Features Law

Is a Physician Liable When a Patient Fails to Follow Discharge Instructions?

By October 02, 2018

Dr C was determined to fight this case, and his defense attorney was supportive after looking at the detailed notes and documented calls to the patient which were never returned.

Patient Sues After Becoming Paralyzed Following Visit to Urgent Care

By September 10, 2018

Juries are notoriously unpredictable, and this case might have gone either way.

Physician Sued After Letting Patient Leave Against Medical Advice

By August 06, 2018

The police informed Dr. M that the patient, a 24-year old named Mr. G, had been the perpetrator of an assault and in the process was hit in the head with a blunt object by a bystander.

Physician Sued by Noncompliant Patient After Failing to Follow Up on Test

By July 10, 2018

Timely review and appropriate follow up on all patient reports is essential and must be part of a practice's routine.

Physician Sued for Negligence After Relying on Patient's Self-Diagnosis

By June 04, 2018

This month we look at the issue of whether a physician can be liable for relying on information provided by the patient.

Undisclosed Lab Result Leads to Lawsuit After Patient's Death

By May 02, 2018

Dr P's expert testified that there was nothing to treat or to tell the patient about.

Patient Sues Clinician for Privacy Violation After Practice Responds to Subpoena

By April 03, 2018

HIPAA does not create the right for an individual to sue, only to file a complaint with the government. However, some states have begun to look at whether a common law cause of action may exist when a health care provider reveals private health information.

Clinicians Fail to Recognize Signs of Rare but Deadly Infection

By March 06, 2018

In this month's case we look at a situation where a patient and his family had one idea about diagnosis/treatment, and the clinicians had another.

He Said, She Said: Clinician Sued After Patient Suffers Severe Drug Reaction

By February 07, 2018

It is essential to document warnings, especially significant ones, like this.

Patient's Special Arrangement With Physician Leads to Lawsuit After Death

By January 09, 2018

The physician only took the patient's blood pressure twice a year and did no other medical checks, following his requests. After the patient died of colon cancer, the patient's widow sued the physician.

When Does a Patient's Responsibility Rise to Contributory Negligence?

By December 05, 2017

A patient is misdiagnosed twice and doesn't get a doctor recommended blood test, the patient subsequently died. Was there contributory negligence on behalf of the patient?

Clinician Misses Medication Error After Signing Off on Unread Email

By November 02, 2017

In this case a doctor signs off on an e-mail prescription without reviewing leading to dire consequences.

Fatal Outcome After Clinician Prescribes Without Seeing Patient

By October 02, 2017

This month's case examines what could happen when a clinician diagnoses and prescribes based on complaints being relayed to her, without seeing, or even directly speaking to, the patient.

Third-Party Sues Clinician for Failing to Warn Patient Not to Drive

By September 11, 2017

Dr. K felt sorrow at the passing of his patient, Mr. P, and especially about the terrible circumstances that led up to it. However, it never occurred to him that he might be involved in any way. So, when he received papers notifying him that he was being sued by the family of the young boy who had been killed by Mr. P's car, he was stunned.

Time Pressure Leads to Serious Consequences for Clinician

By August 09, 2017

During his orientation at the clinic, Dr. P was told that clinicians should try to limit patient interactions to 10 minutes as they would be rated by how many patients they treated, and there was a minimum.

Doctor Hit with Defamation Suit After Advising Patient to Sue Colleague

By July 10, 2017

The two physicians worked together for a little over a year, until one of Dr. B's patients came to Dr. G with a problem.

Patient Permanently Injured When Clinician Fails to Ask About Rx History

By June 07, 2017

Unbeknownst to Dr. V, Mrs. B suffered a hemorrhagic stroke after taking the new medication prescribed by him.

Doctor Gets Jail Time for HIPAA Violation

By May 02, 2017

This case is particularly important (and unusual) because it illustrates two points: 1) a person can get jail time for a HIPAA violation (even a misdemeanor violation), and 2) ignorance of the law does not protect you.

Clinician Fails to Follow Up on Crucial Information

By March 02, 2017

This case examines a situation where a physician did not act on a bit of information that he should have taken quite seriously.

Controversial Kratom Growing in Popularity

January 31, 2017

Due to a huge public response, the DEA retracted its notice of intent to classify kratom as a schedule I drug, pending further review.

Two Physicians Sued When Test Results Are Ignored

By January 19, 2017

This case looks at a situation involving two physicians and multiple errors.

Can a Doctor Be Liable for Harm to a Patient He Has Never Seen?

By December 06, 2016

Does a physician who has a collaborative practice agreement with a nurse practitioner owe a duty of care to the NP's patients? And can the physician be held liable if something happens to one of the NP's patients?

Failure to Diagnose Toxic Drug Reaction by Numerous Clinicians Ends in Tragedy

By November 01, 2016

There were numerous times along this tragic path when disaster might have been averted.

Misread Scans Lead to a Fatal Diagnosis and a Court Case

By October 12, 2016

When her symptoms weren't alleviated by a course of antibiotics, the patient called the physician complaining.

After a Prescribing Error, Clinician Faces Big Decision

By September 13, 2016

When is it better to settle a case, and when is it better to go to trial?

Clinician's Clouded Judgement Leads to Patient Death

August 02, 2016

In this case, judgments about the patient interfered with helping her get the proper care.

Patient's Death Lands Clinician in Court for Advising Cessation of Aspirin Therapy

July 12, 2016

Despite the fact that the tests run at the hospital came back negative, concern had been expressed by the hospitalist.

To Err is Human: Apologizing to a Patient After an Error

June 07, 2016

The result of an error and how it is handled can make the difference in whether a practitioner is sued for medical malpractice.

Series of Errors Leads to Amputation for Patient, Lawsuit for Clinician

May 03, 2016

Other than the very first appointment when Ms. C informed the physician that she was asplenic, and he noted it in the file, the two never discussed the patient's lack of a spleen again.

Clinician Relies on Patient's Assumption, Overlooks Deadly Diagnosis

April 05, 2016

Dr. P was a 60-year old primary care physician with his own solo practice. He'd been in practice for himself for the past two decades, and had no shortage of patients.