Medical Malpractice

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Defense advantage in medical malpractice trials

A report which will be published in May in the Michigan Law Review.confirms what most tort law practitioners have long recognized: the defense has a strong advantage in medical malpractice trials.
Philip Peters Jr., of the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law, concluded that juries treat doctors favorably, "perhaps unfairly so," and are more likely than … Continue Reading

Surgeons who play video games make fewer mistakes

A new study reports that surgeons who play video games at least three hours per week made about 37 percent fewer mistakes in laparoscopic surgery and performed the task 27 percent faster than their counterparts who did not play video games.Laparoscopic surgery — using a tiny camera and instruments controlled by joysticks outside the body … Continue Reading

Medical Malpractice Insurance Reform Act

Kudos to State Rep. Robert Mumford (R-Conyers) who on Tuesday introduced the Medical Malpractice Insurance Reform Act  . The bill wouldrequire the Insurance Commissioner to hold medical malpractice insurers tothe same rate-filing standards that auto and homeowner insurers have to meet.
"We need to do everything we can to make sure people are … Continue Reading

Social utility of litigation

Today’s Washington Post includes an article about a case arising from  the death of a college freshman under the care of poorly supervised, overworked and highly fatigued young doctors. The resulting malpractice litigation set in motion a series of reforms, most notably a series of work hour limitations instituted by the Accreditation Council on Graduate … Continue Reading

Arbitrary cap on damages held unconstitutional in Louisiana

Yet another state Supreme Court has held that an arbitrary cap on damages violates the state constitution. 
In Arrinton v. ER Physicians Group, APMC, the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeals has held that a $500,000.00 cap on medical malpractice damages was unconstitutional as failing to provide the plaintiffs an adequate remedy” as guaranteed under … Continue Reading

Buyers’ regrets on Senate Bill 3

When the Georgia General Assembly passed Senate Bill 3 — the "tort reform" conglomeration — in February 2005, most of the legislators hadn’t even read the entire bill, most of its provisions were not discussed in any detail, and hardly anyone understood it. To say it had a lot of poor draftsmanship is an understatement.  … Continue Reading

Hospital acquired infections

Hospital-acquired infections are a major concern in healthcare facilities, affecting at least 2 million patients annually and resulting in extended durations of care and substantial morbidity. Such infections are estimated to cause or contribute to 88,000 deaths annually in the US, as well as requiring nearly $5 billion in treatment costs. The incidence of infections … Continue Reading

Negligence per se upheld in medical malpractice case

The Georgia Court of Appeals has held that an anesthesiologist committed negligence per se by allowing nurses who did not have advanced skills or training to administer narcotics to patients without consulting with a physician prior to administration in violation of O.C.G.A. § 43-34-26.1. See Groover v. Johnston, below.

Backdoor tort reform through professional association discipline

Georgia law requires an affidavit from a qualified expert in order to file a medical malpractice case, and has stringent requirements for qualifications of such experts. It is virtually impossible to get a qualified expert within the state, so lawyers handling such cases generally start with the assumption that they will have to go … Continue Reading

$350,000 noneconomic damages cap held unconstitutional in Wisconsin

This year the Georgia General Assembly adopted a $350,000 cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases. Noneconomic damages include physical and mental pain and suffering, permanent impairment, intangible value of life in a wrongful death case, etc. Today the Supreme Court of Wisconsin released a decision holding a similar Wisconsin statute unconstitutional, … Continue Reading