Medical Malpractice – Careless Doctors Allowed to Continue Practice

August 23, 2013

The research shows:

• Doctors disciplined or banned by hospitals often keep clean licenses: From 2001 to 2011, nearly 6,000 doctors had their clinical privileges restricted or taken away by hospitals and other medical institutions for misconduct involving patient care. But 52% — more than 3,000 doctors — never were fined or hit with a license restriction, suspension or revocation by a state medical board.

• Even the most severe misconduct goes unpunished: Nearly 250 of the doctors sanctioned by health care institutions were cited as an “immediate threat to health and safety,” yet their licenses still were not restricted or taken away. About 900 were cited for substandard care, negligence, incompetence or malpractice — and kept practicing with no licensure action.

• Doctors with the worst malpractice records keep treating patients: Among the nearly 100,000 doctors who made payments to resolve malpractice claims from 2001 to 2011, roughly 800 were responsible for 10% of all the dollars paid and their total payouts averaged about $5.2 million per doctor. Yet fewer than one in five faced any sort of licensure action by their state medical boards.

The numbers raise red flags for several experts in physician oversight, including David Swankin, head of the Citizen Advocacy Center, which works to make state medical boards more effective.”Medical boards are not like health departments that go out to see if a restaurant is clean; they’re totally reactive, because they rely on these mandatory reports — and they’re supposed to act on them,” Swankin says.

via Thousands of doctors practicing despite errors, misconduct.

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Personal Injury-Bicycle Crash – First in U.S. Guilty of Vehicular Homicide

August 13, 2013

Two things I find interesting in this story.

One, is that just like the driver of a vehicle, a bicyclist is as much responsible to follow the rules of the road. Failure to do so exposes the operator of the bike to vehicular manslaughter when failing to stop at a stop light and hitting people causing injury and death.

Two, the importance of social media such as Facebook and comments one makes after an incident. Courts, throughout the United States are forcing parties to a lawsuit to open up their accounts to scrutiny and any comments, posts or photographs may be used against them. It is important to not make any comments about an incident in which a party is involved. Doing so, will likely lead to a Court granting access to the account to see what is in it and how anything may be used against that party–whether plaintiff or defendant.

A bicyclist who struck and killed a 71-year-old pedestrian in San Francisco has been convicted of felony manslaughter, the first conviction of its kind for a cyclist in the U.S.

via Bicyclist First in U.S. Guilty of Vehicular Homicide – ABC News.

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Personal Injury law – Supreme Court Gives Immunity to Pharmaceutical Corporations

June 24, 2013

The Supreme Court of the United States has issued its opinion in the Mutual Pharmaceutical v. Bartlett case and in the words of the dissenting opinion, it has achieved an astonishing coup in favor of the pharmaceutical corporations:

[T]he majority effectively makes a highly contested policy judgment about the relationship between FDA review and state tort law—treating the FDA as the sole guardian of drug safety—without defending its judgment and without considering whether that is the policy judgment that Congress made.

Congress adopted the FDCA’s premarketing approval requirement in 1938 and then strengthened it in 1962 in response to serious public-health episodes involving unsafe drugs. See Future of Drug Safety 152. Yet by the majority’s lights, the very act of creating that requirement in order to “safeguard the consumer,” United States v. Sullivan , 332 U. S. 689, 696 1948, also created by operation of law a shield for drug manufacturers to avoid paying common-law damages under state laws that are also designed to protect consumers. That is so notwithstanding Congress’ effort to disclaim any intent to pre-empt all state law. See supra, at 4. The majority’s reasoning thus “has the ‘perverse effect’ of granting broad immunity ‘to an entire industry that, in the judgment of Congress, needed more stringent regulation.’ ”

via ThePopTort: Supreme Court to Injured People: “Get Off My Lawn!!!” Er, “Steps!!”.

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