January 15, 2019 Recent Legal News






Peer Review and Employment


Chalhoub v US
DC ED Kent

Dr. Anis Chalhoub was convicted of helath fraud for implanting pacemakers without good medical reason.  He was sentenced to 42 months in prison.  He wants to be released pending appeal.  The court said no.  He has not raised any substantial question of law or fact that would result in the reversal of his conviction.  

US v Babich

The former CEO of Insys, Michael Babich, has plead guilty to conspiracy and mail fraud and agreed to testify against the others on trial for a lighter sentence.  The company paid bribes to physicians for prescribing Subsys.  The company has agreed to pay a fine of $150 million for its dastardly acts.        Top


The Democratic attorney generals have officially appealed the Texas judge's ruling that Ocare is illegal.  This is no surprise to anyone as the judge had stayed his ruling until the appeal is completed, that means to the Supremes.  

California v UnitedHealthcare
California Supreme Court

The California high court affirmed the $91 million fine against the parent of PacifiCare for their 900,000 alleged violations of state insurance claim laws.  They refused to rear a review of the appellate court.  

Estate of Arturo Giron Alverez et al v The Johns Hopkins University et al
USDC Maryland

In a huge case a federal judge has allowed this to continue.  The case involves what happened 72 years a go when physicians from The Rockefeller Foundation and Johns Hopkins gave syphilis to hundreds of Guatemalans in order to test the new antibiotic Penicillin made by Bristol-Meyers.  The damages may be up to $1 Billion.  This is the equivalent of the old Tuskegee blacks who were infected with syphilis and then left untreated.

Entities v Purdue Pharma
Hartford Superior Court

Finally, some sanity may be on the horizon.  A Superior Court Judge has tossed the cases of 37 cities and towns against Purdue and others for their role in the opiod crisis.  The judge hit it on the head when he said the cases were filed as ordinary civil cases and seeking to get money damages for indirect harm.  The cities will probably throw more taxpayer money around for an appeal.        Top


Doe v Aetna Life Insurance
MD Florida

A federal judge has ruled that a case by an HIV person against the company can go forward.  The person states that the company sent a letter to "him" where his HIV status could be viewed through the envelope's large transparent window.  He sued under Florida law in federal court.  Aetna has already paid a $17 million fine for its actions.

Doe One v Caremark
SD Ohio

In a cousin to the above case a judge has allowed a class action suit to go forward against the company for disclosing the HIV status of 6000 people in various mailings.  The basis is the same the windows were too large.

Brown v Mortensen
CA App

The plaintiff owed a debt to his dentist who referred the matter to a collection agency.  The suit claims the agency owned by Mortensen transmitted confidential medical information to consumer credit agencies.  The trial court denied the plaintiff's request for a jury trial since he was seeking only nominal damages and attorney fees.  The Court of appeal said the plaintiff has a right to a jury trial under the Confidentiality of Medical Information Act.  The court said there could only be a trial on the damages claim not the legal fees since there is no right to legal fees under the Act.        Top


Munden v Los Robles Regional Medical Center

In a class action suit where the lead defendant will be paid all of $15,000, the hospital will pay $2.96 million to settle allegations that they shortchanged employee overtime and hourly pay as well as other labor law violations.  This is the second suit against the hospital for this.  The first was settled in 2015 where the respiratory therapists and the hospital paid $4,75 million.  Here the just over 3000 employees would get an average of $618.  The attorneys would garner $973,000.  The hospital would also pay fines to the state of $10,000.  One employee challenged the settlement and 74 opted out.  

Enstad v PeaceHealth

The plaintiff was denied coverage for treatment of his transgender surgery by the Catholic organization.  The settlement saw the organization switch insurers to now allow transgender surgery but still exclude coverage for mastectomies and chest reconstruction surgery as a treatment for gender dysphoria.


In re Avandia Marketing Sales Practices 
3rd Circuit

The company has a duty to warn physicians not patients under Utah's learned intermediary doctrine.  Therefore the case was dismissed as filed by a user.

Smith v Detroit Medical Center

The plaintiff had the bad fortune to come to this hospital ED as there was an area power outage and the hospital was running on partial power as required under state law.  Because of the failure the elevator was not working and the cardiac cath lab was not functioning.  She eventually was transferred to another hospital two hours later but she died.  She was 87 years old.  

Baby AA v Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Denton
Texas Supreme Court

The state high court ruled that a med mall claim that occurred during a delivery in the ob unit must meet the willful and wonton standard of proof under Texas law.  The lawyer tried to claim that since the mother was first seen in the ED before being admitted to the ob suite that the higher standard would not apply.  The shoulder dystocia happened in the ob suite and is therefore covered under the law, period.        Top

Peer Review and Employment

Saxena v UMass

Vishal Saxena is suing his medical school for allowing his harassment by students and staff and for refusing to accommodate his medical problem.  He states he began in the school in 2014 and had severe problems due to allergic reactions to formaldehyde.  He asked to be accommodated for his condition but he says the school refused.  He states that due to the allergy he was unable to continue his training.        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.