Quaid v Baxter Healthcare
Actor Dennis Quaid and his wife have sued Baxter Healthcare for the labeling of their Heparin bottles that they claim was the direct cause of a hospital error in the overdosing of their children. In an even more damning statement than any law suit was the Quaid's lambasting of Cedar Sinai Hospital and their lack of candor and possibly outright lying to the Quaids. That was pure stupidity.
Bentivenga v St. Francis Hospital
In a whopping penalty the hospital and the OB were hit with a $22 million verdict by the Cook County jury. The plaintiff's family sued over the death of the 34 year old patient who went of the hospital to deliver a baby. The plaintiff claimed that the hospital and the physician failed to treat her hypertension causing a massive stroke and death. The award was $2 million for economic loss and the rest for pain and suffering.
Persaud v NY Presbyterian Hosp.
In the how dumb can you be category, this hospital ED may take the cake. The patient came to the ED for a hit on the head by a wooden beam. He sustained a laceration over his eye. The physician wanted to do a rectal to determine the sphincter tone but the patient refused, as is his right. The medical staff insisted and forcibly held him down and when he resisted gave him a shot and then did the forbidden and unneeded test. He ended up in the hospital handcuffed to a bed, intubated and then went to a detention center for three days. The only issue here is how many zeros the check will have. The idiot hospital PR person stated that they would contest the suit vigorously and lose just as vigorously.
Ritter v Lee
Actor John Ritter died of a dissecting aortic aneurysm but was being treated for a heart attack. The family has already received $14 million in settlements from the hospital involved, Providence St. Joseph, and others and is now pursuing a case against the radiologist and the cardiologist in the case for an additional $64 million based on economic damages. The state faulted the hospital for not doing an ordered chest x-ray which caused the cardiologist to do an angiogram which found the aortic problem. by that time the cardiologist had already given anticoagulants for a presumed cardiac event that sped up the demise of the actor. Ritter had two years prior to his death a body scan that the plaintiffs state missed the enlarged aorta. the defense states there was no enlargement. The widow is mad and hopes the public trial will bring public awareness to aortic disease.
Coston v Bio-Med Applications of
In what seems to be common sense but in the ways of the law made it to the state supreme court was the issue of whether or not an expert witness was needed when a chair collapsed injuring a dialysis patient. The Count of course said no. What a waste of time and resources. It is hard to believe that a court of appeals actually went against common sense and stated an expert was required. There was no medical negligence in this case, only a broken chair.
Yankoviak v Hunter
In yet another case of an attorney either not too bright or not understanding hospital workings or wanting to make a name for him/herself, the hospital was sued for the negligence of a physician who was not an employee of the hospital but was the director of a unit of the hospital and did sit on the MEC. Neither of those positions have diddly to do with the treatment of a patient not on the director's unit. The plaintiff's attorney, grasping at straws, also believed or at least alleged the hospital had a duty to oversee the tests done by the physician. The tests were not done while the patient was in the hospital. Of course, the court quickly dispensed with the case.
Patients v VA
After an investigation the VA has announced that 19 deaths at the Marion, Illinois, facility were directly traced to two surgeons. The VA has notified the families and will help the families apply for disability benefits. The families can also and should also sue. Marion no longer does inpatient surgical procedures. The VA has also replaced the administrator, chief of surgery, chief of staff and an anesthesiologist who has since quit the VA. The major offending physician Dr. Jose Veizaga-Mendez and another surgeon have left the VA and their whereabouts are unknown. Dr. Veizaga-Mendez was originally hired after he had problems with substandard care in Massachusetts. He apparently has lost is medical license in the state. Ain't the VA wonderful. I still believe strongly that the entire system should be done away with and the vets put into a Medicare plan so they may see any physician at any hospital in the country. The VA could then close the hospitals and the personnel could apply for positions at community hospitals. Top
Abigail Alliance v FDA (Eschenbach)
The US Supreme Court refused to disturb a Washington DC lower court in an 8-2 ruling that stated patients who are dying are not allowed to be test subjects for medications that are in the testing phases. The full DC Court stated that there is no fundamentally deeply rooted right in the nation's history and tradition of access to experimental drugs for the terminally ill. Top
NY v Nurses
In one of the strangest cases I have ever heard a prosecutor in Riverhead New York has charged ten Filipino nurses with child endangerment for resigning en masse due to working conditions at the hospital. This case will already make sure that Filipino nurses who form the backbone of many hospitals will not continue to come to this country. The nurses are backed by the NY and California Nurses Associations as well as Filipino organizations who will get the word out to the nurses back in the Philippines. The prosecutor believes that the mass resignation of the ten nurses after their shifts put people in jeopardy due to the problem of finding replacements. There seems to be alot of politics in this case all centering around NY Senator Charles Schumer. The nurses have already been cleared in two separate state agency investigations. The nurses are all employed elsewhere now to the detriment of the Avalon Hospital that they say demeaned them and did not heed their complaints over their working conditions. I wonder where their nurses will come from next and what they will do to them.
Ross v MCI
In a closely watched case, the California Supreme Court in a 5-2 decision came down on the side of the employer. The employer fired Ross, a systems administrator, after he failed a drug test. Ross was on medical marijuana, legal in the state, for an old back injury. The high court decided that the medical marijuana act was only for criminal prosecution and not employment. The California legislature will now take up the issue. Top
Olvera v Hollywood
Civil rights attorneys have filed suit in Los Angeles against the hospital and Empire Ambulance Company for elder abuse, negligence and infliction of emotional distress for dumping the patient on skid row. He originally was sent to a mission but they refused him as they did not have the ability to care for someone in his condition. He went back to the hospital where he sat for 8 hours without any care, food or water and then dumped on skid row. The hospital is hoping for a settlement stating they have made sure this could not happen again.
Victor Valley Hosp. v
A federal judge has enjoined the HHS from stopping payments to the hospital for clinical lab services. The hospital had been out of compliance with proficiency testing. This caused the HHS to revoke the payments but the hospital filed an appeal which should stay the non payments. HHS refused to stop the non payments and the hospital sued for the payments to continue while the appeal was being heard. The court found the the hospital had a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of the case.
US v Roger Williams Execs
Federal prosecutors have filed new charges against two executives of the Roger Williams Hospital in Rhode Island after an appeals judge stated that the trial judge gave erroneous instructions to the jury. The charges will be the same corruption in the hiring of a state senator to promote the hospital.
California v Sutter
Sutter Health is being sued for millions of dollars for missed breaks by their employees. There is now a study of the hospital chain that will determine how much is owed and to whom with interest for missed lunch and other defined breaks. The law states the institution must pay a full days wages for each day a break was missed. The State Supreme Court has ruled that employees can go back three years for repayment.
Drew Univ. v LA County
Drew University in Los Angeles that was affiliated with MLK Hospital that was run by the county is suing for monies owed due to breach of contract. This was from irregular billings by the county for services rendered by the University. The University is now closed while it looks for a new hospital to affiliate with. Top
Illinois v Carle Clinic
A judge in Champaign, Illinois, has ruled that the suit by the Illinois Attorney General against Carle Clinic and Christie Clinic had no merit. The Attorney General believed that the two clinics had conspired to not take Medicaid patients. The Attorney General will refile a case against the two clinics within thirty days.
Reich v State
The court overturned a decision by the medical board to impose sanction on the physician. The physician was working part time in a clinic that suddenly closed and the medical records were not available. The State said the physician should not have done repeat tests when the original tests were not available. It is hard to believe that the state was so stupid. At least the courts rectified the situation but at a high cost to the innocent physician and a blow to the state medical board integrity.
US v Wecht
Dr. Cyril Wecht, a renowned pathologist, has been charged with using his office as the Allegheny County medical examiner for personal gain. He is accused of mail fraud and wire fraud. This is the second criminal charge by the government against Dr. Wecht who won the first trial twenty seven years ago. Top
US v Rosin
A former Sarasota, Florida dermatologist, Michael Rosin, was convicted of healthcare fraud and making false statements. He was accused and convicted of doing hundreds of unnecessary surgeries. Rosin was sentenced to 264 months in jail and both a $3.7 million in restitution and $3.7 million in forfeiture. The 11th Circuit upheld the trial fairness and the sentence.
US v Moon
Dr. Young Moon, a Tennessee oncologist, was convicted of giving only partial chemotherapy to patients and billing for a full dose. She was sentenced to 188 months in jail which is above the guidelines. Her decisions were so potentially harmful to the patients that the added prison time was justified , said the court. Top
Washington University v Catalona
The US Supreme Court declined to hear a case decided by the 8th Circuit on an unanimous verdict. The issue was who owned donated tissue. Does individuals who have donated tissue to a certain University have the right to change their mind and donate the tissue to someone or something else. The resounding answer was no. Once donated the tissue belongs to the original donee. The facts were that Dr. Catalona, a highly respected Urologist , had worked at Washington University and had amassed a huge tissue collection. He then went to Northwestern and wanted the collection to go with him. He asked patients for their releases and got about 6000 positive responses but Washington University would not let the collection go. These were legal gifts under Missouri law and the donee owned the collection. Sorry Bill but next time have the donors give them to you and not the university.
Insurers v Mylan
Three years after losing a jury trial Mylan has been ordered to pay four health insurers almost $69 million for antitrust violations. The court awarded the money after the trial that found the drug company increased the costs of several generic drugs after they bought the rights to them from other drug companies. Prior, the FTC got $100 million from Mylan on the same complaints. Top
Boldt v Boldt
In a custody battle after divorce the father converted to Judaism and wanted his 12 year old son to be circumcised per Jewish tradition. The mother objected. The Oregon high court stated that the son was old enough to be consulted in this matter. The lower courts never asked the son. The high court went on to state that if the son agreed to the circumcision it should be allowed but if the son does not want the procedure then the court should decide if the decision will affect the father's ability to care for the child. The battle over the procedure began three years previously. 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.