Articles Tagged with Tennessee medical malpractice

A recent study gives yet another reason of why it is difficult for a plaintiff to win a medical malpractice case in Nashville.

MTSU’s Business and Economic Research Center has released a study that states that puts health care industry’s annual economic impact in Nashville at $30 billion. That represents  an increase of 60 percent since 2004.  The number of jobs in teh Nashville MSA directly tied to the health care industry has grown from 94,000 to more than 110,000.

The study reports that "[m]ore than 56 major health care companies (public and private) have chosen Nashville as their home, and seven of the nation’s 12 leading for-profit acute care hospital companies are located in Nashville, controlling more than one-third of the investor-owned hospitals in the United States."

The Tennessee General Assembly passed several bills that became law effective July 1, 2010.  One of those is Public Chapter 752.   The legislation revises a deadline for a special definition of governmental entities in governmental tort liability cases against governmental entities in Shelby County.   The legislation was designed to protect The Med in Memphis from litigation.  The special definition was supposed to expire in 2011.  The deadline has been removed and the special definition will apply to all tort cases filed after July 1, 2003. 

Note:  the Tennessee Supreme Court has declared a portion of the earlier act unconstitutional to the extent that it applied to injuries occurring before July 1, 2003 but impact the rights of plaintiffs who filed after July 1, 2003.   The case is Estate of Bell v. Shelby County Health Care Corporation,  W2008-02213-SC-S09-CV  (Tenn. June 24, 2010).

As I mentioned in two previous posts,  Shannon Ragland of the Tennessee Jury Verdict Reporter has graciously agreed to permit me to share some of the information he has gathered concerning jury trials in Tennessee.

This multi-part series will discuss some of the data contained in Shannon’s 359-page report.  You can buy the report yourself for $175.00.  It is well worth the money.  Click here to buy the report.  The same link will permit you to order Shannon’s monthly newsletter.

Today we look at medical malpractice verdicts.  There were 32 trials in Tennessee in 2009.  Plaintiffs won 9 of those cases, and the defense won 23.  Seven of those cases were tried in Nashville and  five were tried in Memphis.

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.

Post 15 addresses the changes to Tennessee law concerning the proper way to give notice to potential defendants in medical malpractice cases and the changes in the law concerning the certificate of good faith. 

I have addressed this legislation in several other posts  (here is a post with a complete summary) and need not repeat what I have published in the past.  For those of you who are involved in medical negligence litigation I suggest you read my  article on this legislation in the July 2009 edition of the Tennessee Bar Journal.

The predecessor to this law came into effect last October and has resulted in a significant decrease in the number of medical malpractice case filings.  As I wrote in June, the number of filings for the first eight months after the original law law passed are down 60% over a year earlier.  

A Tennessee lawyer who purports to have knowledge and experience in Tennessee medical malpractice law recently wrote a  blog post that advised the pubic about statutes of limitations in medical malpractice cases.  His post was wrong, and it was obvious to me that he was unaware of the legislation passed in June and that went into effect on July 1, 2009.

Now, you might say, "well John, don’t be a jerk.  The law has only been in effect for a little over a month."  Sorry folks, in my opinion that doesn’t cut it.  If you hold yourself out as having knowledge in a given area of law you have the responsibility to keep yourself reasonably current in that area.  The proposed changes to the medical malpractice law have been talked about by those actively involved in the field for months before the legislation was signed by the Governor.   The Tennessee Association for Justice list-serves have had numerous posts about the subject.  I wrote several blog posts on the issue (here, here, and here.).  I wrote a cover-story article for the July 2009 TBA Journal on the changes.  In short, there were plenty of opportunities to learn that the law was changing and that it had in fact changed. 

I don’t expect every lawyer to keep up with all changes in the law – that is impossible.  I don’t expect every personal injury and wrongful death lawyer to keep up with changes in medical malpractice law, for the simple reason that many of these lawyers do not do medical malpractice law.   I don’t expect anyone to keep all the details of law in his or her head even in a relatively narrow field like medical malpractice.   And of course I am not saying that everyone who does tort work in Tennessee must read this blog.