Adams-Erazo v Hosp. San Gerado
In a rare win for plaintiffs suing under EMTALA in summary judgment, the plaintiff came to the hospital ER with a GSW, died and the hospital did not follow its own GSW protocol.
Leimbach v Hawaii Pacific Health
The patient attempted to prove that the hospital did not give him an appropriate screening exam and failed to diagnose his "necrotizing fasciitis". The court said the hospital is not liable in EMTALA for an incorrect diagnosis since he did get an examination. The claim that he was adequately stabilized also fails since the hospital is only obligated to stabilize the conditions they actually diagnosed.
Perry v Owensboro Health
Perry died after going to the ED of the hospital twice for GI problems stemming from a non healing surgical wound. She sued for negligence but then erroneously added an EMTALA claim. The court said the plaintiff did not prove she was treated any different than a paying patient. Thy said one need both disparate treatment and improper motive. Here there was neither. A waste of money. Top
Patients v Massachusetts General
In another hospital failure to secure information a hospital employee accidentally sent an email containing PHI to an incorrect email address. This involved 648 people. Now sensitive information is no longer sent by email.
Patients v Medical Informatics
The company announced in June that they were hacked and that the PHI of about 3.8 million were compromised. They get two years of credit protection.
Patients v UCLA
A suit seeking class action has been filed against UCLA for failing to properly secure its records and to quickly notify as many as 4.5 million patients when they were hacked. They deserve to be sued for not encrypting patient data originally. They are now attempting to do it. Too late. Top
US v Pediatric Services of America
The provider of home nursing services to children said it would pay $6.8 million to settle allegations that it failed to report overpayments from federal programs. This involves the providers failure to investigate credit balances on its books to see if they are from a federal program. Two whistleblowers will share $1.1 million with their attorneys.
US v CVS
CVS has agreed to pay a fine of $450,000 to settle allegations that it forged prescriptions in several of its Rhode Island stores. They were filling prescriptions from nurse practitioners and others who had no DEA numbers.
US v HDL
The feds filed a suit against Health Diagnostics Labs (HDL) for illegal kickbacks. The centerpiece of the suit alleges that HDL made $26 million for its founder, Tonya Mallory and that two of her associates collected over $225 million in commissions over a five year period. At the same time the suit alleges that HDL paid physicians over $68 million for their referring patients for lab tests. This allows the feds to join the whistleblower suits against the company.
US v Mercy Health
Two hospitals in Missouri have agreed to pay the feds $5.5 million to settle allegations that they gave kickbacks to physicians. Mercy Health Springfield and Mercy Clinic Springfield. The settlement settles allegations that they billed federal health for patients that were referred by physicians who got kickbacks from the organizations. This is a whistleblower suit filed by a physician employed by one of the hospitals. He got $825,000 for filing suit and splits that with his attorney. Top
Temponeras v Ohio Medical Board
Dr. Margy Temponeras had her DEA license revoked for improper dispensing of medication and over prescribing meds. The Board then revoked her license based on the revocation of her DEA and of violating a law by prescribing meds to a person with whom she had a personal and emotional relationship. The lower court affirmed. The doctor said the revocation was based on hearsay evidence with no corroborative evidence She did not cite any relevant law to refute the notion that the DEA revocation was enough in its own to have her lose her license. Top
Amarin Corp v FDA
A federal judge ruled the FDA could not block a company from advertising an unapproved use for a drug. The drug, Vascepa, made from fish oil can now be advertised for use in cholesterol reduction. The judge said the advertising must be truthful and in this case can not say it reduces cardiac death as it has not been studied. The court stated that the company claims are protected by the first amendment. It will be interesting to see if it is appealed.
Catholic v US
The appellate court overruled a federal judge and said the Catholic schools must allow employees access to contraception. This like the other rulings in the country will be appealed to the Supremes. The court says the one page form to opt out is OK and doesn't pose a substantial burden on the organization. The lower court found the form itself violated the religious freedom. Top
Herrera v Eli Lilly
Lilly won the initial suit against it for hiding the risks of Cymbalta for "serious and life threatening" withdrawal symptoms. This is the first of about 5000 suits filed. Three more cases on the same issue are scheduled to start trial this month.
Patients v UCSF
UCSF screwed up. They did not sterilize a flexible cystoscope according to guidelines and now about 450 people have been potentially subjected to various diseases. They have offered free screening.
Patients v Top Surgeons
The company was associated with the ill advised 1-800- GET-THIN debacle in California had agreed to a $1.2 million settlement. They now say they can not pay it since the feds have seized $109 million in an ongoing investigation. The money was to be spend for $600,000 for attorneys, $500,000 for patients and $100,000 for billboards stating the risks for the now defunct procedure of lap band. Top
Community Health Systems v St.
The system is suing the hospital after a deal to buy the hospital failed. They want their $5 million deposit back and are also alleging St. Francis misrepresented its financial status. This never happens in "The Art of the Deal".
North Cyprus Medical Center v
The Texas medical center was sued by Aetna earlier this year for deceptive billing practices. The hospital has now sued Aetna for for a scheme to sue out of network hospitals to force them into in network contracts. This is a RICO suit. Top
Nasal-Tabor v Sharp Chula Vista
The RN was terminated from the hospital after she refused to perform cardiac stress tests. She stated that the hospital did not have standardized procedures in place for nurses to perform these procedures that otherwise would be considered the illegal practice of medicine. The trial court granted the hospital summary judgment and the court of appeal overturned the trial court to allow the case to go forward. Look for a settlement not a trial. Too embarrassing for the hospital.
Phillips v Pitt County Memorial
This case illustrated the potential problems with suing after losing ones privileges. Under HCQIA the hospital is entitled to attorney fees if they win. In this case the hospital won and was awarded attorney fees. The physician appealed the award and lost. The court said there was competent evidence that the lawsuit was frivolous and malicious. This is common. 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.