Dr. Lawrence M. Poliner v. Presbyterian Hospital update

The ludicrous $366 million award on a conspiracy theory (Aug. 30, 2004; Sep. 2, 2004) was, as we predicted reduced by remittitur to a still ludicrous $22.5 million. (Plaintiff’s attorney’s press release, Sep. 21). Kevin M.D.’s commenters note that the trial bar simultaneously complains that doctors don’t do enough to police themselves and then hold doctors liable for policing other doctors.

Note that the doctors whom the verdict was issued against weren’t even the ones on the peer review committee that suspended Dr. Poliner’s privileges for a few months; they were just the ones who started the peer-review process.

One Comment

  • […] For this, Poliner sued for defamation and under federal antitrust law, alleging that other cardiologists were trying to dominate the market and prevent his competition. The five-month suspension had federal immunity under the Health Care Quality Improvement Act, 42 U.S.C. ยง 11101 et seq. (just one of many federal tort reforms that promote safety), but the trial court held that the 29-day limited-privileges created a cause of action that should go to a jury. Poliner lost $10,000 in income over that time “but was awarded more than $90 million in defamation damages, nearly all for mental anguish and injury to career. The jury also awarded $110 million in punitive damages”–despite the fact that Poliner would have to prove damages were caused by the allegedly unprivileged temporary limitation rather than by the five-month suspension. We covered the initial $366 million verdict in 2004, the outraged medical blogosphere reaction, and the remittitur to a still ludicrous $22.5 million in 2006. […]