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Medical Malpractice

Tort reform lobbying groups took an unusual step this week by filing a declaratory action suit here in Austin trying to establish that the 2003 medical malpractice caps on liability are constitutional.  The suit stems from a lawsuit against Corpus Christi doctor John McKeever.  In that suit, patient Adrian Cerny sued Dr. McKeever after Cerny developed…

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The American College of Emergency Physicians released its National Report Card of Emergency Medical Services, and Texas received a strong “C” grade.  The state received a “D” in public health/safety, a “D+” in access to care, and a “D+” in quality/patient safety.  But a strong “A+” in medical liability raised the state an entire letter grade to an…

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Last week, West Virginia Supreme Court justice Larry Starcher railed against West Virginia’s tort reform. In recent years, West Virginia has passed medical malpractice tort reform measures that require plaintiffs to provide pre-suit expert reports saying that the claim has merit. The reforms also have caps on damages. Because plaintiffs want to avoid these requirements,…

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Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal has a heart-breaking story about prescription abuse in U.S. nursing homes. The first three paragraphs of the article say it all In recent years, Medicaid has spent more money on antipsychotic drugs for Americans than on any other class of pharmaceuticals — including antibiotics, AIDS drugs or medicine to treat high-blood…

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“If you are having surgery, make sure your doctor marks the proper surgical site clearly — and initials it.” That’s a recommendation from a recent Washington Post article titled HEADED FOR THE HOSPITAL? HERE’S HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF. That sounds a little extreme doesn’t it? While the hospitals may screw something up, surely they’ll get…

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The Nov. 1, 2007 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine has an article encouraging federal legislation to require pharmaceutical and medical device companies with more than $100 million in revenue to disclose the amount of money and gifts they give to physicians. The bill, entitled the “Physician Payment Sunshine Act,” is “about letting…

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Several states, including Texas, have special laws protecting emergency room physicians from medical malpractice litigation.  These protections may include higher burden of proof on the plaintiff or a different standard of care (for example, providing only liability when there is gross negligence). Last week, the Torts Prof Blog outlined an interesting medical malpractice reform proposal being…

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An anonymous Texas ER doc has a blog post discussing the medical malpractice story of Christopher Jones. Mr. Jones, 33, arrived at a Los Angeles area emergency room complaining of chest pains, where he was told to sit down and wait his turn. After more than three hours, he got up, walked outside, collapsed and…

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There is an interesting guest column in today’s East Texas Review, a small East Texas newspaper, titled The Risky Life of a Patient.  The general gist of the column is that when we visit contractors, car dealers, or even lawyers, we’re on guard to avoid becoming victims of one sort or another.  We’re not on alert with the health…

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A recent issue of Lawyers’ Weekly has an article that discusses the trend of some doctors requiring patients to contractually limit their rights to bring medical malpractice claims before the doctors will provide medical service.  The agreements at issue would require patients to agree to arbitrate their claims and agree to limit their claims to $250,000.00. Aside…

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