Professional Malpractice Updates

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Reluctance Of Physicians To Disclose Medical Errors

In a New York Times article on July 15, 2014 which discussed how doctors are loath to apologize for non-preventable errors, Dr. Abigail Zuger noted that, “[i]n health care…apologies are a hot topic, the subject of much...more

Health Alert (Australia) - Week of August 25, 2014

In This Issue: Judgments; Legislation; and Reports. Excerpt from Reports: Australia. Department of Health & Ageing Media releases - 20 August 2014 - New Centre to Deliver More Health...more

Is the California Medical Board Too Slow in Disciplining Doctors?

The case of former San Diego Chargers team physician Dr. David Chao has raised questions about how much the California Medical Board is doing to discipline doctors involved in malpractice claims. Chao has been investigated...more

Federal District Court in New Jersey Holds that Economic Loss Rule Does Not Bar Contractor’s Tort Claims Against Architect Where...

The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey contracted HDR Architects and Engineers, P.C. (“HDR”) to design a medical school building. After the project went to bid, the Bedwell Company (“Bedwell”) contracted with...more

Court decides when statute of limitations for "wrongful act or omission" against counsel begins

In Lee v. Hanley the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth District decided an issue concerning the interpretation of the one-year statute of limitations relating to allegations of wrongdoing in the performance of...more

The Evolution of Informed Consent in U.S. Courts [Video]

Learn about the history of how informed consent has been handled by our court system - 202-742-1500. We also invite you to read more about the landmark case, Canterbury v. Spence:...more

Connecticut Court Holds Negligence Misrepresentation Claim Does Not Trigger Defense

In its recent decision in Pa. Gen. Ins. Co. v. Thakur, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110251 (D. Conn. Aug. 11, 2014), the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut had occasion to consider whether a claim for...more

Appellate Court Notes

SC18942, SC18993, SC18994 - Perry v. Perry - Attorney appointed for a minor child cannot appeal the trial court’s award of only a portion of her fees w/o trial court permission. But that same attorney has personal...more

Insured Not Justified in Ignoring Claims-Made-and-Reporting Requirements

An insured’s attempt to circumvent the claims-made-and-reporting requirements of its professional liabilty policy, by arguing that the doctrine of promissory estoppel applied, was thwarted when a court ordered summary...more

Understanding the Relationship Between Medicare and Medicaid Liens and Litigation

Behind many personal injury and professional malpractice cases lurks a nagging reality that will almost always impact settlement negotiations – a Medicare or Medicaid lien. In general, a lien is a security interest granted...more

Federal Judge Concludes Restitution May Be Covered Under Commonly Used Professional Liability Policy Language

A federal judge in Minnesota recently held that “restitution” paid to settle a class action lawsuit was covered under the terms of a professional liability policy. The court in U.S. Bank National Ass’n et al. v. Indian Harbor...more

Health Alert (Australia) - August 11, 2014

In This Issue: Judgments; Legislation; and Reports. - Excerpt from Judgments: Western Australia (WA) - 4 August 2014 - Frew v Donate Life (N.M.A.H.S.) [2014] WADC 96 - Workers' compensation - appeal...more

U.S. Bank v. Indian Harbor: Another Blow to the Restitution/Disgorgement Defense

In recent years, purchasers of D&O and professional liability insurance have been stunned to learn that their carriers have denied coverage for a wide range of claims on the theory that their policies do not cover loss that...more

Massachusetts Court Holds No Coverage Under Lawyers’ Malpractice Policy for 93A Claim

In its recent decision in Am. Guar. & Liab. Ins. Co. v. Lamond, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103117 (D. Mass. July 29, 2014), the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts had occasion to consider what portion...more

The enforceability of a trust accounting clause’s failure-to-object provision (the non-judicial settlement of trustees’ accounts)

It is common for the accounting clause of an inter vivos trust instrument to contain a provision along the lines of the following: “The written approval of such an account by the person or persons thus entitled to such...more

Palliative care – navigating the difficult path of informed consent

Medical practitioners are placed in a difficult position when close family members disagree about the treatment that should be provided to a loved one who is no longer capable of making his or her own decisions. ...more

Health Alert (Australia) - July 28, 2014

In This Issue: Judgments; Legislation; and Reports. Excerpt from Judgments: New South Wales (NSW) - 22 July 2014 - Lane v Northern NSW Local Health District (No 3) [2014] NSWCA 233 - This...more

Joint Employment Finding Leads to Unexpected $3 Million Liability in Hospital Malpractice Case

When Washington Hospital obtained an insurance policy in 2003 to cover medical claims arising from acts by its employees, its insurer probably did not consider whether hospital employees included workers supplied by a...more

What patients misunderstand about their right of informed consent [Video]

Many patients misunderstand what "informed consent" is all about. They often believe it's about signing a form ahead of surgery that acts as a waiver against any rights they may have for legal recourse if the surgery goes...more

Florida High Court Poised to Clarify Harmless Error Standard in Civil Appeals

On June 20, 2012, the Florida Supreme Court accepted review of a Fourth District Court of Appeal case that certified the following question of great public importance: “In a civil appeal, shall error be held harmless where it...more

Florida High Court Poised to Clarify Harmless Error Standard in Civil Appeals

On June 20, 2012, the Florida Supreme Court accepted review of a Fourth District Court of Appeal case that certified the following question of great public importance: “In a civil appeal, shall error be held harmless where it...more

The 'Inexorable March' Toward Disclosure of Risk Management Materials

A reminder for risk managers at hospitals and other healthcare organizations in Virginia and elsewhere: Plaintiffs’ attorneys can win access to risk management information long considered protected and internal—including...more

Texas Court Holds Insured Failed to Timely Report Claim

In its recent decision in Netspend Corp. v. AXIS Ins. Co., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97656 (W.D. Tex. July 18, 2014), the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas had occasion to consider what constitutes a...more

Trial Court's Calculation of Lodestar Is Affirmed

In Syers Properties III, Inc. v. Rankin the California Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District affirmed the trial court’s grant of an award of attorney fees. The appellant contended that the trial court should not...more

Health Alert (Australia) - July 21, 2014

In This Issue: Judgments; Legislation; and Reports. Excerpt from Judgments: Queensland - 14 April 2014 (published 11 July 2014) - Ladhams v Medical Board of Australia (No 2) [2014] QCAT 286...more

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