Categories: Medical License Issues,
In our practice of representing physicians, we are often asked to defend a doctor before the medical executive committee.  The reasons for the meetings are all across the spectrum:  standard of care, economics, emergency room coverage . . . the list is endless. Despite the diversity in issues, there is one common theme–having enemies at the hospital or being in the wrong clique will hurt you.  Although many of us graduated high school long ago, the cliques remain the same at work.  The politics of a hospital are no different.  For a physician in private practice, a hospital is major...
Categories: Asset Protection,
Often, a creditor will attack your asset-protection plan by asserting that the transfer of assets from you to another person or entity, or the investment of money into secured transactions, is a fraudulent conveyance, or fraudulenttransfer. The creditor will claim it is fraudulent because it was made with the intent, or effect, of avoiding collection. The creditor can, and will, make this claim even if your plan has been in place for several years prior to legal action. The creditor’s rationale is this: You must have known something was wrong ifyou’re trying to secure your money. (You, of course, know you’d be foolish notto secure your money!) Terms like fraudulent conveyance and fraudulent transfer sound like something TV judges would say before banging their...
Categories: Medical Malpractice Defense,
Due to the ever increasing cost of medical malpractice insurance, many doctors have made the decision to drop their insurance coverage.  There is strong statistical evidence that “going bare” reduces the likelihood of being involved in a lawsuit.  Not surprisingly, the insurance industry has increased its campaign of scare tactics in order to place physicians in fear, so as to drive them to purchase insurance.  Without a doubt, insurance can be a useful form of risk spreading for many industries.  However, for physicians in Florida with an average-to-clean history, going bare is the best option. Insurance companies love “good” doctors. ...
Categories: Medical Malpractice Defense,
An ex-nursing assistant at Valley Health in Winchester, Virginia, is suing the hospital for wrongful termination and malpractice after she complained about surgery performed on her there.  The North Virginia Daily reports that the lawsuit, filed on behalf of Sharon Fay Grey, is seeking more than $350,000 in damages in the malpractice suit and more $200,000 for the firing. Grey had worked for Valley Health at the Winchester Hospital when she was diagnosed with a chronic urinary tract infection with painful bladder syndrome, a condition which she had reportedly been treated for in the past. According to the complaint, doctors...
Categories: Medical Malpractice Defense,
Jurors in a medical malpractice lawsuit can be divided into two groups: physicians and nonphysicians (a.k.a. patients). Plaintiff attorneys in a medical malpractice case do not want physicians on juries, fearing the physicians will be sympathetic to one of their own. Accordingly, when discussing jury selection, let’s focus on patients, who constitute the majority of jurors anyway. Such jurors come into the courtroom with biases for or against physicians based on their personal experiences as patients. Those who have had negative experiences or who consider themselves victims of a medical “injustice” will likely take a negative view of a defendant-physician....
Categories: Medical License Issues,
A couple of years ago, I was helping a physician with medical licenses in Florida and California.  The doctor had initially practiced for several years in California, and eventually moved his practice to Florida.  After practicing in Florida for a couple of years, this physician had a patient issue which ultimately turned into an administrative complaint before Florida’s Board of Medicine.  A settlement was reached and the doctor paid a nominal fine. Now, years later, California is beginning to investigate based on the Florida settlement.  Even though he has not practiced in California for over ten (10) years, never renewed his California license, never completed...
Categories: Medical Malpractice Defense,
Mediation is the process by which parties to a lawsuit attempt to settle the lawsuit through a neutral facilitator, the mediator. Typically, the parties gather in a room to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of their cases and thereafter break off into separate meetings, or “caucuses.” The defense team talks among itself, as does the plaintiff’s team. The mediator shuttles between both camps, intentionally playing the role of “double agent,” all the while bringing the parties closer to an agreement. Ultimately, if the parties agree to resolve the matter, a written agreement is crafted on the spot and submitted to...
Categories: Medical Malpractice Defense,
In the medical professional, human error is possible, and even inevitable. In addressing a myriad of complex medical symptoms and emergencies on a daily basis, doctors can misdiagnose a symptom, or look back upon a patient case and see a better method for treatment. In such situations, honesty is always the best policy, especially in building a strong doctor-patient relationship suggests the AMA Code of Medical Ethics. Under the American Medical Association's Code of Medical Ethics, doctors have a reponsibility to be honest with their patients and apologize for their mistakes if medical complications arise due to the physician's error....
Categories: Pain Management,
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi on Thursday announced her intentions to zero in on doctors who improperly dole out painkillers by slapping them with automatic suspensions or arrests. “Our state has become the destination for distributors and abusers, and we have to stop it,” Bondi said at a news conference in the state Capitol. “We are the epicenter for the country in prescription-drug abuse.” The proposed bill would: •Automatically suspend doctors and fine them $10,000 if they are found to have broken state standards for the proper prescribing of controlled substances, including narcotic pills such as oxycodone. •Make it a crime for doctors who...
Categories: Medical Malpractice Defense,
According to plaintiff’s attorneys in a recent press release, a 61-year-old female in Kankakee, IL, visited her primary care physician in April 2008 with pneumonia-like symptoms. However, her physician allegedly failed to inform her of the presence of a mass that appeared on her chest x-ray, nor did the physician call for any follow-up testing. Due to this alleged act of negligence, the patient’s lung cancer was not identified until it had progressed to Stage IV lung cancer, approximately 22 months after her initial visit, according to attorneys for Plaintiff.  Ultimately, the case was reported to have settled for $1...