November 15, 2012 Recent Legal News


Peer Review and Employment




Pasieka v Chaves
Mich  Ct app

The plaintiff sued the physician for med mal as well as the hospital that gave him the incentive money to come to the area.  This money is not enough to make the hospital vicariously liable for an independent practitioner.  He set his own hours, selected and billed his patients, and not prohibited from practicing at other hospitals.

Nguyen v IHC Medical Services
Utah Ct App

The court overturned the trial court verdict on summary judgment for the hospital.  The hospital was using the wrong equipment on the patient which was the direct cause of the patient death.  The hospital did not get informed consent from the parent of the patient.

Patients v Bradley

Dr. Bradley, a pediatrician convicted of multiple counts of child rape, was a member of the Beebe Hospital and the Delaware Medical Society.  These bodies and some others have been sued by the victims for not reporting Bradley to the law.  They have settled for a payment of $123 million.

Gaulden v Green
Ga Ct App

  In a fascinating case the plaintiff sued a physician with which he had no contact.  The court ruled that the case may go forward against a medical director of the ED who wrote the protocol for chest pain patients.  The standing order protocol was not precise regarding the need for physician OK prior to the nurse instituting the protocol including the use of anticoagulants.  The patient died four hours after coming to the ED. This is a real eye opener for those who write protocols.        Top

Peer Review and Employment

Johansen v Ohio Dept. Mental Health
Ohio Ct. App

The psychiatrist was terminated and then via an agreement had the termination changed to a resignation.  He stated he had verbal assurances that he would not be reported but he was to the NPDB.  He is dumb.  He did not get it in writing.  He then had to go through a hearing and got the report rescinded but in the meantime he lost a chance for employment.  He then sued for promissory estoppel and of course lost since parol evidence can not be used.

Sambasivan v Kedlec Hospital
Wash Ct. app.

The cardiologist sued and lost in trial court on the issue of retaliation after the idiot hospital made a rule that one needed 150 procedures per reappointment term to be reappointed.  They made this effective immediately and not phased in.  For some reason this physician was the only one on the staff that this affected.  He had previously filed a discrimination suit against the hospital.  The court said he had shown enough that the rule was pretextual.  The court went on to allow an unjust enrichment claim since he was the only one not paid for call.  Yes, this is the same Kedlec hospital that was involved some years ago for problems with letters of recommendation.  One can only draw inferences if one should consider practicing at this hospital with this type Board.

Ioppolo v Rumana

The plaintiff is a physician who testified in a suit against other physicians.  The court ruled that he could not bring most claims against the physicians against who he testified but could bring a defamation claim against the physicians and the AANS and the American Association of Neurosurgeons.  He was accused by the defendant physicians in a letter to the associations of giving false testimony. An investigation was started but the physicians circulated the preliminary results to the institutions where the plaintiff worked.  The associations were dismissed from the case.  The defamation case against the two physician defendants was allowed to go to trial.

Glascock v Linn County Emergency Med. P.C.
8th Circ

A ED physician was not given a contract after her first year working for the corporation.  She sued due to her pregnancy, national origin and other items.  The corporation said she was not an employee and could not sue under Title VII.  The court agreed.  She paid her own taxes, received no benefits from the PC and had much control over her own work schedule.  I don't know why people believe they deserve to be rehired in any case.

Cohlmia v St. John's Med Ctr

In a strange ruling that begs to be appealed the court ruled that the hospital was entitled to attorney fees of $730,000 against a CV surgeon who was terminated and sued.  Many settled with him but the hospital did not.  The court ruled that the physician's claims and his challenge to HCQIA immunity was unreasonable conduct at best and frivolous or bad faith conduct at worst.  The surgeon, the court states, failed to present evidence to rebut the claim to HCQIA immunity and to support his antitrust claim even though it survived a motion to dismiss.

Hein-Muniz v Aiken Reg'l Med Ctr

An Ob was removed from the staff for both quality and disruption.  The OB had a hearing and lost and then sued.  She lost the suit since the "totality" of the evidence was against her in her battle on the HCQIA claim.  Also she lost on the hearing officer having ex parte conversations with the MEC attorney.  The court said in all she had a fair hearing.  The end with prejudice.          Top


US v Christus Health
SD Texas

A whistleblower sued the hospital for false claims and the US did not take over the case.  She claimed that the hospital falsely kept patients in longer than necessary so the hospitals could keep its long term care name.  The plaintiff also claimed the hospitals gave IV therapy and vents that were not necessary.  The court allowed the case to go forward.

US v Freeman Health System

The Joplin, Missouri, system has agreed to pay $9.3 million to the government for giving incentives to physicians to refer patients to the hospital.  It gave money to the physicians for the referral to the hospital of Medicare patients and their exams. They have 10 days to pay the money.

US v Agbebiyi

Dr. Jonathon Agberbiyi of the Detroit area was sentenced to 60 months in prison, two years probation and payment of $2,982,029.19 in restitution for his part in a fraud scam.  
The Ob/GYN did unnecessary tests.       


New Hampshire v Exeter Hospital

A judge has ruled that Exeter Hospital in New Hampshire must open its medical records to the State in their investigation of the Hepatitis outbreak.  The state has promised to keep the records confidential.

Patients v Maryland Hospitals

The first case of Hepatitis C in Maryland with ties to the technician in Exeter Hospital has been found.  This was at a VA Center.  Four other hospitals are also being checked for a connection.

Patients v Womens and Infants Hospital
To Be Filed

The hospital lost the ultrasound tapes for 14,000 women which also included their medical history and in some cases their social security numbers.  The information is unencrypted which is unforgivable.        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.