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Navigating the Benevolent Gesture Liability Act
The Legal Intelligencer
March 18, 2014

Imagine that you are driving to the hospital to visit your mother, who is recovering from a routine appendectomy, when you receive a call that she has passed away. You arrive at the hospital, then wind through the unfamiliar corridors until you reach her room. Several nurses and doctors are standing at the nearby nurses’ station. You make eye contact, they look away, and you walk alone into the room. Added to your grief is an anger toward those people who knew what brought you to their hospital but failed to offer any sympathy to you. Full Text


Forensic Accounting Considerations in Med Mal Litigation
The Legal Intelligencer
March 18, 2014

Medical malpractice claims raise a variety of economic issues. In addition to fully understanding the medical and liability issues involved in the prospective matter, counsel for both the plaintiff and the defendant need to fully explore and document the economic claims. In the end, a forensic accountant or other economic damage expert addresses these economic issues without regard to causation and liability, with the ultimate result a full understanding of economic losses of the plaintiff based on the alleged medical malpractice. Full Text


Recovering Special Damages for Med Mal Post-MCARE
The Legal Intelligencer
March 18, 2014

There has been surprisingly little appellate authority interpreting the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Act since its passage in 2002. In 2012, I had an opportunity to try a medical negligence case to verdict on behalf of a severely brain-damaged baby with enormous projected future medical bills. The case, Nicholson-Upsey v. Touey, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Nov. Term, 2009, No. 04525, resulted in a very substantial verdict for the plaintiff. Full Text


Pennsylvania’s Medical Negligence Statute of Repose
The Legal Intelligencer
March 18, 2014

Until the passage of the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Act in March 2002, Pennsylvania, like most states, did not have a statute of repose related to medical negligence. However, in Section 513 of MCARE, the Pennsylvania Legislature enacted a seven-year statute of repose. A statute of repose is different from a statute of limitations—a statute of repose bars a lawsuit that is brought after a specified time since the defendant acted, even if this period ends before the plaintiff has suffered an injury. Full Text


Responding to a Plaintiff’s Discovery Requests
The Legal Intelligencer
March 18, 2014

Because of the complex nature of the majority of medical malpractice cases, the discovery process is extremely important. As a defense attorney, the discovery requests received from plaintiffs are usually extensive in nature and include medical records, statements, incident reports, audit trails, videos, personnel files and different policies and procedures of the hospitals. Therefore, in order to properly defend these cases, it is imperative to know and understand which documents are protected and not discoverable. The following discussion addresses different items that I consider when responding to a plaintiff’s request for production of documents in Pennsylvania medical malpractice cases. Full Text


Obtaining Early Confirmation of Coverage in Litigation
The Legal Intelligencer
March 18, 2014

Pursuing a successful medical malpractice claim in Pennsylvania is both challenging and expensive. Important facts are often unknown, the medicine can be difficult and the standard of care unclear. The risks of pursuing a claim are further compounded by the high costs of retaining and paying for experts and the uncertain and unpredictable odds of winning a jury verdict. Because of these challenges, during the course of litigation, plaintiffs attorneys logically focus on proving liability and establishing damages. Full Text