Baumgartner v Fung
Mrs. Baumgarner filed a med mal action against Memorial Medical Center of Modesto, California and her cardiac surgeon Dr. Lit Fung. The hospital has a computerized imaging system and the wrong patients x-rays were sent to the OR and loaded into the computer that goes to the operating room. The hospital settled for $140,000 for their error. The case against Dr. Fung continues. The rationale is that Dr. Fung refused to change what he had done at surgery potentially placing the patient at jeopardy. The physician states he did the correct bypasses on the patient and no harm ensued. However, a repeat angiogram showed that one of the blockages was not bypassed. The patient had a stent and angioplasty. The patient's attorney is attempting to get punitive damages but will probably be unsuccessful since the physician's refusal to re-operate was not reckless.
Franco v Kaiser
The newborn patient was born brain damaged due to a late C Section after fetal distress was evident. The judgment was $6,000,236. Top
Louisiana v Pou
In the case of murder filed against Dr. Pou and the three nurses that stayed behind during Katrina to care for their patients, two of the nurses have had their cases dropped. The two nurses testified at the end of June in a secret Grand Jury hearing. The case against the third nurse and the physician may be dropped or pursued. It's beginning to sound like a Duke Lacrosse match. Top
Young v Palm Beach County
The jury awarded $692,000 to Ted Young, a paramedic. Mr. Young had started a new business and was defamed by Dr. Jeffery Davis, the medical director of the county health care district, who told others a lie that Mr. Young collected money for services never performed. Top
Aquilla v Chester River Hosp
Dr. Aquilla, an Ophthalmologist and the Chief of Surgery at the hospital, has filed a suit to prevent his hospital from merging with the University of Maryland Medical Systems. The physician states that the hospital Board is being over secretive over the proposed merger. I'm surprised he has been labeled as disruptive and tossed off the medical staff.
Christ Hospital v Greater Cincinnati
Christ Hospital and St. Luke's Hospital were members of the Alliance. They wanted out and to become independent. The Alliance would not allow the defections and sued to keep them in place. The Alliance lost and appealed. The Court has stated that to appeal the Alliance must release enough money to allow the hospitals to run themselves while the appeal is pending. They must also post a bond for the two hospital's attorney fees. This should cause severe monetary problems for the Alliance and temper their greed. Top
Jolley v Regence Blue Shield
Regence terminated Dr. Jolley after three months. In the original 2003 contract there was a clause that stated that all disputes were to settled using arbitration. Arbitration was held and Jolley won reinstatement and minor damages. After several months Regence again terminated Jolley and this time Jolley went to court. The Court agreed with Jolley that suit was permissible since the original agreement only stated arbitration and not binding arbitration. Top
Uckun v Minnesota Med Bd.
After a two year investigation Dr. Faith Uckun had a hearing as to whether to temporarily suspend her license until a full hearing could be held. She was only allowed to make an oral statement and then had her license temporarily suspended. She sued and lost in the lower court arguing that the burden should be the clear and convincing standard not the preponderance of evidence. The Court of Appeals agreed with the lower court and stated that even in the later stages the preponderance of evidence standard held. Also the court ruled that patient safety was paramount to her loss of license. Top
Zoom Imaging v St. Luke's Hosp
Two radiologists saw a community need for radiological services and started their practice. The hospital allegedly has boycotted the practice and is being sued for antitrust. The hospital has a study that it commissioned to enhance its radiology services. Zoom wants it in discovery and the hospital per usual said no. The court said yes since the documents were created for the hospital and under not any mandate, the other side is entitled to them. This cost both sides money and is part of the usual strategy by the one with the most money. Top
Moses v Providence Hosp
In another case of an attorney not reading the law, the decedent's family sued under EMTALA. Decedent's husband was taken to the ED of the hospital for symptoms of acute mental illness. The husband was hospitalized for six days and then released. He killed his wife. The court refused a request for peer review material and also stated there was no EMTALA violation. Top
Stears v Sheridan County Hosp
The only radiologist at the hospital resigned and there was an exclusive contract to another radiologist. Wyoming has a law that all public hospitals will be open to all providers. Since he was left off the exclusive panel at the hospital, he sued. He lost in the lower and in the 10th Circuit since his privileges were not removed and he remained on the staff. There was no need for a "fair hearing." Sounds like he attempted to use his exclusivity as a bargaining chip and got burned.
Mahmud v Kaufman
The Pakistani physician was kept off the staff of a hospital and sued the physicians for discrimination and antitrust. The lower court denied the defendant physicians request for summary judgment. The court then refused a rehearing on the matter saying the plaintiff had pled sufficient facts to allow the case to go forward. The court also stated that members of an IPA can be held to conspire in matters of antitrust.
Nilavar v Mercy Health
Dr. Nilivar lost hospital privileges after losing an exclusive contract. He sued under breach of contract and antitrust. He, of course, lost of all counts. There was no antitrust since he did not show any true market. He lost on contract since the bylaws were not considered a contract on the reading of the bylaws. The hospital did not need to give due process (hearing) since this was an operational process. 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.