February 15, 2006 Recent Legal News

Peer Review



Managed Care

Medical Marijuana

Peer Review

Bhatt v Brownsville Hospital
WD Penn.

Dr. Bhatt had his hospital privileges revoked and lost when he sued in District Court alleging racial discrimination.  The court stated he showed no prima facie case regarding discrimination and the hospital was immune from damages due to HCQIA.  The hospital won summary judgment.

Eden v Desert Med Ctr.
CA Ct. App.

Dr. Eden was summarily suspended from the hospital due to disruptive conduct.  He had numerous complaints against him and went through a full peer review hearing.  The physician sued stating that his behavior posed no imminent threat to anyone and he did not receive a fair hearing.  He stated he was whistle blowing and this should be protected.  The Court of Appeal stated he received a fair trial and that there was substantial evidence supporting the hospital. This is a non published opinion and can not be used as precedent.  

Logan v Everett
Tenn. Ct. App.

A physician was recruited to hospital A.  After hospital A received poor recommendation's from the physician's prior hospital the offer was withdrawn.  The physician sued hospital B for the poor recommendations.  Under the Tennessee Peer Review Law the former hospital was immune from suit.    

Freeman v Wheeler
GA. Ct. App.

A physician sued the hospital and the usual cast of characters for defamation and interference with business and lost.  He then sued the same people for using abusive litigation tactics in asserting the peer review privilege.  The court rightly tossed the second case since the issue should have been decided in the former case. You do not get two bites at the apple.         Top


Wilson v Invacare
LA Ct. App.

Wilson fell while a patient at the hospital.  He sued the hospital and lost in the trial court for negligence.  The trial court said it was medical malpractice and Wilson did not jump through the correct hoops.  The court of appeal reversed the trial court and said the breaking of a bench in a shower is negligence and not medical malpractice.

Miteem v Genesys
MI Ct. App.

Miteen sued the hospital for med mal due to negligence by the physicians.  The physicians were independent contractors.  The court stated that the plaintiff needed to show that the hospital held itself out as the physicians were acting as agents.  There was no proof of this and the hospital won summary judgment.

Doctor's Advocate v Plaintiffs

Hooray for Doctor's Advocate.  The company based in Pennsylvania and New Jersey that is fighting frivolous law suits.  The just were able to have a frivolous suit against an OB who saw a pregnant woman once and referred her to the University.  The patient sued multiple physicians in the usual shotgun approach and would not drop the OB.  After being contacted by the attorney for Doctor's Advocate the case was dropped in seven weeks. Doctor's Advocate makes money when a physician joins.       Top


Patients v Advocate Health Sys.
Ill. trial Ct.

Another jurisdiction has allowed a class action suit against a health system or non-0profit hospitals go ahead.  The cause of action is violations of the state's consumer protection laws.  The hospitals charge uninsured patients twice as much as insured patients.  The problem seems to be the percentage of charges over what the hospitals charge insured patients. 

US v St. Luke's Hospital

St. Luke's Subacute Hospital in San Leandro, California, and the CEO have been convicted of Medicare fraud.  The inflated nursing costs on the reports.  They also submitted false statements to federal auditors.  The CEO Guy Seaton, may get up to six years in prison and pay $250,000 in restitution.  This will not look good on his resume.  The hospital is responsible for $5.9 million.     

Charleston Med Ctr. v Cardiologist

The hospital and medical group suing each other for payment or no call is now in the past.  It seems like cooler heads prevailed and the settlement reached.  The physicians wanted to be paid for being on call and the hospital said they would pay only if they came in.  There was no evidence as to the settlement.

Community v Hospital Board

The judge tossed a case against the hospital's board for spending the hospital's money while it was going bankrupt.  The court used the "business judgment" rule to state that the directors were not individually liable for the hospital's bankruptcy.  The hospital is the Community Hospital in Granada Hills, California.   

Lexington Hosp. v Palmetto Hosp.

Lexington is suing Palmetto and Providence Hospitals for blocking Lexington's building a cardiac hospital.  The other two hospitals state that the third would dilute the pool of patients too much.  The trial is scheduled for 19 days in length.  This is the same old saw of quality versus turf and money.         Top

Managed Care

Physicians v Managed Care
Summary Judgment

Judge Moreno in Miami, the judge for all the consolidated suits against the managed care companies for racketeering has granted summary judgment to PacifiCare in the case.  He stated that the charges against them were too vague and some were legal acts to reign in costs.        Top

Medical Marijuana

San Diego v California

It is good for some attorneys that they are on salary since if they weren't they wouldn't have a job.  The attorneys of San Diego County are those mentioned above.  They mistakenly filed a lawsuit against the state on a state matter in federal court.  They realized their mistake and withdrew the federal lawsuit and refiled the same suit in state court.  If they hadn't done this the case would have been tossed for lack of standing.        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.