Utah Supreme Court
The Utah Supreme Court has upheld the state's $250,000 cap on non-economic damages. There are legitimate legislative goals of providing health care for the state's citizens.
Florida Circuit Court
The court has temporarily blocked the enactment of Florida's Proposition that state physicians with three malpractice settlements or verdicts against them would lose their license. The proposition had been approved by 70% of the voters. The court wasn't sure if the law applied retroactively or prospectively and who was responsible for the license revocation. There is a cap on the restraining order. If the legislature or courts don't act by the end of the legislative session in spring 2005, the law will go into effect. Top
US v North Texas Specialty Mds.
An ALJ in Texas has ruled the medical group engaged in unlawful price fixing when negotiating with insurers. The ruling prohibits the group from sharing information with its members or helping them reach agreements with insurers. The group had polled its physicians regarding the fees the deemed acceptable. This is the first adjudicated dispute on the antitrust issue of an IPA and the remedy is less that what the IPAs have agreed to in the past. Top
Premier Physicians v Beaumont
Premier had a contract with Beaumont to do the medical management for the Beaumont Employee Health Plan. This was for about 11,000 people. The contracts ended in December, 2004. The hospital potentially broke the contract by hiring four physicians away from the group to handle the patients. This was done in April. The hospital contends the physicians have no standing and they had the right to dissolve the contract with 90 days notice. This is the second suit this year between the hospital and its physicians. In the other one the hospital sued the physicians for illegal use of their name.
Pitts v Doe
Pitts, a nurse accidentally stuck herself with a needle while giving an insulin shot to Doe. Doe is a mental health patient with Hepatitis C. Doe refused to be tested for HIV and the Court has ordered him to be tested. Doe did not attend the hearing and who knows where he is? It should be noted that the hospital put their nurse in harms way by not having the self retracting needles stating they were too expensive. I hope Pittts sues the hospital for their callous attitude. Top
California v Cigna, et. al.
California has filed suit against Cigna, MetLife, Prudential and UnumProvident for illegal practices. After the state settled a suit against Universal Life for a fine the state is going after the insurers for illegal payments to Universal to steer business their way. The suit seeks injunctions to stop the practices and not monetary damages. Private plaintiff have already begun the monetary suits. The suit alleges the insurers gave Universal employees lavish gifts and also paid extra money per employee that Universal steered their way. Top
Pontius is a holistic practitioner who convinced a woman with breast cancer to have holistic treatment instead of chemotherapy. The woman died and Pontius is being charged in Utah with unlawful and unprofessional conduct. The practitioner allegedly stated the cancer was from the mercury in her teeth and he treated her with diet and apricot kernels (this was the basis for Laetrile). Utah does not license holistic practitioners. Top
DISCLAIMER: Although this article is updated periodically, it reflects the author's point of view at the time of publication. Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice. Readers should consult with their own legal counsel before acting on any of the information presented.