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The Department moved to determine the amount of a Medi-Cal lien on the settlement of plaintiff's medical malpractice action. The Court of Appeal reduced the trial court's determination of the amount of the lien by 25 percent for statutory attorney fees. The court held that plaintiff's claim that the trial court erred in not valuing his noneconomic damages at $2.5 million was unsupportable. The court reasoned that crediting plaintiff with more in noneconomic damages than he could possibly have recovered was not a rational approach required by the Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services v. Ahlborn, 547 U.S. 268. The court rejected the remaining claims and affirmed in all other respects. View "Martinez v. Department of Health Care Services" on Justia Law

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Dr. Erdle was arrested for possession of cocaine. He successfully completed drug treatment under a deferred entry of judgment program. Before completion of his drug program and dismissal of his criminal matter, the Medical Board filed an accusation. Erdle argued that he could not be disciplined because the action was based entirely on information obtained from his arrest record. Penal Code 1000.4 provides that “[a] record pertaining to an arrest resulting in successful completion of a pretrial diversion program shall not ... be used in any way that could result in the denial of any employment, benefit, license, or certificate.” Business and Professions Code section 492, however, states: “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, successful completion of any diversion program under the Penal Code . . . shall not prohibit" disciplinary action by specific agencies, "notwithstanding that evidence of that misconduct may be" in an arrest record. The ALJ concluded that section 492 permits discipline but that arrest records should not be permitted at the hearing; that testimony by the arresting officer was allowable; and that cause for discipline existed. The court of appeal held that section 492 creates a blanket exemption from the restrictions contained in section 1000.4 for licensing decisions made by the specified healing arts agencies. View "Medical Board of California v. Superior Court" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the trial court entered on a general verdict for Defendants in this medical negligence claim, holding that there was no merit in Defendant’s claims on appeal. Plaintiff sued Greg Fitzke, M.D. and Surgical Associates P.C. alleging that Fitzke was negligent in failing timely to diagnose and treat her, which resulted in her suffering additional injuries. The jury returned a general verdict for Defendants. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the trial court did not err in rejecting Defendant’s proposed jury instructions or jury instruction language; (2) the record on appeal was insufficient to review whether the trial court erred in permitting Defendants’ expert to answer certain questions; and (3) the trial court did not abuse its discretion by permitting Fitzke to quote a nonexpert and nontestifying treating physician regarding the standard of care for his postoperative treatment of Plaintiff. View "Rodriguez v. Surgical Associates P.C." on Justia Law

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White, pregnant with her tenth child, was charged with federal bank fraud. She failed to appear and was taken into custody when she was 35 weeks pregnant. The U.S. Marshals arranged for her housing at JCDC, which had a full-time medical staff and a relationship with an obstetrics practice. White’s intake form indicated an October 18 due date. Her blood pressure was high. No medical history was taken. White did not disclose that with her ninth pregnancy, she had an emergency cesarean section at 34 weeks. White signed a release but JCDC did not obtain her prenatal care records. For 10 days, White had multiple contacts with medical staff. She told a nurse that she was not having any problems. White then refused to be seen and signed a refusal form. Days later, White awoke with pain and called for assistance at 5:10. An ambulance arrived at 5:22. White arrived at the hospital at 5:52. White again denied having any complications or chronic medical problems. At 6:07, the nurse was unable to find fetal heart tones. At 6:13, the doctor ordered an emergency cesarean section. J.L. was delivered at 6:33. White had suffered a complete abruption of the placenta which stopped the flow of oxygen to J.L., who has severe, permanent disabilities. The abruption likely occurred in the ambulance or at the hospital, because J.L. would not have survived had it occurred earlier. Her father sued under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), 28 U.S.C. 2671, alleging medical malpractice. The Seventh Circuit affirmed summary judgment for the defendants. Placement and retention of White at JCDC fell within the discretionary function exception to the FTCA’s waiver of sovereign immunity. There was no indication that White needed immediate care before the morning of J.L.’s birth, when staff promptly called for help. View "Lipsey v. United States" on Justia Law

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Carle’s medical residency program, which has an employment component, was governed by annual contracts. Residents were required to complete rotations before advancing and to pass the Step 3 U.S. Medical Licensing Examination before entering the third year. A third Step 3 failure results in termination. Carle residents cannot graduate unless they complete licensing requirements. Illinois medical students with five failures in the Step tests are not eligible for licensure without significant remediation. Rodrigo failed his first attempts at Step 1 and Step 2. He was required to repeat four rotations. His supervisors thought a neuropsychological examination might identify issues affecting his performance. Rodrigo never underwent recommended testing. Carle extended Rodrigo’s first and second years to allow him to repeat rotations and the Step 3 test, which he failed a second time. Rodrigo then informed Carle that he had a sleep disorder. Although Rodrigo did not request an accommodation, the director suggested that he take time off. Rodrigo did so, but failed a third time. Rodrigo asked to be promoted so that he could attempt to pass Step 3 in California. After termination of his residency, Rodrigo sued under the Americans With Disabilities Act. 42 U.S.C. 1210. The Seventh Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of Carle, finding that Rodrigo was not a “qualified individual.” Passing Step 3 is an “essential function.” Rodrigo presented no evidence of a causal connection between his protected activity (seeking an accommodation) and his termination. View "Rodrigo v. Carle Foundation Hospital" on Justia Law

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Erie is a Chicago “Federally Qualified Health Center” (FQHC), 42 U.S.C. 254b (2012). FQHCs rely heavily on federal grants and Medicaid reimbursement. Erie Employees are federal employees under the Federal Tort Claims Act, 42 U.S.C. 233(a). Erie was founded as a project between Northwestern Memorial Hospital (NMH) and Erie Neighborhood House in 1957. NMH provides financial support and technical assistance, but Erie physicians seeking NMH privileges are required to apply for them. In 2005, Yarbrough went to the Erie after searching for a clinic that would not require insurance coverage. Yarbrough was informed that she would have her ultrasounds done at Northwestern and would likely deliver her baby at NMH. Based upon information she received during the visit, Yarbrough believed that Erie and NMH were the same entity. Yarbrough sued NMH. based on her daughter’s premature birth, alleging medical negligence. The Illinois Supreme Court answered a certified question: A hospital cannot be held vicariously liable under the doctrine of apparent agency set forth in Gilbert v. Sycamore, for the acts of the employees of an unrelated, independent clinic that is not a party to the litigation. Yarbrough sought treatment at Erie but looks to impose liability on NMH. Erie is neither owned nor operated by NMH. While Erie receives some charitable assistance from NMH, it relies heavily on federal money. Erie does not utilize the Northwestern name, Northwestern-related branding, or Northwestern’s trademark purple color. View "Yarbrough v. Northwestern Memorial Hospital" on Justia Law

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The Nevada Supreme Court held that Nevada law recognizes vicarious liability where a doctor works for the hospital as an independent contractor so long as an ostensible agency relationship existed between the hospital and the doctor. The court reversed the district court's holding that the hospital was not liable in this medical malpractice case and remanded for the jury to determine whether such an ostensible agency relationship existed under the facts of the case. View "McCrosky v. Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center" on Justia Law

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The Nevada Supreme Court affirmed the district court's dismissal of the complaint for lack of an expert affidavit in a medical malpractice action. NRS 41A.071 provides that a district court must dismiss a plaintiff's medical malpractice complaint if it is not accompanied by an expert affidavit. However, under NRS 41A.100(1), a plaintiff need not attach an expert affidavit for a res ipsa loquitur claim. The court reiterated that the enumerated res ipsa loquitur exceptions in NRS 41A.100 supersede the common knowledge res ipsa loquitur doctrine. In this case, plaintiff's complaint failed to show that any object left his body was the result of "surgery," and thus the complaint did not satisfy the elements for the statutory exception of res ipsa loquitur. Finally, the court held that NRS 41A.071 did not violate equal protection or due process. View "Peck v. Zipf" on Justia Law

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The Nevada Supreme Court denied a writ of prohibition or, in the alternative, mandamus challenging the district court's order in a medical malpractice case. Petitioner, a physician assistant, petitioned the court to determine whether the amendment to NRS 41A.017 clarified the existing definition of a provider of health care, so as to apply retroactively, or whether the amended definition operates prospectively only. The court held that the 2015 amendments expressly apply to a cause of action that accrues on or after the effective date of the act, and thus petitioner failed to rebut the presumption that statutory amendments were applied prospectively. View "Segovia v. The Eighth Judicial District Court" on Justia Law

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In this medical malpractice action, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court excluding Appellants’ expert’s undisclosed rebuttal testimony and refusing Appellants’ jury instruction. Appellants, as guardians ad litem for N.W.O., sued Defendant, alleging that Defendant improperly treated N.W.O. with the drug Reglan. During trial, Appellants attempted to present undisclosed rebuttal testimony from an expert witness and requested a nonapportionment-of-damages jury instruction. The circuit court denied the requested jury instruction and excluded the undisclosed expert witness from testifying. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court did not err in excluding Appellants’ undisclosed expert’s rebuttal testimony and in refusing Appellants’ requested jury instruction. View "O’Day v. Nanton" on Justia Law