Doe v St. Joseph Med. Ctr.
Doe, a nurse at the hospital got splashed by blood and got stuck by a needle years ago. she now has Hepatitis C. She was exposed three times and had tests for the disease after each exposure. She found that she tested positive in 1992 and the hospital never told her and won $3.5 this year. The hospital will appeal stating their lack of integrity was accidental.
Hawley v Walker
Hawley was misdiagnosed by a pathologist, Dr. Leonard Walker of Lawnwood Medical Center in Fort Pierce, Florida. This led to a removal of a normal lung several months later. The original claim was for $1 Billion. The hospital settled out in 2001 for an undisclosed amount. The case against Walker was also settled for an undisclosed sum. After the suit was originally filed the State and Federal agencies investigated the pathology department. One pathologist had his license suspended and Walker resigned. Walker and the other pathologist are now facing federal charges for useless or inappropriate testing.
El Majzoub v Appling
The patient sued the on-call physician for malpractice but lost since the doctor only talked to the ED physician and did not offer any advice to the physician regarding the patient's treatment. There was no relationship and therefore no duty that could be breached. An on-call relationship was ruled not to automatically impose duty on a physician. The physician must do an affirmative act to create the duty. Top
Patel v Midland Mem. Hosp
Patel was summarily suspended after being found to have high patient deaths. He appealed and won. Later he sued Midland in federal court for racial discrimination and antitrust. The district court granted summary judgment for the hospital and Patel appealed. The appeal court agreed with the district court. Patel was given due process of hearing and notice and whether the hospital reasonably believed Patel to be a danger, not whether he was actually a danger. The court tossed his discrimination case since the hospital could show a legitimate non-discriminatory reason for their action. The antitrust was also kicked since the review of Patel's work was by physicians of different disciplines and he continued to treat patients at another facility during the time he was suspended.
Savas v Wm. Beaument Hosp
A female cardiologist was suspended after an investigation. She sued for sexual discrimination and lost since she was an independent contractor and not the required employee. Only employees may sue for discrimination.
Singh v Blue Cross/Shield of Mass.
The insurer conducted two audits of Singh's practice and then suspended him. He had a hearing and denied membership in one plan but remained in two others. He sued the insurer and the peer review physicians and of course lost. Under HCQIA he got due process and therefore all were shielded against any damages. Top
Laurino v Idaho State Board
The Board suspend Laurino based on testimony in nine patients by two physicians who served on the hospital peer review committee. The Supreme Court reversed the Board stating they ignored evidence that refuted the charges and their hearing officer who recommended dismissal of all claims. The Court ruled that in 7/9 there was no evidence that their was any breach of the standard of care, since no standard of care was proven. In two cases the Court agreed with the Board and remanded the case back to the Board. Top
Valles v Albert Einstein Med. Ctr.
A hospital can not be responsible for the obtaining of an informed consent even if the physician is an employee of the hospital. This is a personal communication between the patient and the physicians. Top
Wilson v Muckala
A hospital employee sued the Chief of Staff for sexual harassment. The court through out the case since the Chief of Staff was only receiving $1000 per month and was deemed an independent contractor and not an employee.
Mangieri v DCH Healthcare
The anesthesiologist did not have a contract renewed and sued since the non renewal violated the first amendment. The hospital won in the District Court but the Circuit court said the case could go forward since the non renewal was for the physicians speaking out against the hospital moving some services to another site. Top
St. Anthony Hospital v DHS
The government won the case against St. Anthony for not accepting a transfer when it had the beds and staff available. the reason they did not accept a transfer from a rural hospital is due to the fact they had the rural hospital talk to the wrong person and not the ED physician. Top
US v Weitzel
Robert Weitzel, a psychiatrist, had pled guilty of two counts of fraud and was sentenced to one year in prison. the judge thought he deserved more since he kept morphine and Demerol to feed his own habit and gave smaller doses to patients. He also goes on trial soon on state manslaughter charges for killing five patients with drugs. He had the charges overturned last year and this is a retrial.
Mass. v Arndt, MD
Dr. Arndt, the same one that left the patient in the OR under anesthesia while he went to the bank, is now up on charges of rape of a 15 year old boy. He is accused of luring a boy into his car and repeatedly raped the boy who was previously unknown to the doctor. 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.