Last week a Grand Jury in Philadelphia County returned its report on Kermit Gosnell, M.D., recommending he, and several of his employees, be charged criminally with multiple counts of murder (including murdering an adult patient through excessive anesthesia and obstructing emergency treatment), infanticide, violations of the Controlled Substances Act, obstruction of justice, perjury, illegal
[Update: Judge Massiah-Jackson upheld the verdict and overruled the defendants’ post-trial motions. Now comes the appeal to the Pennsylvania Superior Court.]
[Update 2: The Pennsylvania Superior Court reversed, citing three grounds: an error in the jury instruction, the need for Dr. Booth to produce an expert report before trial, and…
More than a year ago, I blogged in Legal Malpractice Case Sends Dismissed Appeal Back To Appellate Court To Say What It Would Have Done about the malpractice case which came about in the wake of Kanter v. Epstein.
The whole thing was, in a word, ugly. Kanter v. Epstein was a bare-knuckled affair…
When I first saw the headline in The Philadelphia Inquirer — “Greene suit says PHA ruined reputation” — I thought: has Carl Greene lost his mind?
I interpreted the “ruined reputation” as referring to a defamation claim, and I could not see how Greene could possibly sue the Board of the Philadelphia Housing…
Citing multiple trial errors, a New Jersey appeals court has reversed an $18.9 million verdict against an obstetrician whose delay in ordering a Caesarean delivery a jury found to have caused cerebral palsy in
One of the big issues that’s been floating around the personal injury / wrongful death world over the past few years is the extent to which states can recoup the money they spent on an injured person’s care if that person later sues the person who caused the injury and obtains a settlement.
I’ve posted many times before about the economic realities of medical malpractice liability. Via The Pop Tort, a new study commissioned by the the Society of Actuaries has revealed the economic cost of medical malpractice in America:
SCHAUMBURG, Ill., (Aug. 9, 2010)–Findings from a new study released today estimate that measurable medical errors cost the U.S. economy $19.5 billion in 2008. Commissioned by the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and completed by consultants with Milliman, Inc., the report used claims data to provide an actuarially sound measurement of costs for avoidable medical injuries. Of the approximately $80 billion in costs associated with medical injuries, around 25 percent were the result of avoidable medical errors.
"This report highlights a singular opportunity for both improving the overall quality of care and reducing healthcare costs in this country," says Jim Toole, FSA, CERA, MAAA and managing director of MBA Actuaries, Inc. "Of the $19.5 billion in total costs, approximately $17 billion was the result of providing inpatient, outpatient and prescription drug services to individuals who were affected by medical errors. While this cost is staggering, it also highlights the need to reduce errors and improve quality and efficiency in American healthcare."
Medical errors are a significant source of lost healthcare funds every year. For example, the study found that $1.1 billion was from lost productivity due to related short-term disability claims, and $1.4 billion was lost from increased death rates among individuals who experienced medical errors. According to a recent SOA survey, which identified ways to bend the national healthcare cost curve, 87 percent of actuaries believe that reducing medical errors is an effective way to control healthcare cost trends for the commercial population, and 88 percent believe this to be true for the Medicare population.
"We used a conservative methodology and still found 1.5 million measureable medical errors occurred in 2008," says Jonathan Shreve, FSA, MAAA, consulting actuary for Milliman and co-author of the report. "This number includes only the errors that we could identify through claims data, so the total economic impact of medical errors is in fact greater than what we have reported."
Compare that nearly $20 billion cost — a conservative estimate limited to the ascertainable economic harm, excluding any pain, suffering, embarrassment, humiliation, or mental anguish, caused by avoidable medical errors — to the mere $4.694 billion paid out to medical malpractice plaintiffs in 2008 (see Exhibit D).
That is to say, payouts to malpractice victims amount to less than one-quarter of the economic damage caused by the malpractice itself.
If someone told you that oil companies only paid twenty-three cents for every dollar of damage they negligently caused through avoidable oil spills, what would you say?
If someone told you that car, airplane or boat companies only paid twenty-three cents for every dollar of damage they negligently caused through defective designs and manufacturing, what would you say?
If someone told you that fast food companies only paid twenty-three cents for every dollar of damage they negligently caused through avoidable food poisoning, what would you say?
If someone told you that consumer appliance companies only paid twenty-three cents for every dollar of damage they negligently caused through electric shorts that caused fires, what would you say?
Would you say there was a liability "crisis" caused by an "explosion" of "frivolous" litigation?
Or would you say those companies weren’t living up to their responsibilities?Continue Reading The Economic Damage Caused By Medical Malpractice Dwarfs The Cost Of Lawsuits
As The Legal Intelligencer reported Friday:
Aviation lawyer and seasoned pilot Arthur Alan Wolk knows quite a bit about the stratosphere and the troposphere, but he may have learned something new this week about the blogosphere when a federal judge tossed out his libel suit against the bloggers at Overlawyered.com.
As U.S. District Judge
You know those ads for personal injury lawyers on the backs of SEPTA buses offering BIG CASH SETTLEMENTS!!!?
Have you ever been "confused" or "mistaken" as to whether those lawyers work for SEPTA?
Me neither. (Then again, I’m a lawyer who sues SEPTA.)
How about a law firm website that shows a picture of…