Articles Tagged with medical malpractice

The government of Thailand wants to have a scheme to compensate victims of medical malpractice. Many Thai doctors are opposed to the law.  Here is an argument made by the physicians, as reported in Taiwan News:

It means our staff would have to be extra careful during work, which would decrease efficiency," said Somkid Auapisithwong of Thai Federation of Doctors, Main Hospitals and General Hospitals, which looks after the interests of medical practitioners in state hospitals. "We’re already very stretched. Some of our nurses have to work almost 365 days. This would add more stress to our staff. They would have to be extra careful with all sorts of risks  and this will hinder their work.

Thanks to Torts Prof for informing me about this article.


The Georgia Supreme Court has struck down a cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases, declaring the cap to be a violation of the right to trial by jury.   The case is Atlanta Oculoplastic Surgery, P.C. v. Nestlehutt,  NO. SO9A1432  (Ga. March 22, 2010).  Read the opinion here.

The Court ruled that by "requiring a court to reduce a noneconomic damages award determined by a jury that exceeds the statutory limit, OCGA Sec. 51-13-1 clearly nullifies the jury’s findings of fact regarding damages and thereby undermines the jury’s basic function."

Will the President sacrifice the rights of patients injured by medical malpractice to get Republicans to sign-off on a health care bill?

Steven Olsen explains why the President  should not in this article titled "Why Shouldn’t Obama Throw Injured Patients Under the Bus to Get Heath Reform?  Ask Steven Olsen."

Steven Olsen is a malpractice victim from California.  Here is a letter written by the jury foreman after he learned that the jury’s damage award was cut because of California’s cap on damages.

The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance has released the forms for reporting on medical malpractice claims for the 2009 calendar year.

The reports are due March 1, 2010.

Here are the instructions for filling out forms as a representative of the claimant.  Here is  the link to the reporting form.

The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance has released the 2009 Medical Malpractice Claims Report.  Despite its title, the Report reveals data for calendar year 2008.

This is the fifth report issued by the Department and contains more different types of data than released in previous years because of a change in the reporting law.  Today I will report on some of the data and will address the balance in later posts.

In 2008, there were 3154 medical malpractice claims  closed in Tennessee.  (More than one "claim" can arise in a single case; a claim is defined as "a demand for money damages for injury or death caused by medical malpractice; or a voluntary indemnity payment for injury or death caused by medical malpractice.")  Of those claims 43 were resolved through ADR, 459 were resolved through settlement, 425 were resolved through judgment, and 2227 were otherwise resolved.

The Doctors Company is a medical malpractice insurer.  Its website contains articles of interest to all Tennessee medical malpractice lawyers and, in fact, medical malpractice lawyers in every state.

For example, one interesting article is titled "When to Evaluate for a Hypercoagulable State."   Here is an excerpt:


Hypercoagulability is any alteration in the coagulation pathway that predisposes to thrombosis; it can be divided into primary (genetic) and secondary (acquired) disorders.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a Policy Statement titled "Guidelines for Expert Testimony in Medical Malpractice Litigation.  

After reviewing the role of the expert witness in medical malpractice litigation, the Guidelines begin the "recommendations" section of the paper with this statement:

The AAP recognizes that physicians have the professional, ethical, and legal duty to testify as called on in a court of law in accordance with their expertise. Physicians serving as expert witnesses have an obligation to present complete and unbiased information with which the trier of fact can ascertain whether the defendant was medically negligent and whether, as a result, the plaintiff suffered compensable

Here is the most up-to-date data on medical malpractice case filings in Tennessee.

Regular readers know that  effective October 1, 2008 the General Assembly imposed significant restrictions on patients who want to file a medical malpractice suits.  The new law, which was modified again effective July 1, 2009, requires pre-suit notice and the filing of a certificate of good faith.

For the 12-month period ending September 30, 2008, 644  medical malpractice lawsuits were filed in Tennessee.   A whooping 140 of those were filed in September 2008 as lawyers filed suits to avoid the burden and risks of filing cases under the new law.  If September 2008 were an average month, one would have expected only 45 cases to have been filed.

HeathGrades studies Medicare patient care in our nation’s hospitals based on 15 indicators of patient safety.   

Here are some highlights from the 2009 report representing data from 2005 -2007:

· There were 913,215 total patient safety events among 864,765 Medicare beneficiarieswhich represents 2.3 percent of the nearly 38 million Medicare hospitalizations.

There are a significant number of cases of interest to Tennessee tort lawyers pending before the Tennessee Supreme Court.  One of those cases is Cox v. M.A. Primary and Urgent Care Clinic, 2009 WL 230242 (Tenn. Ct. App. 230242 (Jan. 30, 2009). 

The issue in the case is the appropriate standard of care for a physician’s assistant.  The Court of Appeals ruled as follows:

the services provided by a physician assistant are provided under the supervision of a licensed physician and within the scope of practice of that physician, who is responsible for the treatment rendered by the physician assistant. Consequently, the standard of care applicable to a physician assistant is that of the supervising physician in the community in which the supervising physician practices.