Abney v University Med Ctr. of S.
Abney hired a wrong attorney. Abney was seen in an urgent care setting for severe abdominal pain and vaginal bleeding. She was sent to a hospital for higher care. She waited for five hours to be seen at University Hospital and then left. She went to another hospital and was told the wait would be the same. She again left and went home where she delivered a baby and the baby did not survive. She sued both hospitals under EMTALA and not medical malpractice. The Court stated that she could sue for disparate treatment but her potential would only be $75,000 for suing a state actor. Under med mal she was limited to $250,000 but the attorney wanted more. The Court agreed that the med mal cap was not present under EMTALA but the $75,000 was.
Jaques v Manton
The court ruled that defendants may submit evidence showing how much was actually paid for a medical bill. This is usually much less than the billed amount and may lead to lower damages in all personal liability cases. It is expected that the state legislature will pass a law to overturn the court decision.
Little v Schneider
Little had vascular disease and was operated on by two vascular surgeons. She was found post operative to have a injured spinal artery and is paraplegic. The plaintiff stated that the surgeons used an erroneous technique that caused the harm and the jury agreed. She won a total of $3.5 million. This may be reduced under Maryland law. Top
California v Prime Healthcare
California had accused Prime of unfairly billing HMO patients for services not covered by their insurer. This is against California law. Prime had billed 3700 patients and settled for $1.2 million. The patients need only pay their co-pays. Half of the settlement will go to Prime's charity foundation and six clinics will split the rest. Prime also has to audit its books for the past six years and repay with interest all those who paid the illegal billing. Top
US v Christ Hospital
In a whistleblower case Christ Hospital of Cincinnati will pay $110 million for only allowing those cardiologists who referred the most to the hospital to read on the hospital panels. The more money they generated the more time they had on the panel. The whistleblower is a retired cardiologist and he gets $2 million for legal fees and another $21.5 million for whistleblowing. Top
Colantonio v Mercy Med Ctr
The court split the baby on this one. Dr. Colantonio sued the hospital for defamation and malice. He lost the defamation action since the court stated the statements were opinion that is not actionable in defamation. The court stated the hospital was not eligible for summary judgment for potential malice or knowingly false statements. These are matters for a jury to hear. His peer review hearing is still going on several years after the MEC recommended termination of his privileges. The hospital should be amenable to settle the peer review matter instead spending huge dollars to appeal. However, nobody said hospitals are smart. 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.