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Federal Recommendations for Medical Negligence Reform
The Legal Intelligencer
January 25, 2011

Perhaps it’s expected that fuzzy thinking would go into some of the recommendations made by President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform when reviewing the federal budget. Surprisingly, medical malpractice reform appeared in the co-chairmen’s report, with the usual ideas to increase revenues of the insurance industry but do little else. While the report hasn’t received the necessary votes to send it to Congress, it wouldn’t be surprising to see some of the ideas raised in the next Congress. Full Text


Dealing With Medical Errors
The Legal Intelligencer
January 25, 2011

The Nov. 24 issue of the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine included an article by Dr. David C. Ring, a surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital, that might have made defense counsel cringe. In the article, Ring vividly describes how a series of personal and systemic mistakes led him to operate on the wrong arm of a 65-year-old woman. Through this disclosure, Ring hoped that others would learn from and avoid his traumatic mistake. Full Text


Scampone v. Grane: Changing the Landscape for Nursing
The Legal Intelligencer
January 25, 2011

On July 15, a Superior Court panel filed its opinion in Scampone v. Grane. The opinion has been widely publicized as changing the landscape for nursing home liability in Pennsylvania — but to what extent? This article will review the Scampone case and its potential effect on nursing home litigation. Full Text


The Mental Health Procedures Act Has Teeth
The Legal Intelligencer
January 25, 2011

A mentally ill patient escapes from a hospital and attacks someone. The injured victim institutes a lawsuit against the hospital, alleging that the hospital failed to properly supervise and secure its mental health patient. The injured person needs the mental health patient’s medical records in order to prove that the hospital knew or should have known of the mental health patient’s propensity for violence and, thus, establish a prima facie case against the hospital. The injured victim might be out of luck. Full Text


When a Win is Not Good Enough
The Legal Intelligencer
January 25, 2011

Let’s assume you represent a plaintiff in a personal injury action. The jury has just returned a verdict in your client’s favor but has only awarded your client an amount equal to the plaintiff’s past medical expenses without any compensation for past or future pain and suffering. Let’s assume also that the jury did so despite the fact that your client provided unrebutted testimony attesting to the pain and suffering he allegedly sustained. Full Text


The Patient Safety Movement
The Legal Intelligencer
January 25, 2011

In the midst of tort reform debates that consume our news and politics, we often forget to consider its equalizer: patient safety. Tort reform is regularly promoted as the solution to lowering high health care costs in the United States, however, old and new studies show that promoting patient safety may have a bigger effect on lowering health care costs. Most importantly, patient safety actually addresses the patient side of health care rather than de-humanizing the argument to be one of numbers. Full Text


Patient Dumping:
The Legal Intelligencer
January 25, 2011

In 1986, concerned that indigent and uninsured patients were not receiving proper emergency treatment, Congress enacted the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), designed to prevent hospitals from "patient dumping." To determine when the statute applies, federal courts have had to interpret what constitutes an "emergency medical condition," and ascertain the category of individuals protected by the act. Full Text