all, so I didn't arrange for back-up.

My nurse reported that there had been very few calls, and none that required my attention. I was enormously relieved. I thanked her and my secretary for being there to field calls in my absence. Then my nurse remarked "God was watching out for you today".

I choked up and became afraid I would start crying on the phone to my nurse. I had forgotten about my prayer this morning.

Now, I know Hashem has better things to do than listen to the prayers of a flea. But in case You really were listening, thanks.

July 07, 2006

Doc Clears His Throat. And More.

News_10 Just before he resigned, Dr. Scott H. Plantz penned an 11-page resignation letter and sent it Winter Haven Hospital officials and other doctors. The jist: the hospital's ER is dangerously understaffed and neglected by the hospital administration. Read [The Ledger]

Update: Last week we told you about attorneys in Florida going after the jury to challenge a $28 million settlement that was handed down. Well, the tactics worked.  A judge overturned the verdict because three jurors deceived attorneys during jury selection. Two men, who had been sued several times, did not raise their hands during juror questioning when asked whether they had been involved in a lawsuit. A third person told lawyers about a medical malpractice suit that she had filed against her gynecologist but said nothing about nine suits that had been filed against her. Oath, schmoath. Read [Tampa Bay Online]

Election Time: Aspiring Congressman Bob Sullivan attacked U.S. Rep. Ernest Istook's record on lawsuit reform by putting a mask on a comedian. Istook says the masked man's mud—that he is against tort reform—is simply rubbish. And he's touting a record to prove it. It's a dogfight amongst the state's GOP. And medical liability is at the center of it all. Read [KOCO-TV]

April 03, 2006

Lawyers and Justices

CloudsAfter a nice sunny stretch this past weekend, the clouds take over. C’est la vie. Anyway, here are some interesting bits….

Finally, the cosmetic surgery explosion in Buffalo is getting some pub. The story isn’t really much to read, but a malpractice attorney Patrick Maloney offers something that caught our eye. He says it can be challenging to find a legal remedy when enhancements and tucks go awry. The reason: juries aren’t sympathetic to patients who've had problems with cosmetic procedures that are purely elective. Any truth to this? Read [Buffalo News]

... An add-on to plastic-suits question. A few women in Manhattan are furious over their cosmetic surgeries. "I wanted to be a 'b'" one woman noted of her alleged botched breast-enhancement surgery. Instead, she's now "A full 'c,' almost a 'd.'" The plaintiffs claim the doc was far from apologetic, too. He reportedly blamed one woman's discomfort on her body-type. Read [WABC-TV]

Our friend Donna Baver Rovito always spices up the comments section of ThisMakesMeSick. She also brings the editorial punch in her regular liability update. Some of her recent musings include: a 12-round pummeling of trial lawyers pumping cash to the Dems; a bit on Lindsay Arthur—a Minneapolis defense litigator— and his new thirller, The Litigators , that looks at a civil justice system fueled by greed and ego; and she exposes us to the Ohio Supreme Court ruling that patients can not sue for the costs of raising a disabled child born following flawed genetic tests. Good stuff, Donna. Check out her blog

March 06, 2006

Hospitals Responsible When Docs 'Go Bare'?

Respon_3 Should anyone be answerable if  a physician without malpractice  insurance hits the road and fails to pay a large malpractice verdict? That's the question now facing Florida's Supreme Court.

A 2004 ruling by the 4th District Court of Appeal in West Palm Beach found that a Broward County circuit judge was wrong to order Plantation General Hospital to pay a $250,000 judgment even though one of its AWOL docs flew the coup when faced with a $859,000 med-mal ruling. "Hospitals have to bear some responsibility when the doctors they invite on their property are financially irresponsible," said Kenneth Sobel, a Fort Lauderdale attorney.

Florida physicians do not have to carry malpractice insurance. However, they must, by law, demonstrate an ability to pay at least $100,000 per claim and at least $300,000 in total annual claims.

A hospital rep contends, "Hospitals have no way of knowing when a physician might become bankrupt or might have financial responsibility at any given moment in time." We'll keep an eye on this one. Read [Palm Beach Post]  

December 02, 2005

Florida’s swashbuckling spirit gets checked

Scold3 Contested presidential elections, medical malpractice issue confrontations…. Floridians aren’t afraid to take it to the mat. But we want to celebrate the state’s Supreme Court justices who recently stood above the hijinks while hearing from lawyers debating how much money attorneys can earn in medical malpractice cases. Justices noted that the lawyers who signed the initial petition asking the court to crack down on malpractice attorneys either represent the Florida Medical Association, health care providers and insurance companies or work at law firms that do. ''That clearly at least gives an appearance that they are not acting as officers of the court that believe in the policy but that they are acting on behalf of the people who pay their incomes,'' one justice said. Opponents of the forced cap got a talking to, as well. To us, it’s further proof that independent, respected leaders from the health care, legal and public policy fields need to be locked in a room to tackle the issue and erase the fishy allegiances. Build a blue ribbon panel and get something done! Read [Miami Herald]

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    • Fretted over rising malpractice premiums?

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You don't say...

  • "This election destroyed a popular Karl Rove myth. The truth is that trial attorneys are winning, attacks on trial attorneys are backfiring and opponents of the civil justice system are losing."

    The CEO of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America said.

  • "We have discovered that virtually all patients are willing to sign a contract in which they agree not to sue their doctors on frivolous grounds."

    Jeffrey Segal, M.D, a board-certified neurosurgeon and the founder and president of Medical Justice Services, Inc., said.

  • "Low-risk obstetrics has been done here for 60 years, but not anymore."

    Carl Hanson, chief operating officer of the county-run Minidoka Memorial Hospital in southern Idaho hospital's, explained as they get out of the baby business. Read

  • "I have children, and I don't know where they're at."

    Rosalinda Elison, a former patient at the UC Irvine Medical Center’s fertility clinic, said after learning that that her eggs and embryos had been stolen and implanted in another woman who then gave birth to twins.

    Read more You Don't Say, here.

Crisis by numbers:

  • $4.6 million

    New York state grants available to expand the use of electronic medical records. Such initiatives have been hailed nationally as a way to cut medication errors, save money and improve patient safety. LINK

  • $700,000

    Amount raised by Fairness and Accountability in Insurance Reform to oppose malpractice limits in Arizona. LINK

  • $450,000

    Amount the Arizona Medical Association says Arizonans for Access to Health Care has raised to decide whether to push for montetary limits on lawsuits. LINK

    Read more CRISIS BY NUMBERS, here.

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